MADRID, 24 January 2018 (Zero 2 Infinity PR) – The leading consulting and technology company Indra has signed a collaboration agreement with Zero 2 Infinity, a startup specializing in Space transportation systems, with a view to rendering more simple and accessible trips into Space, a sector of enormous potential that continues opening up to private initiatives. Manuel Ausaverri, Indra Innovation and Strategy Director, and José Mariano López Urdiales, Zero 2 Infinity CEO and founder, signed the agreement at Zero 2 Infinity’s Barcelona headquarters.
It’s going to be busy year in space in 2017. Here’s a look at what we can expect over the next 12 months.
A New Direction for NASA?
NASA’s focus under the Obama Administration has been to try to commercialize Earth orbit while creating a foundation that would allow the space agency to send astronauts to Mars in the 2030’s.
Whether Mars will remain a priority under the incoming Trump Administration remains to be seen. There is a possibility Trump will refocus the space agency on lunar missions instead.
Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), who is currently viewed as a leading candidate for NASA administrator, has written two blog posts focused on the importance of exploring the moon and developing its resources. Of course, whether Bridenstine will get NASA’s top job is unclear at this time.
José Mariano López Urdiales, founder and CEO of the Spanish startup zero2infinity, gave a presentation on Thursday about the company’s Bloostar balloon-launched smallsat rocket during the International Astronautical Conference in Jerusalem.
Mark Schaffer (@mgschaffer), a senior Senior Aerospace Engineer at SpaceWorks Enterprises, provided the following details via Twitter.
Rocket lifted by balloon to 20 km altitude for launch
Balloon launched from boat off Canary Islands at 27 degrees latitude
Payloads: 125kg to 400km @ 27 degrees low Earth orbit, 75kg to 600 km sun synchronous orbit
3-stage rocket with all engines using LOX/CH4
1st stage has 6 15kN LOX/LCH4 engines. 2nd & 3rd stages use same 2kN LOX/LCH4 engine; 6 engines on 2nd stage, 1 engine on 3rd
Balloon to be used as communications relay after rocket release
First test flight of orbital vehicle Q2 2018, first commercial flights after 4th test flight
Developing upper stage first
Will offer suborbital flights with 75 kg to 180km by Q4 2016
Expects $4.0M USD per launch, lower for block buy
Launch cost will be half price of competitors
Program has 25 investors from Hong Kong, France, Germany and Spain
Funding available to reach initial operations
€198M in letters of intent from customers across 7 countries.