Voyager Space Holdings continues to build up its portfolio of strategic space service offerings with the acquisition of a majority stake in X.O. Markets, the parent company of Nanoracks. Nanoracks has provided commercial space services for years now, and most recently provided the Bishop Airlock that was installed on the International Space Station. Bishop is the first dedicated commercial permanent airlock on the ISS, and will provide a major increase in capabilities in terms of providing access to the orbital platform for private small satellites and research.
This is Voyager’s third major acquisition this year, after it picked up a majority stake in The Launch Company, a launch support company that provides services and hardware to facilitate launches, and that works with companies including Relativity, Firefly Aerospace and Virgin Orbit. Voyager also picked up Pioneer Astronautics (an R&D company that works on propulsion, fuels, rapid prototyping and much more) in 2020, as well as Altius Space Machines in 2019. Altius is a startup that works on technology for on-orbit satellite servicing.
Nanoracks is probably its highest-profile acquisition, as the company has been involved in more than 1,000 ISS projects, spanning on-station research and small satellite launches from the platform, as well as other orbital and deep space missions. Nanoracks created a commercial space testing platform outside the ISS, and will be demonstrating a technology on a SpaceX mission next year that could eventually be used to convert spent upper stages from launch vehicles into orbital commercial mini space stations.
Voyager Space Holdings continues its strategic acquisition of new space companies, building out a portfolio that can offer clients significantly more “full-service” solutions than any of these individual companies taken together. Commercial details of these arrangements aren’t shared, but they increasingly represent one path to exit for smaller companies addressing elements of the larger commercial space sector in fairly specialized ways.