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Pasadena-based Helicity Space Secures Strategic Investment from Lockheed Martin Ventures

Published on Wednesday, April 10, 2024 | 6:02 am
 

Helicity Space, a Pasadena-based commercial space technology company focused on fusion propulsion, has secured a strategic investment from Lockheed Martin Ventures, a venture capital arm of Lockheed Martin Corp. The investment amount remains undisclosed.

The company said the new funding follows a recent $5 million seed round from prominent investors including Airbus Ventures, TRE Ventures, Voyager Space Holdings, E2MC Space, Urania Ventures, and Gaingels in December, according to a statement last week. 

“This investment from Lockheed Martin Ventures marks a pivotal moment for Helicity Space in our mission to revolutionize space transportation,” Dr. Setthivoine You, co-founder and chief scientist at Helicity Space, said in the statement. “It is a testament to the real progress we are making each day in the laboratory.”

Marta Calvo, Helicity’s chief operations officer, said the investment from Lockheed Martin Ventures “furthers the work Helicity Space is doing to advance nuclear fusion propulsion technology,” which she said is critical to the future of space exploration and commerce. 

In addition to the financial backing, Helicity Space will collaborate with Lockheed Martin’s researchers and engineers, offering invaluable resources for advancing space transportation technology.

“As we look towards the future of travel beyond the moon, other methods of propulsion need to be undertaken,” Chris Moran, Lockheed Martin Ventures vice president and general manager, told Space News. “A nine-month or one-year trip to Mars is quite long. If you want to go beyond Mars, the mission will be dominated by the mass of the propellants.”

Moran added Helicity Space’s fusion space propulsion and power technology “has the potential to support future deep space missions and support our customers’ mission success.”

Helicity Space, supported by a team of leading strategic advisors including former NASA officials, is continuing to improve on its fusion propulsion engine, where thrust results from fusion reactions. 

Unlike chemical rockets, fusion produces 10 million times more energy per unit mass of fuel, leading to less fuel consumption, higher speeds, and continuous thrust along agile trajectories. 

The Helicity Drive, designed for propulsive plasma exhaust, is scalable, high-powered, clean, agile, compact, and reusable – suitable for various space missions, Helicity Space said. 

To learn more about the company and their space propulsion technologies, visit www.helicityspace.com.

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