Reality Rating

Space < > Space Transportation

Space < > Space Transportation

This is the eighth installment of our  SpaceFund Reality (SFR) rating.  The focus of this SFR is a sub-sector of the Transportation category, specifically space to space transportation. In this category, the other sub-sectors being tracked by SpaceFund are Earth < > Space (launch), Space < > Other Worlds (landers), and Planetary Surface (rovers). The in-space transportation sub-sector has seen rapid growth in recent years as more and more satellites are being launched, many of them requiring access to unique orbits or wishing to extend their operational lifetimes with on board propulsion. Along with tow trucks, tugboats, or long-haul Solar System level transports, new space to space  transportation businesses are the precursors of what we believe will become one of the major legs of space industrial development.

To paraphrase the great Robert Heinlein: “A hundred miles up and you’re halfway to anywhere.” Note the term “halfway.” Once SpaceX’s  Starship, Blue Origin’s New Glenn, Rocket Lab’s Neutron, Radian’s spaceplane, or another spaceship gets you out of Earth’s gravity well, you may need another ride to get you to your final destination. Whether your payload is a satellite, a probe, or humans, efficiently moving things around in space is one of the next significant challenges for us to open the Frontier.

There are two tables below: the first shows the companies tackling in-space propulsion, while the second shows companies building spacecraft and deployment capabilities for in-space transportation. Each company is assigned an SFR rating based on our analysis, publicly available data, and expert insights.

If you haven’t already, please consult our SpaceFund Reality (SFR) ratings page to learn more about the rating, its purpose, and the underlying formula, as well as to view a complete list of the SpaceFund sectors of interest. 

How to Use This Table

Sort: Click on the column heading to sort A-Z; click again to sort Z-A.

Search: To search within the entire table, simply type your query into the search area at the top right of the table. If you’d like to search within a specific column, use the search box at the bottom of that column.

Download: You can download this table as an Excel or CSV file by using the icons at the top of the table. You can also print the table.

Screen Size: The database is too big to fit on most screens, so you’ll need to use the scroll bar at the bottom of your screen to scroll right to see additional columns, and continuing scrolling down to see all companies. 

Important Note (Alpha Sort Columns vs Numeric Sort Columns): In some numeric columns below (such as T:P ratio and Specific Thrust) , any figure listed as a “0” is simply a placeholder for unavailable data. This is due to the nature of this table format, and to ensure that the columns sort properly, a numeric character must be included in each cell. So, for example, if a company is listed to have a specific thrust of “0” this simply means that this information is not publicly available and the “0” acts as a replacement for “N/A”.  

Other columns, such as Funding are set to sort alphabetically. Since these columns contains alphabetic characters in some cells, they will sort alphabetically, not numerically and so the “-” character has been used to represent unavailable data. All other columns in the table will also sort alphabetically.

Important Note (Companies not Products): This database, and the SpaceFund Reality ratings, are based on COMPANIES, not specific products or technologies. 


How to Provide Updated Data

Have we missed your company? Do you feel that your company should have a different rating? Is the listed data inaccurate or outdated? Do you see missing data for your company? The best way to update your information in this database is to reach out to us directly to provide additional information about your technology, management team, funding history, and company progress. We are also eager to learn about any additional data sources that can help us in our ongoing research, so please feel free to share any resources you know of with our team.

Updates will be published as new information becomes available.  

