Ursa Major Nabs $138M of Funding 

Image: Ursa Major

Rocket propulsion startup Ursa Major has raised $138M of funding this year to develop its recently unveiled Lynx solid rocket motor production process and support its other propulsion programs, the company announced Thursday. 

The company closed a Series D round earlier this year and subsequently secured additional funding via a D-1 extension. The funding rounds were led by Explorer 1 Fund and Eclipse. 

Ursa Major: Ursa builds rocket engines for space launches, on-orbit propulsion, and hypersonics. The company is best known for its Hadley engine, which Ursa says it is pumping out at a rate of one per week. 

  • Hadley is an oxygen-rich staged combustion engine capable of producing 5,000 lbs of thrust. 
  • The company is also developing its Ripley engine, which will be capable of 50,000 lbs of thrust. 

On to Lynx and solid rocket motor: The company unveiled its additive manufacturing process for solid rocket motors this month. The company believes it can ramp up to build 1,650 solid rocket motors per year. Where will all those engines go?

CEO Joe Laurienti told Payload “We got a demand signal…[in] summer 2021. DoD kind of said, we’ve gotten to know you. You’ve had some great work on the hypersonics and space fronts. What do you think about the solid rocket motor space?”

Road less traveled: Ursa is pursuing the pure play/platform-agnostic rocket supplier route, rather than vertically integrating and building an entire vehicle. “This approach stands as a safeguard against the kind of consolidation and stagnation in launch technology that kept America dependent on Russian-made rocket engines in the past,” the company said in a release. 

Ursa Major estimated last year that there was $2B+ of “immediate market vacuum” in launch created from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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