Today, up to 60% of launch cost pays for vehicle R&D and the amortization of production infrastructure. A very small portion of it goes to fuel, materials, and manufacturing.
Throughout the lifecycle of a traditional rocket, it is passed through dozens of buildings, highly specialized machinery, multiple facilities, custom barges, and finally delivered to a custom-built launch facility before launch.
When the launch vehicles are large, a significant fabrication team and a set of costly, specialized tooling has to be maintained. Coupled with the necessarily lower launch rate of large vehicles, a significant portion of the costs becomes dominated by the maintenance of this infrastructure
The rest of the transportation industry has established efficient supply chains which enabled them to deliver extremely low costs. Aerospace components can reach the same level of maturity but lacks the necessary volume. Our approach to building small enables us to deploy commercially available production techniques and tap into these supply chains. 100 meter-tall rockets are hard to produce, nanolaunchers, on the other hand, require minimal infrastructure. Launch vehicles are machines no more complex than a small car or truck, yet their small volumes, high engineering and verification costs, and complex manufacturing has kept the bar of entry high. We have set out to change that.
Our launch vehicle solutions enable groundbreaking, low-cost access to space, and open up new possibilities for nanosatellites.
The nanosatellite launch market is solely on rideshare with primary payloads. The launch capacity is unable to keep up with the booming nanosatellite industry, creating a backlog of spacecraft. Limitations in scheduling, the lack of reliable launch opportunities, and restrictions in payload accommodations become the biggest bottleneck for the commercialization and broad adoption of these spacecraft. SmallSat offerings are unable to address these issues. We cater to the growing nanosatellite community, which has an increasingly broader range of applications, but is limited by the difficulty of obtaining a launch. Having a dedicated launch gives all the advantages of owning the primary payload at a fraction of the cost of our competitors.
Trailblazer is a high performance suborbital rocket which will make the platform accessible to commercial customers for the first time. It opens up a multitude of new possibilities in research and testing. Hard-to-obtain flight opportunities, lack of mobility, and high costs are addressed in a way that will change the way we view sounding rockets forever.
- Highly competitive pricing: starting at $100,000 per flight*
- Flexible vehicle configuration according to customer specifications
- Low wait time: one month turnaround
- Can be launched from virtually anywhere in the country
Helios is a dedicated nanosatellite launch vehicle capable of delivering payloads of up to 14kg into sun-synchronous orbit. Its low cost is enabled by our innovations in manufacturing and nanolauncher technology. Each orbital launch is priced starting as low as $550,000*.
- Extremely fast turnover rate: first routinely launched orbital delivery service
- Missions tailored to customer profile — special payload accomodations and irregular envelopes
- Provides launch services for 1U, 3U, 6U, and other Cubesat configurations to polar orbit, SSO, and highly eccentric orbits.
Aphelion's propulsion team has developed and produced a number of rocket engines, including a current line of 250N engines for testing the Trailblazer propulsion system. We have the capability to produce small to mid-sized liquid propellant engines ranging from 20N to 30kN thrust with our in-house precision manufacturing and ablative material production facilities. In addition, additively manufactured annular aerospike engines are under development for our vehicles with a focus on cost reduction and reliability.
Scalable, proven avionics enable key innovations in our launch vehicles such as aerospike thrust vectoring. Through the use of cutting edge electronics and rigorous testing, we are able to provide high reliability without losing cost, power, and mass advantages. Our designs have been flight proven in multiple existing vehicles.
*Tentative. Prices are subject to change.