South Korea’s Innospace succeeds in take a look at launch

SEOUL, South Korea — South Korean rocket startup Innospace efficiently launched a suborbital rocket from Brazil over the weekend, demonstrating a hybrid motor it plans to scale up right into a small orbital launch automobile. 

The launch of Innospace’s HANBIT-TLV suborbital rocket passed off March 19 from the Alcântara Area Heart, and the corporate known as the flight a hit, though it didn’t disclose the rocket’s peak altitude. 

The rocket lifted off at 1:52 a.m. Jap carrying an inertial navigation system known as SISNAV, developed by the Brazilian Division of Aerospace Science and Expertise (DCTA) underneath the supervision of the Brazilian Air Drive.

Video footage reveals the 16.3-meter, single-stage rocket hovering up into the sky. It was powered by the corporate’s self-developed 15-ton-thrust hybrid rocket engine that makes use of liquid oxygen and paraffin-based propellants.

“After engine ignition on the launch pad, the rocket engine burned stably for 106 seconds,” the corporate mentioned in a March 21 assertion. The rocket fell to a predesignated touchdown web site after flying for 4 and a half minutes, based on the corporate. 

The March 19 launch follows a sequence of delays, together with one in December through which the corporate scrubbed the launch try, citing a valve difficulty. 

“We concluded that the launch was profitable after bearing in mind all the information collected throughout the flight,” Innospace CEO and founder Kim Soo-jong mentioned throughout a March 21 information convention. Whereas he didn’t reveal the utmost altitude the rocket reached, citing a nondisclosure settlement signed between Innospace and Brazil’s DCTA, the corporate beforehand mentioned it geared toward 80 kilometers within the take a look at launch. 

The HANBIT-TLV suborbital rocket is a precursor to the corporate’s deliberate industrial satellite tv for pc launcher, Hanbit-Nano, a two-stage small satellite tv for pc launcher designed to hold as much as a 50-kilogram payload to a 500-kilometer sun-synchronous orbit. Hanbit-Nano’s first stage shall be powered by a 15-ton-thrust hybrid engine examined within the launch, whereas a 3-ton engine underneath growth will energy its higher stage. Innospace eyes Hanbit-Nano’s industrial debut in 2024.

“We’re working to develop a floor take a look at model of the 3-ton engine by the third quarter of this 12 months,” Kim mentioned. “In parallel, we’re additionally working to develop applied sciences for stage separation and fairing, in collaboration with Korea Aerospace Analysis Institute, Company for Protection Improvement and related firms.”

Kim mentioned the “major clients” for the Hanbit-Nano embrace cubesat-focused startups and analysis institutes in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Innospace signed a deal final 12 months to make use of Brazil’s Alcântara Area Heart for 5 years, and negotiations are underway with Norway’s Andøya Spaceport. Additionally it is in search of one other launch web site in Asia to cater to regional clients. “We’re working to signal a take care of the Norwegian spaceport inside this 12 months,” Kim mentioned. 

Innospace has raised roughly $40 million since 2019 and is working with Korea-based  Mirae Asset Securities towards an preliminary public providing as quickly as subsequent 12 months.

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