Bringing Payloads in Space Without Rockets
A Spanish company called Zero2Infinity prepares to revolutionize the way satellites can be brought into orbit, in a very low-cost and environmentally friendly way: rocket + balloon = rockoon.
Bloostar is a launch vehicle currently in development, intended to compete in the small satellite launch market. It is based on the rockoon concept: the first stage of the ascent is conducted by the use of a high-altitude balloon up to 30 km (19 mi), where the rocket platform is ignited and detached from the balloon to insert the payload into orbit. The design is intended to be capable of delivering a 140 kg payload to a 200-km low Earth orbit, or a 75 kg payload to a 600-km sun-synchronous orbit
In a thinly veiled swipe against Jeff Bezos, the Spanish assert:
From the public to the gurus of aerospace, most people still think that Space will remain the realm of a few superpowers, large defense contractors and the odd billionaire…
It could get very crowded up in the skies.
[zero2infinity] – Company site
[wikipedia.org] – Zero 2 Infinity
[twitter.com] – Bloostar
[vimeo.com] – Bloostar, the New Space revolution
[zero2infinity] – Bloostar, the physics
[space.com] – Zero 2 Infinity Gets 3D-Printed Engine Part for Bloostar Launch Vehicle
[spacenews.com] – Zero 2 Infinity conducts first flight test of Bloostar balloon-assisted launcher
First test March 2017