ExoTerra Resources develops and produces microsatellite solar electric propulsion systems. Credit: ExoTerra

SAN FRANCISCO — Colorado-based ExoTerra Resources raised $8 million to expand production of microsatellite propulsion systems.

The Lago Innovation Fund, part of Lago Asset Management, supplied the funding.

The latest investment will help ExoTerra expand staff and facilities, ExoTerra CEO Michael VanWoerkom, told SpaceNews by email.

“Since our first successful demonstration of the Halo Hall effect thruster last year, we’ve seen a huge demand for our propulsion modules,” VanWoerkom said in a statement. “We now have a backlog of over 200 modules to produce.”

With the Lago investment, ExoTerra will “add the assembly, test equipment and staff we need to increase output from eight modules per month to 20 per month, and successfully deliver on customer commitments,” VanWoerkom said.

Rapid Expansion

ExoTerra’s Halo Hall-effect thrusters fired in orbit for the first time in 2023 on DARPA Blackjack Aces satellites, manufactured by RTX subsidiary Blue Canyon Technologies.

Since then, the company has expanded rapidly. ExoTerra recently opened a 3,500-square-meter facility near its Littleton, Colorado, headquarters. The new facility is designed for production of 32 propulsion modules per month.

Heather La Freniere, Lago co-founder and managing partner, said in a statement, “We seek companies that push boundaries and ExoTerra Resource is quickly proving to be a leader in Space Tech with their proprietary technology and innovations. We’re so pleased to work with this impressive team as they continue to grow and innovate their way into the future.”

ExoTerra, founded in 2011, designs, manufactures and tests electric propulsion elements for small satellites.

Debra Werner is a correspondent for SpaceNews based in San Francisco. Debra earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of California, Berkeley, and a master’s degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. She...