Orbion Space Technology opens rocket factory in Houghton
The facility contains space simulation chambers that will be used to test Orbion-manufactured test thrusters for small satellites.
HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Houghton’s Orbion Space Technology opened its new rocket factory Tuesday evening.
Founded in 2016, Orbion specializes in developing plasma propulsion systems for small satellites.
The factory will use specialized space simulation vacuum chambers in order to test these thrusters for up to 14 hours before sending them off to customers.
The factory was opened in a ribbon-cutting ceremony following a roundtable discussion that included Michigan Tech University (MTU) President Rick Koubek and U.S Representative Ro Khanna.
“I had a number of people from my constituency in Silicon Valley who have invested in Orbion technology and who are graduates of Michigan Tech,” said Khanna. “They wanted me to come out and see the collaboration between Silicon Valley and the U.P.”
According to Orbion CEO Brad King, a few more adjustments need to be made to the facility before work can begin.
“We’ve got a couple more weeks to work out the bugs on the new equipment, and then it’s onto to production testing,” said King. “We’ll start putting flight hardware in these chambers, testing it, shipping it to customers, where it will be orbiting Earth within a year.”
The factory is aiming to produce hundreds of units per year, including orders for the U.S. Government.
The event was hosted with support from M-TEC SmartZone and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).
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