SpaceFund Reality (SFR) Rating

Space < > Space Transportation Database

 Last Update: 12 October 2022 

In-Space Propulsion

wdt_ID Company SFR Category Technology Propellant Funding ($M) ISP (s) Thrust (N) T:P Ratio (mN/kW) Specific Thrust (N/kg) Country HQ Location Description
233 Aerojet Rocketdyne 9 Chemical; Electric Arcjet; Gridded Ion; Hall Effect; Liquid (Bi-Propellant); Liquid (Monoprop) Various Public 2,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 USA El Segundo, CA Leader in technologies such as electric propulsion, traditional chemical thrusters, and thrusters using non-toxic propellants
230 ArianeGroup 9 Chemical; Electric Gridded Ion; Liquid (Bi-Propellant), Liquid (Monoprop) Hydrazine, MMH + MON-1; Xenon Joint Venture 3,500.00 0.17 68.40 0.00 France Paris Developing high-performance propulsion solutions for satellites and other spacecraft
229 Astra 9 Electric Hall Effect Krypton, Xenon Public 1,800.00 0.06 41.38 0.01 United States Alameda, CA Developing the ASE family of Hall effect propulsion systems
235 Bradford 9 Chemical; Electric Liquid (Monoprop); Resistojet LMP-103S; Water - 185.00 0.02 0.00 0.01 Netherlands Heerle Developing and manufacturing satellite propulsion sub-systems and components
236 Busek 9 Chemical; Electric Electrospray; Hall Effect; Liquid (Monoprop); Plasma; Resistojet Various - 3,060.00 0.45 0.00 0.02 USA Natick, MA Engaged in applied research, hardware development and speciality manufacturing in space propulsion
237 Dawn Aerospace 9 Chemical Liquid (Bi-Propellant) Nitrous + Propene - 285.00 20.00 714.29 32.79 New Zealand Christchurch Developing customized propulsion systems for small satellites and cubesats
238 IHI Aerospace 9 Chemical Liquid (Bi-Propellant), Liquid (Monoprop) Hydrazine, MMH + MON-3 - 329.00 450.00 0.00 0.00 Japan Tokyo Manufacturing monopropellant and bipropellant thrusters for spacecraft
239 L3 Harris 9 Electric Gridded Ion Xenon Public 3,550.00 0.17 29.41 0.01 USA Torrance, CA A world leader in the development and production of Xenon Ion Propulsion Systems (XIPS)
240 Benchmark Space Systems 8 Chemical Liquid (Bi-Propellant) HTP + Butane 4.64 320.00 22.00 0.00 0.00 USA Burlington, VT Offering scalable thruster designs with additively manufactured core components
241 NanoAvionics 8 Chemical Liquid (Monoprop) Ammonium Dinitramide - 213.00 1.00 0.00 0.83 USA Midland, TX Offering a high-performance and environment-friendly CubeSat propulsion system
Company SFR Category Technology Propellant Funding ($M) ISP (s) Thrust (N) T:P Ratio (mN/kW) Specific Thrust (N/kg) Country HQ Location Description

SpaceFund Reality (SFR) Rating

Space < > Space Transportation Database

 Last Update: 12 October 2022 

Spacecraft and Deployment

wdt_ID Company SFR Propulsion Type Tech Type Application Funding ($M) Delta-V (m/s) Power (kW) Payload (kg) Country HQ Location Description
47 Airbus 9 Chemical; Electric Exploration Deep Space Public - - - Spain Madrid Developing technology to provide transportation to planets, moons and comets
48 Lockheed Martin 9 Chemical Crew Capsule Moon, Deep Space Public - 11.2 - USA Littleton, CO Developing the Orion spaecraft to take humans deep into space
49 NanoRacks 9 - Deployment Earth Orbit - - - 90 USA Webster, TX Deploying cubesats and microsats into Low-Earth Orbit
50 Northrop Grumman 9 Chemical Cargo Earth Orbit Public - 4 3,000 USA Falls Church, VA Operating the Cygnus spacecraft to carry crew supplies, spare equipment and scientific experiments to the space station
51 Rocket Lab 9 Chemical Exploration; OTV Earth Orbit, Moon, Deep Space Public 3,200 0.25 20 USA Long Beach, CA Using the Photon family of spacecraft to offer unique mission capabilities
52 Spaceflight 9 Chemical; Electric OTV Earth Orbit Public 2,500 0.5 250 USA Seattle, WA Providing a complete in-space transportation service via the Sherpa Program
53 SpaceX 9 Chemical Cargo; Crew Capsule Earth Orbit - - 4 6,000 USA Hawthorne, CA Sending humans and cargo into space with Dragon
54 Boeing 8 Chemical Crew Capsule Earth Orbit Public - - - USA Titusville, FL Developing the Crew Space Transportation (CST)-100 Starliner spacecraft
55 D-Orbit 8 - Deployment; OTV Earth Orbit 27.8 - - - Italy Fino Mornasco Offering a unique deployment service to place satellites into precise, independent orbital slots
56 Bradford 7 Chemical Exploration; OTV Earth Orbit, Deep Space - - 0.65 300 Netherlands Heerle Developing Square Rocket, a rideshare-compatible spacecraft for space-to-space transport
Company SFR Propulsion Type Tech Type Application Funding ($M) Delta-V (m/s) Power (kW) Payload (kg) Country HQ Location Description

SpaceFund Sectors of Interest

SpaceFund is interested in a number of sectors of the space economy, specifically Transportation, Communication, Human Factors, Supplies, and Energy. In the coming months we will post SFR ratings for companies from all of these sectors, providing a robust overview of the state of frontier-enabling companies across the industry. Please check back frequently to view new sub-sector databases, and sign up to receive our emails to be notified of each new release.

Click on the black buttons below to view the available SFR databases.