The booming satellite industry is a boon for Morpheus Cosmoswhich produces a modular electrical system for propulsion of small satellites.
Morpheus has raised a $28 million Series A, with which it intends to build a factory in Dresden, Germany, where it is based, and increase the number of employees. This will allow the company to increase production of its propulsion systems to meet the exponentially growing demand in the small satellite market; since 2019, the number of small satellite launches has increased by nearly 450%.
In 2020, Morpheus launched its Nano Field Effect Electric Propulsion Thruster (NanoFEEP), which it claims is the world’s “smallest and most efficient electric propulsion system in space”.
Because the system is modular, the NanoFEEP thrusters can be combined to create more powerful propulsion systems to meet the needs of a particular satellite. For example, a cluster of seven NanoFEEP thrusters is called a MultiFEEP, and multiple MultiFEEP thrusters can be added to maneuver a larger ship. This allows customers to avoid spending additional time and resources on developing custom propulsion systems for each of the satellites.
Since launching NanoFEEP, Morpheus has attracted customers such as Spire Global, Antaris Space and Rocket Factory Augsburg – with many more on the way.
“Over the past year, our number of contracts has increased by 250% and is on track to grow further,” said István Lőrincz, president of Morpheus. who also spoke on the topic of last year’s TC Sessions: Space. “The new factory will help us meet the needs of our growing customer base. We will show by example that the NewSpace industry needs to implement scalable business and production solutions as quickly as possible to meet the expected forecasts.
Morpheus has already shown his agility in two short years. “One major improvement we implemented recently in our hardware came in the form of a new fuel that improved the performance of our propulsion systems. It is non-toxic and non-corrosive with zero transportation or handling restrictions,” Lőrincz said, noting that the previous fuel used gallium.
The company has also developed the Sphere Ecosystem, an all-in-one package that Morpheus claims sets it apart from the competition. “We provide platform-agnostic AI for their satellite navigation, an application that helps plan the entire customer journey from design to satellite operations, constellation mission design software and our world-class propulsion units,” Lőrincz said.
The funding round was led by Alpine Space Ventures with participation from Vsquared Ventures, Lavrock Ventures, Airbus Ventures, In-Q-Tel, Pallas Ventures and Techstars Ventures. With thousands of satellites due to be launched over the next few years, Morpheus has many more potential customers (and investors) to woo with its system.