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  • Satellite Evolution Group

Orbit Fab appoints Chief Engineer, advances refueling system test capabilities

Orbit Fab announced it has named industry veteran Kevin Smith as the company’s Chief Engineer, who will lead the Systems, Electrical, Fluids, and Mechanical engineering teams and internal development, testing and overall readiness of RAFTI™ and GRIP™ in-space fueling systems.

Fresh off his most recent stint as Senior Propulsion Engineer at Astrobotic, where he supported Peregrine and Griffin lunar lander programs, and previously space fluids products with Moog, Smith brings years of propulsion and valve expertise to Orbit Fab’s plan to have RAFTI™ refueling ports approved for customer mission integration next year.

Orbit Fab appoints Chief Engineer, advances refueling system test capabilities

“Orbit Fab is laser-focused on revolutionizing satellite missions in space with unprecedented on-orbit refueling capabilities, and we’re excited to name Kevin Smith to lead our engineering teams at this critical time. Kevin brings an impressive mix of technical and mission experience as our new chief engineer that will allow us to effectively meet and accelerate our critical refueling system test and delivery goals,” explained Orbit Fab Founder and CEO Daniel Faber. “Under Kevin’s technical leadership, Orbit Fab will have innovative refueling systems and solutions ready to meet the intensifying demand among defense, government and commercial missions bound for space.”

With the US Government and defense agencies pressing for refueling capabilities to enable sustainable maneuverability and pivotal advantages in an increasingly adversarial space environment, Orbit Fab has a stringent roadmap aimed at the timely availability of refueling capability.

“Orbit Fab is paving the way for reusable satellites that will open the door to a bustling space economy and game-changing mission advantages in space. I’m thrilled to join Orbit Fab at this exciting and pivotal time to help bring this new era of in-space fueling capabilities to customers around the world,” said Kevin Smith, Chief Engineer, Orbit Fab. “We will be aggressively and effectively delivering on a quality-centric roadmap that will produce world-class fueling ports, shuttles and depots for breakthrough missions throughout the months and years ahead.”

Orbit Fab is adding exceptional technical talent to its engineering team to develop and deliver the lowest cost, highest availability refueling services and systems in space. The company’s RAFTI™ in-space refueling port and other key solutions will enable defense, government, and commercial organizations to extend their multi-faceted, multi-orbit missions in space. The company is on track to become a leading provider of propellants and fuels in space, already the first to ink a fuel delivery agreement with the Department of Defense for hydrazine in GEO.

Orbit Fab appoints Chief Engineer, advances refueling system test capabilities

Orbit Fab has recently completed clean-room and electronics lab installations at the company’s headquarters in Lafayette, Colorado, where the new chief engineer will head tests aimed at delivering a fully qualified hydrazine refueling platform early next year.

Earlier this year, Orbit Fab completed a successful Series A funding round of $28.5 million that will allow the company to accelerate key executive and technical team hires, drive fuel sales, the integration of the RAFTI refueling port, and the development of fuel delivery and storage infrastructure in GEO, LEO, and VLEO orbits.

Orbit Fab’s in-space fuel shuttles and depots will allow satellite and mission operators to launch smaller, more powerful satellites that can get to revenue-generating orbits faster and more cost effectively since fuel is no longer a constraint. The company has contracts and collaborative agreements in place to develop and deliver chemical, electric, and green propellants to support and enable dynamic space operations, satellite servicing, and extended missions aboard a broad range of spacecraft in GEO, LEO, and VLEO.

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