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Manufacturing Startup “Canopy” Secures NASA Partnership and First Round of Funding

By: Get News
Manufacturing Startup "Canopy" Secures NASA Partnership and First Round of Funding
Startup manufacturer Canopy is developing advanced manufacturing processes for Thermal Protection Systems (TPS), or heat shields, for the new space economy and hypersonic industries. The company has raised an initial round of funding from venture capitalists and secured a Space Act Agreement signed with the NASA Ames center in California.

Denver, Colorado - October 19, 2022 - Thermal protection is a critical path capability needed by systems for the most challenging environments across the Space and Defense Industrial Base (DIB). Space exploration is impossible without functioning heat shields that protect precious cargo and crewed missions from extreme heat. They are also required on hypersonic vehicles and weapon systems in the military. Whether it’s a high-speed return to earth, a mission to Mars, or hypersonic missiles, heat shields are required for every space re-entry mission and without them, space exploration is impossible. 

Canopy is developing the Reusable Heatshields Additive Manufacturing (RHAM) platform, that will allow rapid production of reusable Thermal Protection Systems (TPS) with digitally defined tailorability. They’re introducing a fully integrated factory model that will leverage design software, 3D printing, sensor integration, and Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul (MRO) services that will lower launch costs and decrease lead times for the space and defense industry. 

The funding from venture firms and Space Act Agreement with NASA allows the company to get to a flight-ready qualified material and a pilot demo to fly their heat shield on a commercial spacecraft. This partnership is a formal technology transfer of heat shield technologies that are used on launch vehicles, space capsules, spacecraft, and hypersonic systems. 

Today, space companies face costly unnecessary vertical integration and long R&D lead times to develop their own thermal protection systems. The talent to make heat shields is also extremely limited. According to Morgan Stanley, the space industry could reach a market of $1 trillion by 2040. In another report by JP Morgan, spend for hypersonics could top $5B annually by 2025. The growth of the space and defense industry will continue to exacerbate the supply chain for thermal protection. 

During a recent interview, Canopy CEO and co-founder Matt Shieh said, “We’ve been researching the defense industrial base for the past year and found that the supply chain was bottlenecked and critically constrained. Particularly, the area of specialty thermal protection has been neglected for over a decade now. After the Space Shuttle program shut down, a dozen manufacturers who supported that economy disappeared. We’re rebuilding a part of the Defense Industrial Base (DIB) that will support use cases across the space industry.” 

He went on to say, “End-user products such as spacecraft and hypersonic missiles don’t exist if the supply chain is not secure. Successful new markets depend on this. We are focusing on one part of the space equation by lowering costs and advancing the manufacturing process of thermal protection systems, a critical path technology for space flight and defense systems.” 

About Canopy: 

Canopy is a fully integrated manufacturer commercializing NASA thermal protection systems (TPS), or heat shields for the aerospace and defense markets. TPS protects spacecraft during the destructive environment of re-entry, vehicles traveling above Mach 5, and military weapon systems. They consolidate a fragmented manufacturing process that will lower costs, shorten lead times, and increase overall safety of flight for the Defense Industrial Base (DIB). They do this through integration of software, 3D printing of reusable TPS, sensor integration, and MRO services. 

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Media Contact
Company Name: Canopy Aerospace
Contact Person: Media Relations
Email: Send Email
City: Denver
State: CO
Country: United States

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