The Exploration Company Takes the Lead in Reusable Orbital Vehicles with €40.5M in Funding
The Exploration Company, a European startup revolutionizing the space industry, has successfully raised €40.5 million in their Series A funding round. This major milestone will finance a series of tests and demonstrations, starting with the inaugural launch of Europe’s Ariane 6 rocket later this year.
At the forefront of innovation, The Exploration Company will launch the Bikini reentry demonstrator, a 40 kilogram, 60 centimeter in diameter capsule, to gather critical data on thermal protections, onboard computer performance and shape validation for larger capsules. And, as the company continues to push the boundaries of space exploration, they have already booked a SpaceX Falcon 9 mission for next year to carry a larger 1,600 kilogram demonstration capsule equipped with propulsion and a parachute for a controlled reentry.
In 2026, The Exploration Company plans to launch the full-sized Nyx orbital vehicle, measuring four meters in diameter and weighing 8,000 kilograms. This vehicle will be capable of spending several months in orbit, demonstrating its capability to perform precise operations, with the ultimate goal of docking with the International Space Station in 2027. A full-sized Nyx will be able to transport 4,000 kilograms to orbit for up to six months, and bring 2,600 kilograms back down to Earth, all for just €20,000 per kilogram.
This trailblazing startup, led by CEO and co-founder Hélène Huby, has even greater plans for the future with missions to the moon and eventual crewed missions. With Hélène’s extensive background as Vice President at Airbus Defence and Space and her experience on the European Service Module for NASA’s Orion spacecraft, The Exploration Company is well-positioned to seize the growing demand for European space station transportation and microgravity missions.
The Exploration Company’s funding round was led by Swedish early-stage investor EQT Ventures and Red River West of France, and supported by investors including Promus Ventures, Cherry Ventures, Vsquared, Omnes Capital, July Fund, Partech, Possible Ventures, Habert Dassault Finance, Schlumberger, and Sista Fund. With a total funding to date of €47.3 million, The Exploration Company is poised for takeoff and ready to shape the future of space exploration.