Canada’s NorthStar Earth & Space has recently closed its Series D funding round of CA$20 million (about US$15 million), with investments from Telesystem Space Inc., the Luxembourg Future Fund, and the government of Quebec.
These funds will help the company develop and launch the first batch of Space Situational Awareness (SSA) satellites, part of a constellation for tracking space debris from Low-earth orbit (LEO).
NorthStar is pleased to announce that it has completed a round of funding with Telesystem Space, the Luxembourg Future Fund (Ministère de l'Économie – Luxembourg), and Investissement Québec.#SpaceInnovation #SSA #SpaceSustainability— NorthStar Earth & Space (@NorthStarEandS) December 7, 2023
With this last funding round, the company has now raised more than US$100 million in investments:
“Thanks to the unwavering support of the government of Quebec and our investors in North America and Luxembourg, NorthStar’s unique space-based services will provide coverage of significant gaps that were previously inaccessible from ground-based systems. This represents a significant contribution to the sustainability of the space environment for future generations.”— Stewart Bain, co-founder and CEO of NorthStar Earth & Space
In particular, the Canadian company aims to develop the initial set of four satellites within its constellation, setting up a data processing center in Montreal. This center will be dedicated to processing and delivering accurate information to facilitate the tracking of satellite locations and orbital debris.
Observing space from space
There are more than 128 million of space debris in orbit, and telescopes from Earth are capable of tracking the ones down to 10 cm in diameter. The company based in Montreal is the first in the world to operate a satellite constellation dedicated to monitoring objects as small as one centimeter in LEO.
The satellites were initially expected to be launched with Virgin Orbit, but after the company of Branson announced bankruptcy, Northstar shifted its focus to Rocket Lab for a scheduled autumn launch, which has been delayed again after the failure of the latest Electron mission. The mission is finally expected to be launched in the first months of 2024.