CAPE CANAVERAL SPACEPORT (December 11, 2017) – In 2017, Space Florida forged a first-of-its-kind financing agreement with innovative in-space manufacturing company, Made In Space (MIS), Inc. With operations in Jacksonville, Florida and in Silicon Valley, MIS is a market leader in the growing segment of in-space manufacturing.
MIS products are utilized both in space and on Earth, and the company was the first to manufacture hardware off the planet. Under the agreement, Space Florida provided debt financing to MIS in support of the company’s entrance into the fiber optics manufacturing market. Provided as security for the loan are space-based or space-bound hardware utilized to manufacture fiber optics in the microgravity environment of the International Space Station. The agreement breaks new ground in how space assets can be financed and collateralized by lenders, as well as paves the way for expanded commercial financing in the segment.
Aboard the December 12 SpaceX CRS-13, MIS will launch its Fiber Optics payload that will manufacture ZBLAN optical fibers in microgravity on the International Space Station (ISS). It is anticipated that in-space production of ZBLAN will create a fiber of higher quality – one that cannot be made on Earth. This space-produced product will remain competitively priced against fibers produced terrestrially.
“Our agreement not only showcases MIS’ ability to commercially leverage the space environment in new ways, but also highlights the unique and market leading financial tools that Space Florida can offer, all while helping to enable the company’s growth in the State of Florida,” said Frank DiBello, President and CEO of Space Florida. “Space Florida congratulates Made In Space on its successes and innovation in the industry.”
“We believe ZBLAN fiber will be the first commercially produced product manufactured in space that is brought back to Earth for use,” said Andrew Rush, President and CEO of Made In Space, Inc. “It’s potential to impact life on Earth and mankind’s utilization of space is tremendous. Space Florida’s assistance has been invaluable as we have worked to develop this truly revolutionary product.”
Friday’s launch marks MIS’s third manufacturing device launched to the ISS since 2014. The device will manufacture ZBLAN optical fiber for several weeks before returning to Earth for materials evaluation and testing prior to final delivery to partners and customers. MIS also partnered with the Center For Advancement of Science In Space (CASIS) and Thorlabs for this technology and mission.
About Space Florida: Space Florida was created to strengthen Florida’s position as the global leader in aerospace research, investment, exploration and commerce. As Florida’s aerospace and spaceport development authority, we are committed to attracting and expanding the next generation of space industry businesses. With its highly trained workforce, proven infrastructure and unparalleled record of achievement, Florida is the ideal location for aerospace businesses to thrive – and Space Florida is the perfect partner to help them succeed. www.spaceflorida.gov
About Made In Space: Made In Space, Inc. (MIS) is the world’s most experienced space manufacturing company. Established in 2010 and with offices in Florida, California, Alabama and Ohio, MIS leverages the unique properties of the space environment to develop manufacturing solutions to commercial, industrial, research and defense challenges. The company’s vision is to enable the future of space exploration by offering off-Earth manufacturing capabilities. For more information about MIS, visit www.madeinspace.us.