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When pigs fly: Stockholm-based “porkchop” reaches orbit on SpaceX rocket

porkchop is a Stockholm-based startup developing a reusable in-space logistics vehicle called “porkchop M“.

Thousands of satellites are being launched daily and many of these satellites require services in-orbit, the same way millions of cars need services here on Earth. Such orbital services include rapid constellation deployment, satellite repositioning, inspection and de-orbiting. “porkchop M” is the perfect vehicle for the job – it’s a reusable, multi-purpose vehicle, which will ultimately make utilising space a lot easier and more accessible. It will use the company’s proprietary Micro Vacuum Arc Thrusters (uVAT) to rendezvous and dock with client satellites, making the process a lot easier. In fact, on January 2022 the company deployed a scaled-down version of the uVAT thrusters into orbit on board a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch called the Transporter-3 mission.

The mission objective was to demonstrate the company’s patent-pending Power-Processing Unit (PPU) which uses less power and occupies a smaller volume than traditional alternatives. The end-goal as a company is to establish an interplanetary economy within the solar system. Creating a logistical infrastructure in Low-Earth Orbit is the first step in their plan to bring the resources of the solar system to all of humanity.

To make this vision a reality, porkchop recently closed a venture-led financing round. porkchop has been supported by ESA BIC Sweden, where they had access to ESA’s network and resources. ESA BIC provided with capital to develop the technology and boost its maturity to a level where it could be flown into orbit.

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