“Mk-II Aurora” Performs Third Flight Test with Jet Engine
A Private space company located in New Zealand called Dawn Aerospace has completed three successful tests of its Mk-II Aurora spaceplane prototype on each day between March 29 and March 31 from Glentanner Aerodrome using the rocket engines.
The company received approval from the Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand for the Mk-II Aurora flight in late March. The rocket-powered flight was scheduled for the start of April. Still, Dawn Aerospace completed the third flight test on March 31.
In the future, a scaled-up version of suborbital spacecraft will perform multiple flights per day carrying payloads to low Earth orbit. Also, these successful flights are a great achievement for the company as these rocket-powered vehicles could be flown just like commercial passenger jets.
From the Mk-II Aurora three tests, the last flight test achieved an altitude of 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) and reached a speed of 195 mph (314 kilometers per hour).
After that, the company says that attained heights and speeds are comparable to those of earlier testing of the aircraft driven by a jet engine. However, the main objective was to test the Mk-II Aurora with the company’s rocket system.
Two of the three flight tests took place less than 24 hours apart, demonstrating the vehicle’s ability for rapid reusability and its interaction with air traffic.
The Mk-II will facilitate the research projects with its 30 cubic centimeters payload capacity while serving as a proof of concept for the upcoming Mk-III Aurora model that could launch 550 pounds (250 kg) satellites into orbit with the help of a second-stage rocket.