The launch of a rocket drone that will send satellites to orbit

The launch of a rocket drone that will send satellites to orbit

The RAVN-X is a drone that is developed to take small satellites to orbit and will not need a Launchpad or pilot. This was revealed on 3rd December by the Aerospace startup Aevum in preparation for the first system’s mission in 2021. Aevum founder and CEO Jay Skylus said that he is sure that the RAVN-X system will be essential for remote-sensing scientists who have an interest in small satellites launching into orbits. He added that the fact that the system would offer great help to scientists is something he is much proud of. 

RAVN-X takes off just like an aircraft, moves high towards the sky, and after reaching a certain point, it releases a small rocket pinned to its body. The rocket then goes spaceward and expectorates out satellites, which weigh 100-500 kilograms. The system is independent and is not expensive since it doesn’t incur launchpad costs. 

These fantastic features made Space Force contract Aevum to launch its ASLON-45 mission to promote real-time threat warnings. ASLON-45 is the first mission for small satellites by the military and will be launched from Cecil Spaceport in Jacksonville, Florida. It is essential to note that RAVN-X is not the first rocket to be launched in the air for the smallsat market. There are other companies that have flown many times. For instance, Northrop Grumman’s Pegasus system has flown severally starting the 1990s. 

This month Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne will try to launch again 10 CubeSats, which are NASA funded after its launch attempt at the beginning of the year failed. Each of these satellites weighs a maximum of 10 kilograms. Bryce Space and Technology senior analyst, Phil Smith, said that the Aevum system is unique since it uses a driverless drone while LauncherOne and Pegasus use piloted jets. He added that unlike the two companies, RAVN-X carries over 100 launch satellites. 

It is expected that the costs of launching small satellites will go down following Aevum’s drone systems. The company says that its target for one-kilogram payload will cost a few thousand dollars, almost the same as SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. RAVN-X’s main advantage is that researchers are likely to have more control over the orbit path they want to use and the launch schedule. All these said privileges are estimated to cost over $20,000/kg on a Rocket Lab Electron. Rocket Lab and Aevum’s difference is that Rocket Lab has launched satellites many times, while Aevum has not.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *