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Xplore forges partnerships for spacecraft propulsion system and in-space refueling

Xcraft spacecraft
An artist’s conception shows Xplore’s Xcraft spacecraft at the moon. (Xplore / Orbion Illustration)

Seattle-based Xplore has selected two new technologies for propelling and refueling its Xcraft spacecraft as it makes its way to the moon and beyond.

  • Xplore is designing Xcraft to serve as a “space as a service” platform for payloads heading beyond Earth orbit, to the moon, Mars, Venus and other deep-space destinations. Founded by veteran investors Jeff and Lisa Rich, the company aims to have its first mission to the moon launched as early as next year.

  • The Xcraft design will incorporate features for Orbit Fab’s RAFTI in-space refueling system, Xplore said today in a news release. RAFTI, which stands for Rapidly Attachable Fluid Transfer Interface, would make it possible for Xcraft to “fill ‘er up” from a network of refueling depots placed in various orbits.

  • In a separate announcement, Orbion Space Technology said it will deliver its Aurora propulsion system to Xplore. Orbion said its Hall-effect plasma propulsion system will be key to sending Xcraft probes to deep space.

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