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🚦 Kayhan seed extension
🎙️ Pathfinder #0063
🔁 On the move
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Kayhan Clinches $7M
Kayhan Space raised a $7M seed extension ahead of the release of Pathfinder 3.0, an update to the free version of its space traffic coordination software, the company announced this morning. Space Capital and EVE Atlas funded the round.
The company has raised $11M to date across three rounds to support its goal of simplifying and automating collision avoidance maneuvers in space. More specifically, this additional funding will help fund its space traffic management (STM) platform and grow its customer base.
Rules of the road: Kayhan’s primary product is Pathfinder, a space traffic coordination platform that informs users of possible maneuvers in the case of conjunctions. The platform has a free tier with basic features and a paid tier called Pathfinder Pro that offers additional capabilities.
Next month, Kayhan is planning to roll out a beta version of the Pathfinder update that free-tier users will be able to opt in to. The new features will take Kayhan’s awareness data and conjunction tracking and use it to help operators decide who is responsible for collision avoidance.
“If you have a conjunction with another satellite operator, who should maneuver in that case, and how can we come to agreement on that now so that you don't have to figure it out once the time comes?” Matthew Shouppe, Kayhan’s chief commercial officer, told Payload. “That was great, but it only existed on a piece of paper. And so we actually have taken that and we've operationalized it into the next version of Pathfinder.”
The responsibility assigned for maneuvering will follow guidelines set by the Space Safety Coalition that delineate who is responsible for maneuvering in conjunctions between classes of satellites.
The classes: unmaneuverable, minimally maneuverable, maneuverable, autonomous (i.e., Starlink), and human spaceflight.
“We've built in mechanisms to allow operators to autonomously coordinate and maneuver responsibly with one another, not only autonomously, but also using a set of best practices that already existed in the industry and are respected and signed off by a few dozen satellite operators,” Shouppe said.
Scaling up: With the new funding, Kayhan is planning significant growth to track with its capabilities for making the space domain safer as well as to meet customer demand.
The team is planning to grow 50%, from 20 employees to 30+.
Kayhan is also opening a DC-area office and taking steps to broaden its relationship with US government customers.
The company currently has ~20 customers managing 500+ satellites in orbit.
New MDA software-defined satellites target operator pain points with digital solutions
As one of the world’s leading satellite manufacturers, MDA is continuing its long history of innovation with its new software-defined digital satellite product line providing critical new solutions to satellite operators and prime manufacturers as the industry transitions from analog to digital satellite technologies.
Its fully integrated portfolio includes a complete range of modular digital products and components for space-based communication solutions coupled with advanced high-volume manufacturing capable of producing two satellites a day – dramatically reducing production costs and schedule. Satellite operators who want to improve performance while at the same time driving time, cost and complexity out of their LEO constellation networks now can.
Powering Program Logistics + Pathfinder #0063 with John Conafay
There’s a growing demand for streamlined communication and collaboration tools in the space industry—and Seattle-based space startup Integrate is trying to fill that need. Co-founded by John Conafay, a veteran with ties to the USAF, ABL, Spaceflight, and Astranis, the company aims to modernize program management, offering digital solutions to track development schedules, coordinate missions, and improve vendor collaboration.
John believes that a platform such as Integrate needs to be part of every industry building complex hardware. With newly acquired funding and two new contracts with the USSF and Firefly Aerospace, the company is expanding its team and moving into a new office in Seattle. Though space was where Integrate started, the company intends to expand into the medical device and robotics industries—with the help of its new investors.
A sneak peek…
In today’s episode, Mo and John chat:
The landscape of digital tools in the industry
Integrate’s business model and core value proposition
Raising capital in the current market
Digital solution platforms at scale
And much more…
Pathfinder #0063 is live now…
In Other News
Rocket Lab’s ($RKLB) Electron rocket suffered its first anomaly in two years and failed to deploy a satellite for Capella Space, leading to a 25% drop in the company’s stock price.
US Fish and Wildlife has yet to commence its Starship review, which could take 30-135 days.
Millennium's VICTUS NOX satellite was operational 37 hours after launch, less than the goal of 48 hours.
Sidus Space is moving two LizzieSats from Transporter-9 to Transporter-10.
On the Move
Astroscale appointed Philippe Blatt as managing director. The company also tapped esteemed Payload alum Jess Lis as business & strategy analyst—go Jess! 🎉
NASA named Mark McInerney director of UAP research.
HawkEye 360 promoted Rob Rainhart to president. Rainhart has been COO since 2019.
Sidus Space ($SIDU) named Jared Novick as COO. Novick previously served as an SVP at the company.
The View from Space
#OTD in 1977, Voyager 1 took this image of the Earth and Moon in a single frame, captured from 7.25 million miles away. It was the first of its kind taken by a spacecraft.
— National Air and Space Museum (@airandspace)
Sep 18, 2023