Orbit Fab, the first company to launch a commercial fuel depot in space, has announced the release of the RAFTI™ Open License, offering a standard refueling interface design for all satellites in LEO, GEO, and cislunar space. RAFTI stands for Rapidly Attachable Fluid Transfer Interface, and the RAFTI Open License defines the mechanical, electrical, and functional specifications.
Orbit Fab intends to share its intellectual property with the commercial space industry by offering an Open License for RAFTI. Orbit Fab has attracted significant financial support including US defense giants Lockheed Martin (through its venture arm Lockheed Martin Ventures) and Northrop Grumman Corporation.
The RAFTI Service Valve was first demonstrated on Orbit Fab's Tanker-001 Tenzing Fuel Depot, which launched to low Earth orbit in June 2021. Orbit Fab recently announced that it will soon be launching the first hydrazine propellant tanker to geostationary orbit. The RAFTI Service Valve builds on NASA Goddard technology, and was designed for the harshest orbital regimes and for refueling the largest space assets. RAFTI enables on-orbit refueling simply by replacing the fill/drain valve on satellite propulsion systems.
CEO Daniel Faber commented, "Orbit Fab is working with industry leaders to provide RAFTI as a common interface for refueling satellites in space. No one wants vendor-lock. We just want to sell fuel. Dozens of commercial customers have lined up to use RAFTI. Collaboration is the key to enabling a bustling in-space economy.”