Flying to space twice a day: Rocket powered UAVs for space transportation

presentated by Jeroen Wink, CEO, Dawn Aerospace, at ONLINE Unmanned Aircraft Conference, 8 December 2020, 16:30 – 20:30 CET. REGISTER HERE to attend.

Dawn Aerospace, founded in 2016 by graduates from Delft University’s ‘record-breaking Stratos II sounding rocket’ design team, is developing a radically different small launch vehicle, a rocket powered UAV, to cater for the high frequency, dedicated, low-cost needs of the emerging small satellite market. Is Dawn’s rapidly reusable ‘gas and go’ spaceplane the answer?


Jeroen Wink is the CEO and Co-founder of Dawn Aerospace. He obtained his MSc in Aerospace Engineering from the Delft University of Technology, with his thesis focused on the development of disruptive spacecraft propellant. Jeroen led the DARE team of 40 engineers in the Stratos II sounding rocket project, successfully designing and executing its record-breaking launch. He now heads teams across both the Netherlands and New Zealand, designing, building and integrating high performance green bi-propellant propulsion products for small and large satellites. The company is delivering the world’s first alternative to hydrazine-based propulsion products and is in the development of a fully reusable “gas-and-go” space plane, for small payload launches.

Based in New Zealand and the Netherlands, Dawn Aerospace is building same-day reusable launch vehicles and non-toxic satellite propulsion systems. Same-day Reusable Launch Vehicles that do not require specialised space-launch infrastructure, integrate with everyday aircraft in nearby airspace and launch as often and routinely as commercial aviation. Non-toxic high performance propulsion systems for satellites of all sizes. For small satellites, they simplify systems and replace the poisonous and highly-regulated fuel, hydrazine. For CubeSats, they increase capabilities by supplying 1,000x higher performance than electric-based propulsion systems. By building these technologies in tandem, Dawn is creating the end-to-end architecture required for delivering, positioning and returning spacecraft in a highly scalable and environmentally conscious way.

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