Aphelion Orbitals launches Cubesat store, updates low-cost launcher development progress
(6 October 2017 - Aphelion Orbitals) Aphelion Orbitals, an innovative launch services and spacecraft component manufacturer, has announced significant progress toward the company's goal of becoming the premier supplier of reliable, low-cost small satellite hardware and launch services.
Their online store is now open for business at http://www.nanolaunchers.com. Aphelion currently has a selection of cubesat structural chassis and solar cells as the initial offerings in our Cassiopeia product line. Also available is the Lite version of Aphelion's flagship Cubesat operating system, downloadable at no cost to the customer. Perihelion OS is based on NASA's proven Core Flight Executive framework. Perihelion OS runs on top of the Debian distribution of the Linux operating system, chosen for Perihelion OS due to its wide industry adoption, extensibility and stability. It is designed to be highly portable between various manufacturers and existing commercial single-board computers and provide users with a customizable turnkey system that can accommodate the widest range of payloads in the industry.
Aphelion continues to make progress with launch system development. They have added industry veterans to Aphelion's propulsion team and recently refined the design for Trailblazer, their suborbital rocket, to use low-cost hydrogen peroxide and RP-1 propellants. These room-temperature, storable fuels promise to greatly streamline operations, increase reliability, reduce cost and enable Trailblazer to launch from practically any launch site in the world. Targeting its inaugural test flight in the first half of 2018, Trailblazer will be capable of sending a 20 kg payload to over 100 miles above sea level and provide an excellent platform for microgravity experiments as well as astrophysics and other scientific experiments. Trailblazer will also serve as the foundation for the second stage of Aphelion's cubesat launch vehicle. Powered by a liquid methane, liquid oxygen first stage, Feynman will enter service by 2021 and offer regularly scheduled, airline-style flight booking with a one-month lead time. This flexibility is enabled by the fact that the Feynman launch service is being designed from the start as a rapid launch, frequently flying system with clean interfaces that customers will be able to easily plug into without having to worry about the complexity of the launch vehicle itself.
Aphelion Orbitals has completed design of an optical communications system for cubesats in cooperation with non-profit Aerospace Research & Engineering Systems Institute, Inc. This disruptive technology has the potential to revolutionize high-bandwidth communications for small satellites in Earth orbit. Spacecraft assembly is nearing completion and is being prepared for integration with the experimental payload, currently being manufactured.