iRocket signed a Phase II RAPID Other Transaction Agreement contract with the U.S. Air Force. The award was created just three months after the phase I contract when iRocket partnered with Space and Missile Systems Center (SMC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Air Force Research Lab at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio.
iRocket is a privately funded New York startup building autonomous small reusable rockets to cargo micro, nano, cube, and constellations to LEO on its Shockwave launch vehicle. The company develops cost-effective small launch vehicles that can support 300kg and 1500 kg payloads for space research and exploration.
After the recent successful launch of two American astronauts into orbit by the SpaceX/NASA partnership, there has been an increase in media interest in private companies innovating, reducing costs, and increasing access to space exploration, which are iRocket’s specialties. iRocket plans to disrupt the small satellite market and will offer on-orbit satellite servicing capabilities by 2025.
iRocket’s Shockwave will be a fully autonomous launch vehicle and the only fully reusable small launcher in the market. It will consist of two stages to orbit, the first and second stage landing back on the launch site. iRocket will prove inland launch capabilities to the Department of Defense and be mission capable of launching within 24 hrs. iRocket plans to launch its rockets from Launch Complex 48 at Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
“We are competing in the small launch market. Where everyone else is focused on economies of scale, we are focused on reliability and high margin capture models” said iRocket CEO, Asad Malik.