Pangea Aerospace, a leading European space start-up, announced the completion of its Series Seed round of €3 million (USD 3.6 million), bringing the total funding of the company to more than €6 million, including public financing. Inveready, as a lead investor, has been accompanied by CDTI Innvierte, Dozen Investments, Primo Space and E2MC. The company develops space propulsion systems based on the aerospike nozzle and a disruptive recovery system for microlaunchers.
Pangea Aerospace is developing the long sought-after aerospike nozzle for rocket engines. This type of engine can radically transform space propulsion thanks to its higher efficiency (up to 15% than currently used rocket engines), reusability capabilities and very low-cost and rapid manufacturing. The company uses the latest metallic 3D printing techniques and materials to achieve this technological prowess. Additionally, the engine uses green propellants such as liquid oxygen and liquid methane.
Pangea Aerospace will use the funding to manufacture and test several 20kN (2 ton) aerospike rocket engine demonstrators and accelerate towards commercially ready aerospike propulsion technology. The company has been working on the design of the aerospike during the past two years and has solved problems that are historically associated with aerospike engines: cooling, weight and manufacturing costs, thanks to proprietary designs and additive manufacturing. Over the last years Pangea Aerospace has developed a strong intellectual property portfolio covering its technologies. The testing of the aerospike engine, scheduled in Q3 2021 will mainly serve to validate its manufacturability, its regenerative cooling system and the use of CH4/LOX propellants in this nozzle architecture. The engine is completely manufactured in merely two pieces using a new copper alloy with excellent creep resistance and high thermal conductivity.
Borja Ballesté, Investment Manager of Inveready, said: “Since we launched our last Tech Fund in 2019, Inveready has been exploring the opportunities created by the privatization of the SpaceTech industry and its impact in the Spanish New Space ecosystem. We are thrilled to join Pangea Aerospace’s path to Space. We strongly believe that the company has found the right opportunity window and the right founding team to accomplish the challenging target of developing the world’s first 3D printed MethaLox Aerospike Engine.”
“In the value chain of the new space economy we think that the sector of new generation satellites’ launchers is a very interesting investment area. Pangea in that sector offers innovative and interesting solutions and has a young and motivated team” said Matteo Cascinari, General Partner at Primo Space Fund.
Adrià Argemí, CEO and co-founder of Pangea said: “The space industry is drastically being transformed and new solutions are sought to be more competitive. The aerospike engine has been considered the holy grail of rocket propulsion for decades, but it is only now that this technology can be built and engineered, thanks to new materials and the design freedom that additive manufacturing provides.”
Since its founding in 2018, Pangea Aerospace has grown to become a team of 15 people from different nationalities. Located in Barcelona, the company develops disruptive technologies for the launch sector and has working prototypes of its propulsion and recovery technologies. The company has a proven track record of leading large projects, being the coordinator of the RRTB project of €3,1 million with partners such as Thales Alenia Space, Deimos Space, TUM, Von Karman Institute, RWTH
Aachen, Heron Engineering and Toseda. The RRTB project aims at developing Pangea Aerospace’s proprietary recovery technology to reuse booster stages. The company has already started receiving some commercial interest for its propulsion systems, and with the new investment proceeds expects to reach a TRL level that will allow the signature of its first contracts.