Helicity Space secures Lockheed venture arm's backing

Gettyimages.com / Lev Savitskiy

The fusion engine making startup gains more financial resources and connections to further advance in the field of space transportation.

Helicity Space, a six-year-old startup that develops fusion engines for spacecraft, has secured the backing of one of the market's most notable investors after having closed a seed funding round in late 2023.

Lockheed Martin Ventures, the defense company's venture capital arm, has joined the network of investors in Helicity Space alongside other previously-announced strategic partners in Airbus Ventures and Voyager Space Holdings.

Terms of the Lockheed investment announced Tuesday were not disclosed, but Helicity Space will also be able to work with Lockheed's engineers and researchers to further advance in the space transportation field.

Helicity Space completed its $5 million seed funding round in December that also fetched capital from the likes of TRE Ventures, E2MC Space, Urania Ventures and Gaingels. Airbus Ventures and Voyager Space Holdings participated in that round.

Helicity designs its engines to help better facilitate in-space propulsion and power by using short bursts of fusion, which the company views as helping propel spacecraft with lower amounts of fuel.

At the time of the seed funding disclosure, Helicity Space said it would use that financial backing to further develop and advance its lineup of engines with an eye toward nuclear fusion propulsion.

The company's co-founders are Setthivoine You (former professor in plasma physics at the University of Tokyo and University of Washington) alongside Marta Calvo (formerly at Aerojet Rocketdyne with a background in chemical engineering) and Stephane Lintner (formerly at Goldman Sachs with a background in applied mathematics).