The world's biggest drone will deliver satellites to space
These days i mean lately, it feels like spacex is doing it pretty much on a weekly basis, but that’s really a good thing for us, as our world gets more and more connected. We use satellites on a daily basis, whether we realize it or not, but launching a rocket from the ground is no small task, it’s a massive effort that not only requires a ton of equipment and fuel, but thousands and thousands of hours of manpower and that’s, where A company called avon sees an opportunity for the raven x. This is a massive drone, designed to be an autonomous aerial launch system for small satellites standing at five and a half meters tall and 24 meters. Long with an 18 meter, wingspan avon calls it the world’s biggest drone ceo and founder jay skyles, told me he’s still in awe when he sees it up close you design it on the computer and then, when you see it in real life, you’re like holy crap. Just like that you’re kind of speechless for a little while and then you go well. I guess this is what we’re flying the raven x can take off and land on a runway as short as 1.6 kilometers, and this is a three stage launch system with the raven x being the first stage. So once the drone reaches the right altitude and speed. The two stage rocket drops and launches delivering the payload to low earth orbit. Avon’S goal is to have the ability to make deliveries to space at a high frequency.
Now skyla says: when they’ve got their fleet of drones, built out they’ll, be able to deliver payloads to anywhere in low earth orbit every 180 minutes, and he says the system is 70 reusable and he’s hoping to get that number close to 100. The first stage can just land throw another rocket on and it can take off again just like an airliner would at the gate and speaking of airliners, the raven x uses the same fuel as them. That means it can fuel up at any major airport. If this sounds at all familiar, it may remind you of virgin orbit, which is working on its own aerial launch system. That’S, not a drone, though, on virgin system satellites are launched on a rocket from a manned aircraft, but skylist says by using a drone. Not only do they minimize the risk to human life, but they’re also able to speed up that launch process. We needed a launch vehicle that could physically execute something as fast as our software can process it, and there is no way that we were going to do that if we had to go hey our computer just processed this get out of bed jump in the launch Vehicle and go flying avon has already locked down more than a billion dollars in launch contracts, and that even includes a contract with the u.s space force to deliver 360 satellites to space and if everything goes according to avon’s schedule, that’s gon na happen by the end Of 2021, but skyla says long term.
This launch system is really designed for customers that can’t afford to wait more than a week to get their satellites into orbit. I think our customer focus is those that already have a business model that works from space they’re, generating revenue and, if they’re down for a week, they’re losing a lot of money and that’s who’s going to come to us and go. I know you charge a premium, but get this up there like tomorrow, because i’m losing more money than what you’re charging. Those first launches are planned to take off from cecil spaceport off jacksonville florida, but skyla says his goal is to be within a 24 hour. Drive of any customer worldwide, so they’re planning on at least two more launch locations in the united states alone. Now i, for one, am really excited to see the raven x fly and we should be seeing those test flights happen really soon, especially if they plan on hitting their goal of the end of 2021 for that space force mission.