Stealth Startup Deimos-One Seeks To Revolutionize The Aerospace Industry With Radical New Launch Strategy
Jamin Thompson, co-founder and CEO of Deimos-One, has announced that the company has been secretly working on developing radical new technologies that have the potential to shape the future of the world.
One of those technologies is a stratospheric launch system called Vulcan, which will provide the lowest-cost orbital launch service in the world for the rapidly growing small satellite industry.
The Vulcan Launch Vehicle is a two-stage craft consisting of a stratospheric balloon and a rocket capable UAV.
A first-stage balloon system will carry the launch vehicle to a designated altitude of roughly 100,000 feet / 30,000 meters (19 mi) altitude above the Earth’s surface. Once there it aligns itself and the rocket system inserts the payload into orbit.
Deimos-One is developing Vulcan to be a multipurpose craft with commercial, civil, and military capabilities. The craft will be multi-mission capable and have the ability to “transform” much like the robots from the movies, allowing it to (1) adapt and adjust in mission for new environmental or hostile variables; and (2) be re-purposed for recon and communications missions.
The launcher will be mission capable of firing rockets from high altitudes and autonomously returning to the ground after firing for collection of mission assets and reuse.
Vulcan will not require any fixed ground infrastructure and will provide rapid launch frequency for sounding rockets, LEO satellites, and military installations at an affordable cost to any low earth orbit.
The company recently completed the first flight test for Vulcan, confirming suborbital and deep space usage for the stratospheric launch platform. The experimental craft launched from Deimos-One Launch Complex 1 in Southern Nevada at 20:37 UTC, 30 December 2020 and landed successfully in California, 250 miles away. The craft was airborne for 8.2 hours and reached a peak altitude of 98,273 feet (29,954 meters).
The launch vehicle carried critical instrumentation to inform development efforts for Deimos-One’s recently announced plans for the recovery and re-use of Vulcan’s first stage . All parts were recovered and will be reused in future flights.
This recovery and reuse ability will allow for a rapid launch frequency by eliminating the need to build a new first stage for every mission.
The company announced that the reuse of Vulcan will be implemented in multiple phases. The first phase will see Deimos-One attempt to recover the UAV from the ocean and have it shipped back to the Deimos-One Production Complex for refurbishment. The second phase will see Vulcan attempt to autonomously land in a pre-designated zone. Deimos-One plans to begin first stage recovery attempts in the coming year.
Deimos-One Co-Founder and CEO Jamin Thompson says reusing the Vulcan launch vehicle will enable Deimos-One to reduce production time and costs, plus increase launch frequency.
“We started this company with a vision, and from the very first day we opened our doors our mission has been to make access to space not only affordable, but also a whole lot simpler,” stated Thompson. “Reusing a launch vehicle is a complex challenge, but we are developing and testing technology that will make autonomous landing and recovery very possible for Vulcan. We are incredibly excited to put that technology to the test with a stage recovery attempt in the coming year. But Vulcan will be more than just reusable, we are developing it to work effectively in multi-environment situations both on and off-planet in just about any weather condition. We also want it to be able to land safely, even in hostile environments. That said, these are very difficult problems to solve, and as an industry I believe we have reached a point where a lot of the research and work being done in aerospace sounds like science fiction – but it’s only science fiction until someone actually solves the problem. Then it’s reality. With Vulcan, we are demonstrating that suborbital and deep space missions can be launched quickly and safely from stratospheric levels of 100,000 feet or more, making the deployment of scientific research, surface imaging, and tactical communications missions a lot faster, as well as more cost-effective and efficient.”
Reps for the company stated that Deimos-One is committed to the future and growth of the U.S. space economy and plans to launch reusable payloads and humans into space using American made vehicles.
“We know space is the future, but in order to reach this future we need to reduce the costs and risks associated with launch,” stated Sinetac Brown, Deimos-One Co-Founder and President. “Right now we have a bifurcation of launch providers between low-cost ‘bulk’ carriers and higher-cost ‘niche’ providers who offer lower lift-mass, but launch to a specific orbit. We definitely want to fill in this gap with the lowest cost, high frequency orbital launch system, but Vulcan is a lot more than just a launcher, it’s also very capable of carrying out missions involving tactical communications, surveillance, high-altitude loitering, weather monitoring, digital imaging and more. We believe this technology has the potential to be a disruptive enabler for the emerging space industry in both the private sector as well as on the military side.”
With a much cheaper manufacturing and launch cost than ground deployed rocket systems combined with the ability to be reused and deployed on a much tighter timeline, Vulcan has the potential to provide access to space in ways never thought possible.
Due to this high launch frequency and associated cost efficiency, Deimos-One believes the Vulcan launch system has the potential to revolutionize the aerospace industry by offering a faster, cheaper path to space in suborbital or deep space environments.
Phase-1 tests are expected to occur early 2020 and the company has announced its plans for first launch by 2023.
Headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada, Deimos-One is an American aerospace manufacturer and space transportation services company that designs and develops advanced multi-use rockets and tactical ground robotic systems. Its mission is to create affordable, reliable access to space and build a sustainable civilization for future generations.
Evie Sloan ([email protected])