Varda Space Industries (Varda Space)

Canvas Category OEM : Aerospace : In-Space Manufacturing

Website | Blog

Primary Location Torrance, California, United States

Financial Status VC-A; Khosla Ventures, Lux Capital, Founders Fund, Caffeinated Capital, General Catalyst, Also Capital

Varda is creating a three-piece spacecraft, consisting of a commercially-available spacecraft platform, the manufacturing module, and a heatshield-protected capsule to reenter through the atmosphere and land under parachutes. The company is aiming to have its first launch and reentry in 18 months, with the goal of bringing back about 100 kilograms (or 220 pounds) of material. Varda is at preliminary design review-level currently, Bruey said, going through final details with regulators and stakeholders.

Recent Posts

What’s Actually Inspiring Manufacturing in Outer Space?


Reduced launch costs have inspired in-space manufacturing startups to build the first orbiting industrial park. In a record feat, industrial autonomy controls a chemical plant for 35 straight days! NVIDIA’s GTC 2022 puts the spotlight on AI within industry.

Assembly Line

The Space-Based Drug Factory That Can’t Come Home

📅 Date:

✍️ Author: Mark Harris

🏢 Organizations: Varda Space

Five hundred kilometers above the Earth, a small spacecraft is waiting patiently for permission to return home. The autonomous return capsule, made by startup Varda Space Industries, of Torrance, CA, was meant to have landed in the remote Utah desert early in September. It would have been the first commercial space company to return a drug made in space to Earth, in this case a few grams of the HIV and hepatitis C antiviral ritonavir.

The delay has nothing to do with the satellite itself, which appears to be operating perfectly, and everything to do with an ongoing struggle between Varda and U.S. government agencies back on the ground.

Read more at IEEE Spectrum

How Space Factories Are Becoming A Reality

🚀 2023 NASA Tipping Point Selections

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🔖 Topics: Funding Event

🏢 Organizations: NASA, Astrobotic Technology, Big Metal Additive, Blue Origin, Freedom Photonics, Lockheed Martin, Redwire Space, Protoinnovations, Psionic, Varda Space, Zeno Power Systems

NASA has selected 11 U.S. companies to develop technologies that will support long-term exploration on the Moon and in space under its sixth Tipping Point opportunity. The total expected NASA contribution to the partnerships is $150 million. Each company will contribute a minimum percentage, based on company size, of the total project cost. NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) will issue milestone-based funded Space Act Agreements lasting for up to four years.

Read more at NASA Directorates

🚀🏭 SpaceX successfully launches world’s first 'space factory'

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✍️ Author: Kristin Houser

🏢 Organizations: Varda Space, SpaceX

In 2019, pharma giant Merck revealed that an experiment on the International Space Station had shown how to make its blockbuster cancer drug Keytruda more stable. That meant it could now be administered via a shot rather than through an IV infusion. The key to the discovery was the fact that particles behave differently when freed from the force of gravity — seeing how its drug crystalized in microgravity helped Merck figure out how to tweak its manufacturing process on Earth to produce the more stable version.

During the satellite’s first week in space, Varda will focus on testing its systems to make sure everything works as hoped. The second week will be dedicated to heating and cooling the old HIV-AIDS drug ritonavir repeatedly to study how its particles crystalize in microgravity. After about a month in space, Varda will attempt to bring its first space factory back to Earth, sending it through the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds and then using a parachute system to safely land at the Department of Defense’s Utah Test and Training Range.

“Pharmaceuticals are the most valuable chemicals per unit mass,” Bruey told CNN. “And they also have a large market on Earth.”

Read more at Freethink

Varda Raises $42MM Series A, to build humanity’s first Space Factories

📅 Date:

🔖 Topics: funding event

🏢 Organizations: Varda Space, Khosla Ventures

Varda Space Industries, a company building space factories, announced a $42mm Series A. The company — founded just 8 months ago — has raised over $53mm to date, showing the appetite for Varda’s near-term, pragmatic, and commercially viable approach to space manufacturing. The company produces an assortment of materials that are only possible to make in the zero-gravity environment of space and brings them back to customers on Earth. The company will launch its first space factory in Q1 2023 and return a first batch to Earth a month later.

Read more at Varda Blog