True Anomaly may be young, but it’s ambitious and moving fast.
The Colorado-based startup, which was founded in 2022, came out of stealth mode today (April 6) to announce that it has raised $30 million to date, including $17 million in a recent “Series A” round led by venture capital firm Eclipse. (Series A is the funding round following the initial “seed capital”.)
True Anomaly has already hired 57 employees, opened a 35,000 square foot (3,250 square meter) factory in Denver and designed a spacecraft called the Jackal Autonomous Orbital Vehicle, company representatives said. And he plans to fly his first two Jackals into Earth orbit in October, atop a SpaceX rocket.
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All of this work is aimed at helping the United States remain the world’s leading space power in the face of increased competition from nations such as Russia and China.
“The United States’ ground military advantage has been enabled by superior space capabilities,” Eclipse partner Seth Winterroth said in an emailed statement.
“That advantage is rapidly fading, and as a result, the United States and our allies face risks and challenges,” Winterroth said. “True Anomaly is the purpose-built team with the tactical, technological and defense procurement expertise to develop the capabilities needed to regain our military advantages in space and ultimately enhance national security.”
True Anomaly plans to do this, among other tasks, by helping the nation deploy more resilient space systems and better understand budding activity in Earth orbit. The Jackal Autonomous Orbital Vehicle will work towards the latter goal.
The Jackal “is designed for the toughest space domain awareness missions in LEO, GEO, and other orbits,” the True Anomaly website says. (opens in a new tab). (LEO is short for Low Earth Orbit and GEO refers to Geostationary Orbit.)
“Jackal safely operates at close range to collect multispectral imagery, full-motion video, and metric observational data from any resident space object in any orbit,” the website adds. “The processing can be done at the edge, in the transport layer, or in the cloud using our next-generation mission control system.”
According to Wired magazine, the two Jackals will not inspect any space junk or potential enemy spacecraft after their launch to LEO in October. instead, they will follow each other, meet and observe each other, in order to test their different systems.
If this test mission goes well, True Anomaly could end up deploying thousands of these satellites into orbit to bolster the U.S. military’s space-based situational awareness capabilities, Wired wrote in February. (opens in a new tab).
And it might not be long before those big fleets start to come up; True Anomaly wasted no time getting up to speed, after all, and the company sees a pressing need for the services it intends to offer.
“We must address the asymmetry of capabilities that has emerged in the space domain over the past two decades as the United States and its allies have focused their military efforts primarily on counterinsurgency operations,” said True Anomaly co-founder and CEO Even Rogers in the same email. statement.
“If we do not act quickly and with a sense of urgency, our nation and its allies will be at heightened risk of geopolitical conflict and conflict escalation that will stretch into space, which could lead to potentially catastrophic debris-generating results as a result of attacks on our spacecraft,” he added.
Mike Wall is the author of “Over there (opens in a new tab)(Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a book about the search for extraterrestrial life. Follow him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in a new tab). Follow us on twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in a new tab) Or Facebook (opens in a new tab).