EP 5 — Orbit Fab's Daniel Faber on Launching and Protecting Their "Gas Stations in Space"
On this week's episode of the DIB Innovators podcast, David talks with Daniel Faber, CEO and Co-founder at Orbit Fab, a satellite refueling service provider. They discuss the problem of "sitting duck" satellites and how Orbit Fab is solving that problem with "gas stations in space" to supply fuel to spacecraft in orbit, launching in 2025. They also talk about the challenges of building a business in a market that hasn't previously existed, how they tested a proof of concept on the ISS, what working with NASA is like, and the cybersecurity steps they’re taking to protect products and customers.
- How Orbit Fab evolved its concept of "gas stations in space," how it's working up to its launch in 2025, and the future possibilities of being the in-orbit chemical supplier of choice.
- Solving the problem of "sitting duck" satellites with in-orbit refueling to protect national security assets.
- How Orbit Fab is increasing its cybersecurity, including CMMC compliance, to protect itself and deliver safer products to customers.
- The details behind Orbit Fab's proof of concept test on the International Space Station.
- How working with NASA and their requirements was a more straightforward process than expected.
- The biggest challenges of building a business in a market that hasn't previously existed, and how investors are taking a big bet on becoming first movers.
- Balancing the tension of moving fast while also needing to produce reliable products.
“All the US's government satellites, like our most sensitive national security assets, are sitting ducks. That has to be solved. And we find the government is now trying to push the timelines as far to the left as possible. They're trying to accelerate everything to get dynamic space operations like mobility in any form. Refueling, of course, is the obvious one, but they'll try anything they can. They need to be able to move around in orbit."
"This is going to revolutionize how space operations happen and the position that we could get in if we pull this off ... becoming almost kingmakers on what fuels are going to be used in orbit."
"We have to explain why [cybersecurity] is important and why what we're doing and some of the missions that we're on are of interest to some very persistent, prying eyes with some very sophisticated tools."
"There are a lot of people that have similar visions for a bustling in-space economy. Everybody's working on a small piece. And this is the ecosystem that is slowly growing."
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