Just as we enjoy a number of different possible modes of transportation on Earth, the potential of space economy enables many different types of vehicles and launching systems. Dawn Aerospace today removed the packaging of a suborbital spacecraft called the Dawn Mk-II Aurora, which is smaller than a small car and can enable multiple return trips to the suborbital space per day.
As the name suggests, the Mk-II is a second iteration of the concept developed by Dawn. The Mk-I was actually built in May 2018 and flew and demonstrated its ability to fire its missiles in-flight after launching horizontally from a traditional runway. One of the main capabilities of the Mk-II is its ability to take off and land on conventional runways, eliminating the need for specialized and expensive vertical takeoffs.
Dawn Aerospace was founded in Delft in the Netherlands with links to the Delft Technical University and also operates from New Zealand, which has a growing reputation in the New Space industry as it is home to Rocket Lab. one of the most successful new companies operating commercial launch services. The company̵
The Mk-II Aurora approaches the goal of sustainable commercial space in a different way and promises flights of up to 60 miles and more for 3U payloads that are small but perfect for a number of scientific experiments. It will be able to fly and return for multiple trips per day, at a cost of approximately $ 50,000 per flight, with real-time downlink communication functions.
Dawn has plans for an Mk III iteration of his 60-foot spacecraft, which can carry payloads ranging from 110 to 220 pounds to orbit. Combined with the ability to perform multiple daily flights and take off and land from conventional runways anywhere in the world, this would be a cornerstone for the small satellite launch industry.