Rocket-powered Spaceplane Model takes flight

Mk-II Aurora suborbital spaceplane makes its first rocket-powered flights at Glentanner Aerodrome on the 29, 30, and 31 March.

Dawn Aerospace, a space transportation company with operations in New Zealand, the Netherlands, and the United States, today announced the successful completion of the first rocket-powered flight campaign of its spaceplane, the Mk-II Aurora.

Dawn is already the fastest-growing supplier of green in-space propulsion, with over 15 customers in Europe, Asia, and the USA and hardware on 11 operational satellites. The accomplishment announced today signifies a major milestone in the company’s mission to revolutionize space access as well, and thus provide end-to-end space transportation.

Rocket-powered Spaceplane Model takes flightDawn Aerospace

The Mk-II Aurora had previously been tested using surrogate jet engines, while last week’s campaign was the first conducted under rocket power. All test objectives were achieved.

The Mk-II Aurora is designed for aircraft-like operations and is capable of flying multiple times a day. Unlike traditional rockets, Dawn vehicles take off and land horizontally on a runway and do not require a dedicated launch pad.

Dawn CEO, Stefan Powell, said:

“To have demonstrated rapid reusability in the first tests is proof of our core philosophy and confirmation that rocket-powered vehicles can be operated just like commercial jet aircraft. This fact allows us to rapidly test now, but in the future, it will completely revolutionize the economics of space access.”

source Dawn Aerospace