A Hamilton tech team have designed a suborbital rocket that can navigate the Extreme Environments of Antarctica and outer Space.
The completely reusable, recoverable, aerospike powered rocket is the brain child of Waikato business Kiwi Orbitals, who are one of the five NZ Space Challenge regional finalists announced this week.
The business has come up with ‘The Duncan Rocket’ concept to navigate some of outer space’s trickiest pitfalls and were named the Gisborne, Hawkes Bay and Waikato finalists.
Kiwi Orbitals mastermind Cameron Brown said the rocket is designed to carry 4kg to 40km altitude.
“Its capabilities, using modern imaging payloads allowing 1.6m km2 of coverage with up to 10cm spacial resolution, makes it perfect for imaging and mapping mission in Antarctica and potentially Space.”
He said the rocket can support rideshare, which would help subsidise individual costs, and there was the potential for collaborations with engine tech providers, academic research groups, government research agencies and Antarctica explorers.
The NZ Space Challenge brings together some of the brightest minds from across the country to use space data and intelligence to solve navigation issues on the ice in the Antarctic.
Brown has teamed up with fellow Hamilton-based tech buffs Eva Hou and Mark Rodrigues for the NZ Space Challenge, which brings together some of the brightest minds from across the country to use space data and intelligence to solve navigation issues on the ice in the Antarctic.
The Space Challenge is the brain child of space enthusiasts and entrepreneurs, Eric Dahlstrom and Emeline Paat-Dahlstrom who have forged international careers in the space community and have chosen to settle in New Zealand, establishing SpaceBase with fellow co-founder Rich Bodo.
SpaceBase has partnered with economic development agency ChristchurchNZ to deliver this national challenge.
ChristchurchNZ chief executive Joanna Norris says New Zealand has a vibrant tech sector full of world-class ingenuity, as clearly demonstrated by the finalists.
“We’re very proud to support the growth of the country’s technology and innovation sectors, which are growing rapidly and make an important contribution to the nation’s economy,” Ms Norris says.
“These world-leading solutions to the challenges presented by Antarctica and Space are not just good for our country, but innovation that’s good for the world.”
The winner of the NZ Space Challenge will be announced this week Thursday (24 May) as part of Christchurch’s top Techweek’18 event, Extreme Environments – from Antarctica to Space, where the regional finalists will pitch their Antarctic navigation innovations to a panel of national and international judges with $40k going to the winning designer.
The event will appeal to those from the science, research, technology, innovation and education eco-systems and anybody with an interest in the Antarctic and Space and saving the world.