Aphelion Aerospace is an aerospace company developing responsive launch solutions and products for the nanosatellite industry. The company's objectives are:
- To develop and operate a low cost, scalable nanosatellite launch vehicle.
- To provide a regular, scheduled launch service, with ticket-like manifestation.
- To create a complete, customizable, turnkey nanosatellite solution with spacecraft components, software, and a unified API.
- To stay at the forefront of spacecraft miniaturization by constantly initiating experimental programs to develop the technology of tomorrow.
Aphelion Aerospace is divided into two core sectors, launch services and nanosatellite solutions. They target clients who require:
- Low cost, rapid nanosatellite constellation construction and maintenance for communications, resource identification, and monitoring.
- Missions that need to fly on specific orbits that are not accessible through rideshare flights or are incredibly rare, such as high inclination or polar orbits.
- Irregular nanosatellite launches, potentially hazardous payloads, experimental satellites, or mission risk reduction by deploying complex mechanisms pre-flight, as allowed by the larger fairing volume.
- Spacecraft which need to be powered on or monitored real-time before deployment.
- Commercial clients looking for a fast, guaranteed launch opportunity to realize a return on investment without lining up for months or years on a rideshare launch.
Founded in January 2019 by CEO Matthew Travis, the company is based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mr Travis has significant space industry experience as the former COO at Aphelion Orbitals, Inc. and at Kennedy Space Center. He studied Aero/Astro Engineering at the University of Illinois and also serves on the Executive Board of non-profit ARES Institute, Inc. where he facilitates space-related STEM partnerships.
The company is developing two launchers: Phoenix and Trailblazer. Phoenix is a small and low-cost orbital launcher that opens up new possibilities for nanosatellite design and cost-effective space access. It offers dedicated flight opportunities for Cubesat class spacecraft that have a growing requirement for mission flexibility, launch slots, and turnaround time. Trailblazer utilizes key innovations such as high-performance composites, miniaturized control systems required for the realization of nanolaunchers, and new construction techniques such as additive manufacturing that offer cost and mass saving advantages.
These products come with a variety of services:
- System integration support and mission management services from start to launch
- Ground support infrastructure at the launch site
- Spacecraft integration and client consultation
- Launch insurance
Aphelion Aerospace will bring its Cassiopeia line of products to market in 2020. It offers an ongoing optical communications development program and a full suite of space and radiation simulation facilities. It caters to the growing demand for integrated solutions, higher data-rate communications, and interplanetary spacecraft systems.
The company plans to expand the product line, supplementing it with a series of spacecraft attitude control systems.