We talked to founder Daniel Faber to learn more about Orbit Fab in August 2018…
Tell us about your company. What problem are you trying to solve?
Orbit Fab is building gas stations in space. Orbit Fab envisions a thriving in-space market for products and services that support both existing space businesses (communications and Earth observation) and new industries like space tourism, manufacturing, and mining. The first step is achieving ubiquitous availability of satellite propellant in Earth Orbit, expanding the operational potential of new and existing space assets and providing unprecedented business model flexibility for satellite owners. The future for satellites is no longer restricted to the fuel they are launched with. It is about getting the fuel and other materials they need, where and when they need it, to accomplish things never thought possible.
How did your company get started?
Founding CEO Daniel Faber previously led Deep Space Industries (DSI), pursuing a vision to mine asteroids. Co-founder Jeremy Schiel briefly joined DSI in 2017 before the pair teamed up to build a business that will execute the “next steps” in a product chain they believe will make asteroid mining a reality.
The cost of launching materials into space (millions of dollars per ton) means there is more value in leaving asteroid materials in space than bringing them down to Earth! The first products are expected to be fuel used by satellites. Faber and Schiel was to start supplying and trading propellants in Earth orbit. While the materials are currently all being launch from Earth, it is creating an active demand for asteroid materials.
Why is your team well positioned to solve the problem you’re tackling?
Orbit Fab was founded in 2018 by Daniel Faber, an industry veteran and former CEO of asteroid-mining company Deep Space Industries, and Jeremy Schiel who brings international and new business development experience from the automotive industry. At Orbit Fab, they lead a global team of 15 experts in space systems, propulsion, logistics, simulation, and AI.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned along the way?
This is Daniel’s 6th startup, across 4 continents. “It’s not complicated. Exceed your customers’ expectations and don’t run out of cash. Unfortunately, achieve both of those things together is not always easy!
What resources do you rely on to help your company grow?
We rely on our people above all else – their experience and initiative. We foster stakeholders and supporters across the industry, especially our customers. And of course we depend on our suppliers to be efficient and seamless, like Shoobx!