high-cadence, responsive dedicated cubesat launch vehicle 


  • Standard 12U Cubesat deployer
  • Spacecraft can be powered on throughout the mission. Data and power are provided through pins located on the bottom of the deployment mechanism.
  • Special nanosatellites can be accommodated with a modified payload adapter

end-to-end solution

Helios offers full integration with our Cassiopeia line of modular Cubesat components and software products. We provide consultation, engineering, and launch services to offer turnkey space access solutions even to companies with no prior experience in the space industry.

responsive launch

Multiple vehicles are kept in stock to minimize turnaround. By building small, we can expect a much higher launch rate than existing vehicles. The standardized deployer allows hop-on, ticket like manifestation, and streamlined vehicle operations allow us to launch multiple times per week if necessary.

reusability + volume production

After launch and separation from the upper stage(s), the first stage is recovered for re-use. The first and second stage components can be produced in large quantities, taking advantage of manufacturing economy of scale. The use of both COTS industrial equipment and innovative production techniques allow us to keep costs low while maximizing system reliability and reproducibility.

Helios 4.PNG

Stage 3

High mass fraction, spin stabilized carbon overwrapped solid rocket motor



Stage 2

  • Tank and engine design evolved from the Trailblazer sounding rocket
  • Proprietary high density nontoxic hypergolic propellant
  • Lightweight composite structure


Autonomous FTS

A low cost autonomous flight termination system using redundant GPS/IMU sensors reduces range requirements and operational costs, a necessary element for responsive nanolaunchers.



Controller and telemetry system are based on Aphelion’s previous work in guidance and control units, providing proven reliability.


Stage 1

  • 45kN hypergolic aerospike engine with differential thrust vector control (57kN for high energy missions)
  • High pressure, pump-fed, reusable propulsion system evolved from 6X Trailblazer combustors

built to deliver payloads to space fast.

Be it deploying a critical nanosatellite constellation or launching emergency service satellites, Helios offers dedicated flight opportunities to CubeSat class spacecraft when you have one single priority: mission success. Pick your own orbit, schedule, and requirements.

  • Mass produced components and a streamlined production process enable a high launch cadence and low-cost
  • Missions are tailored to your specifications for every launch: access to new orbits and the use of special/hazardous payloads allows previously impossible missions to be performed by nanosatellites
  • Fly what you need, when you need: no indefinite wait time incurred by ride-share or SmallSat launchers

Helios uses an airline-like operation model and launch manifestation process to streamline costs and provide a reliable, uninterrupted ride to space. Having a dedicated launch means that you can have the benefits of being the primary payload at a fraction of the cost of other launch vehicles. We can also deliver payloads into polar and highly eccentric orbits, or interplanetary trajectories.

The Helios vehicle is derived from technology developed on the Trailblazer rocket, which includes our proprietary high-density propellant combination, heritage composite tanks, and the low cost, highly reliable engine architecture. Our unique approach to vehicle design allow us to employ standard manufacturing processes that have been proven in the automotive and aerospace industries.

Helios offers a 3X reduction in the price of a dedicated launch over any vehicle currently in production or under development, as well as a fuss-free launch process: hand us your payload and it will be up in orbit within weeks. 

Price per launch: $0.75M
Lead time: 2 weeks

Propulsion System

Helios makes use of a cluster of six proven 9.5kN combustors in an aerospike configuration on the first stage to minimize moving parts necessary for mechanical thrust vectoring as well as to provide a high payload fraction to orbit. A proven electric turbopump architecture on both the first and second stages enables fine control as well as high reliability. The proprietary, storable, high-density propellant is key to minimize operational costs and risks.


Vehicle specifications

  Total vehicle mass     3510kg  
  Height     10.3m  
  Diameter     0.80m  
  Fuel     Proprietary storable hypergolic propellants
  Solid third stage  
  First stage thrust     57kN  
  Second stage thrust     9.5kN  
  Third stage thrust     5kN  
  Payload capacity to 400km circular orbit     20kg