Although the rocket launching sector is becoming increasingly crowded, the same cannot be said of submarine spacecraft manufacturers. That means there’s plenty of room for startups like Dawn Aerospace, which has now completed five test flights of its Mk-II Aurora spacecraft, designed to fly up to 60 miles above the earth’s surface. ۔
Flights to Glantner Aerodrum on the South Island of New Zealand in July were to review the car’s airframe and avionics. CEO Stephen Powell said in a statement that when the vehicle reached an altitude of just 3,400 feet, the flights allowed the Dawn team to “learn more about the capabilities of the Mk-II. To get the number “.
Dawn’s vision is to build a vehicle that can take off and land from conventional airports and possibly perform multiple flights in and out of space per day. The obvious advantage of this approach is that it is significantly less capitalist than vertical launches. The Mk-II is also barely the size of a compact car, less than 16 feet long and weighs only 165 pounds, which further reduces costs.
As the name suggests, the Mk-II is another version of the car, but Dawn does not intend to stop there. The company plans to build a two-stage orbital Mk-III spacecraft that can also be used for scientific research, even obtaining environmental data for weather observations and climate modeling. Is. While the Mk-II has a payload of 3U, or less than 8.8 pounds, the Mk-III is capable of carrying up to 551 pounds into orbit.
The Mk-II will eventually be fitted with a rocket engine to test supersonic performance and higher altitude.
The company reached a major milestone last December when it received a certificate from the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority for unmanned aerial vehicle operators. It also received a grant from the Netherlands province of Zoed, along with radar-based avionics and meta-sensing, to detect low-power sensing and to detect radar systems. Powell told TechCrunch that the demonstration, scheduled for next year, would take place after some minor modifications to the Mk-II.