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With a focus on the low-Earth orbit economy, Voyager eyes more acquisitions

Voyager is looking to add other capabilities to its portfolio such as guidance navigation and control software for spacecraft, in-space communications, in-space propulsion and satellite manufacturing

WASHINGTON — Voyager Space Holdings said May 10 it has closed a deal announced in December to acquire a majority stake in XO Markets, the parent company of commercial space services provider Nanoracks. 

The value of the transaction was not disclosed. “We acquired the company at a substantial number,” Dylan Taylor, Voyager’s chairman and CEO, told SpaceNews.

Nanoracks is Voyager’s fourth deal since October 2019. Voyager also has acquired a space robotics firm, a space mining company and a space launch logistics services providers.

Taylor said the Nanoracks investment takes Voyager a step closer to its goal of becoming a vertically integrated space exploration company. He said Voyager continues to eye more acquisitions.

“We’re very focused on the LEO [low Earth orbit] economy,” said Taylor. 

Nanoracks is a significant acquisition, has said, because of its growing portfolio of commercial technologies on the International Space Station.  The company built the first private airlock, called the Bishop Airlock, that was attached to the ISS in December. 

“We anticipate manufacturing several additional airlocks in the future,” Taylor said. The Bishop Airlock is much larger than the ones used in the past “so it allows more commercial commerce — such as movement of materials, experiments and satellite launches —  to happen on the ISS.”

As activities in LEO develop and private space stations are built, he said, “we’re likely to be involved in that. Not only because we operate space stations but also because we have the airlock capabilities.” Nanoracks is working on a project called Outpost to repurpose rocket upper stages orbiting Earth as commercial space stations.

Taylor said Voyager is looking to add other capabilities to its portfolio such as guidance navigation and control software for spacecraft, in-space communications, in-space propulsion and satellite manufacturing. 

The company, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, in April announced it hired former NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine to chair its advisory board. Voyager in March named former undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment Ellen Lord to its board of directors. 

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