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Given ships or sails
adapted to the breezes of heaven,
there will be those who will not shrink
From even that vast expanse
— Johannes Kepler, Letter to Galileo, 1610

Today, up to 60% of launch costs go towards vehicle R&D and the amortization of production infrastructure. A miniscule portion of it goes to fuel, materials, and manufacturing.

During the production of a conventional large launch vehicle, it passes through dozens of buildings across multiple facilities before being finally delivered to a specially built launch site.

Additionally, 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 cost becomes dominated by the maintenance of this extensive infrastructure.

The rest of the transportation industry has established efficient supply chains which in turn has enabled them to deliver extremely low cost products. 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 preexisting supply chains. 100 meter-tall rockets are hard to produce; nanolaunchers, on the other hand, require minimal infrastructure. Rockets are machines no more complex than a small car or truck, yet by virtue of their small volumes, high engineering and verification costs, and complex manufacturing has kept the bar of entry quite high. We plan 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 currently dependent solely on rideshare with primary payloads. The available launch capacity is unable to keep up with the booming nanosatellite industry, creating a backlog of spacecraft waiting to launch. 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 broad range of applications, but is limited by the difficulty of obtaining a launch. Having a dedicated launch vehicle gives all the advantages of owning the primary payload at a fraction of the cost of our competitors.


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TRAILBLAZER

Trailblazer makes suborbital flight accessible to commercial customers and opens a multitude of new possibilities in research and testing. Unique technical innovations provide low cost, frequent suborbital flights where commercial availability is often rare and where flight opportunities are hard to obtain.

  • Highly competitive pricing: from $50,000 to $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

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Helios is a dedicated nanosatellite launch vehicle capable of delivering payloads of up to 20kg into sun-synchronous orbit. Its low cost is enabled by our innovations in manufacturing and nanolauncher technology. Each orbital launch is priced starting at $750,000*.

  • 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, 12U and other Cubesat configurations to polar orbit, SSO, and highly eccentric orbits.

Propulsion technology

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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.


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AVIONICS

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.