The Mk-II Aurora aircraft, developed by Dawn Aerospace, is expected to be as reusable as Elon Musk’s space rockets. After years of development work, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Virgin Galactic front man Richard Branson have recently reached the edge of space. They will soon be joined by a lesser known Stefan Powell, whose company is developing a very special flying machine.
Powell is the head of Dawn Aerospace. In August, the company made five successful test flights with the Mk-II Aurora, which is also scheduled to reach the edge of space in 2022. But the big twist is not the spacecraft itself, but the engine that will be installed next year. With this special accessory, the company says it will be able to take off several times a day and reach the edge of space. This is not possible with the current units, which take a long time to land before they can get going again. It is not difficult to see from all this that Dawn Aerospace also sees space tourism as its main line of attack.
Nevertheless, the unit would also be used for scientific purposes. According to Powell, it will be able to capture atmospheric data for climate modelling thanks to a variety of sensors,” says the Robb Report. The MK-II will also provide a good basis for the development of the Mk-III, which will reach space in two phases. This is planned to be a few years away, but its larger size will allow it to carry a payload of around 250 kg. According to Powell, designing a reusable space shuttle will help reduce the carbon emissions associated with manufacturing.