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Protolaunch Secures Pre-Seed Investment, Accelerating Development of FOx-1 In-Space Thrusters

PRESS RELEASE: 18th September 2023

Protolaunch team members stood in the firing bay of the Protolaunch Propulsion Test Facility, E-Site, Westcott Venture Park, UK

WESTCOTT – Protolaunch Ltd announces the successful closure of a Pre-Seed investment round, underscoring the growing interest and confidence in its pioneering efforts. The investment will expedite the development of the FOx-1 in-space thruster, further solidifying Protolaunch's position at the forefront of space propulsion technology for the emerging In-Orbit Servicing and In-Space Manufacturing markets.

Protolaunch's Pre-Seed investment success is bolstered by significant ongoing contracts with institutions including Innovate UK and the European Space Agency. These substantial partnerships underscore the company's dedication to pushing the boundaries of space technology and provide a clear product roadmap with >£1m of qualifcation & development work now underway.

Protolaunch is actively seeking top talent to join its dynamic team, as the company expands its workforce to bring the FOx-1 in-space thruster closer to realisation. Applicants can apply at:

A FOx-1 Thruster mounted on the test bench for hot-fire testing at the Protolaunch Propulsion Test Facility

The FOx in-space thrusters represents a step change in propulsion design, with a focus on the novel propulsion demands of In-Orbit Servicing and Manufacturing customers from the outset. This latest investment round marks a pivotal moment in Protolaunch's journey, accelerating thruster development and bringing deployment closer to reality.

Matt Escott, Protolaunch CoFounder & CEO said, “Protolaunch has played an active role in the UK space propulsion industry since 2019, acting as chemical propulsion specialists while re-investing in our state-of-the-art propulsion test facility at Westcott Venture Park. During this time we have heard repeatedly from customers how In-Orbit Servicing & Manufacturing and Rendezvous & Proximity Operations have very different propulsion challenges compared to legacy communications platforms. Our FOx-1 and Arctic FOx products are designed from the ground up to address this gap in the propulsion market and capitalise on these rapidly growing market segments in Low Earth Orbit."

Dr. Jack Coghen-Brewster, Protolaunch CoFounder & CTO said, “As space continues to get more crowded and new business models emerge that require de-orbit or return-to-Earth, new technologies are needed. By using oxygen and hydrogen, the gaseous components of water as our propellant, Protolaunch is able to offer a safer and more sustainable alternative to the toxic propellants that dominate today’s market without sacrificing performance.

As we bring our FOx products to market we hope to make propulsion a commodity item in spacecraft design and enable new reusable and return-to-Earth mission architectures as space continues to become an ever growing part of peoples day to day lives.”

Craig Brown, Investment Director at the UK Space Agency, said:

"The successful closure of this investment round is a significant milestone for Protolaunch, an exciting British space company that is driving innovation in new propulsion technologies and creating high-skilled jobs. We are proud to have Protolaunch on the UK Space Agency Accelerator programme and look forward to continuing to work closely with them in the future, as they expand operations in Westcott."

Protolaunch Ltd remains committed to driving innovation and advancing the frontiers of commercial space operations. The successful Pre-Seed investment round, coupled with ongoing strategic partnerships, positions the company for continued growth as it propels the FOx in-space thruster’s toward an exciting future.

For media inquiries and more information about Protolaunch Ltd and the FOx-1 Thruster, please contact:

Matt Escott




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