Interorbital Planning Launch Facility in Tonga


Matangi Tonga has an update on the latest efforts by Interobital Systems, the Mojave-based rocket company run by the Roderick Milliron and his wife Randa:

Pursuing a dream to develop a private space port in Tonga, a couple of space entrepreneurs have the blessing of Tonga’s king to build a small rocket launch site on the king’s estate on the southern tip of ‘Eua this year, with the aim of launching a rocket before the end of 2010.

Roderick Milliron, a US rocket engineer, said in Tonga recently that his company Interorbital Systems (IOS) expects to be ready to launch a first rocket from ‘Eua into a low-earth orbit “by November or December 2010”, using a US Launch License.

They want to launch their own IOS NEPTUNE 30 rocket that can carry a 30kg payload into lower earth orbit at 315km. With four booster engines each giving 6,000lb thrust at sea level, it will be the largest rocket ever launched by Interorbital, whose project history includes development of pressure-fed rocket engines of up to 10,000lbs thrust. The liquid rocket engines are designed and assembled at the IOS facility in Mojave, California.

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