Astraius’ 1st satellite launch from Prestwick Spaceport is on track — key partners named
Astraius , the UK-based, horizontal launch company, has announced two key suppliers for the firm’s launch solution — Northrop Grumman has been selected as the first and second stage motor supplier. Exquadrum will provide the upper-stage motor.
With these best-of-the-best industry leaders, Astraius is on-track for first launch in Spring 2024. The announcement received the support of the UK Space Agency at the Farnborough International Air Show.
Northrop Grumman’s Orion solid rocket motors will boost the Astraius launch vehicle after its extraction from the unmodified C-17 carrier aircraft. Completing the mission, Exquadrum’s bespoke Astraius upper stage will precisely place satellites in their intended orbits.
Sir George Zambellas, Astraius Chairman, made this announcement from the Space Scotland pavilion at the Farnborough International Airshow. “This is a hugely exciting moment for Astraius,” he said. “We have a winning combination of proven launch and propulsion systems paired with exquisite rocket motor technology to produce a world-class capability. When coupled with Prestwick Spaceport’s state-of-the-art launch vehicle and payload integration facilities, Scotland will be the UK’s leader for responsive space launch.”
Kevin Seymour, Astraius CEO, said, “I am thrilled that Northrop Grumman will play a major role in our program. Their long record of flight success and clear enthusiasm for what we’re doing gives us absolute confidence we’ve made the right decision. Northrop Grumman’s motors are key enablers for our industry-leading, low risk, responsive, horizontal launch capability. We are thrilled to be partnering with Exquadrum for our upper stage. Their innovative, tailorable technology is the perfect match for Astraius. Our customers’ orbit insertion needs are often very demanding, and Exquadrum will ensure we meet or exceed every requirement. Astraius couldn’t have asked for a better launch partner. With Northrop Grumman and Exquadrum as our key propulsion suppliers, Astraius now has a winning team ready to deliver an industry-leading capability for our commercial and government customers around the world.”
Kevin Mahaffy, Exquadrum CEO, said, “Exquadrum is excited to be part of the outstanding team that Astraius has put together to bring their unique horizontal launch vehicle to the market. Exquadrum’s controllable solid rocket motor technology, with its throttlability and precise termination ability, is an excellent fit for Astraius’ upper stage application.”
Ian Annett, Deputy Chief Executive of the UK Space Agency, said, “It is great to see these exciting new collaborations and this major milestone towards horizontal launch at Prestwick Spaceport with Astraius. Scotland’s space sector is booming and this partnership demonstrates the growing launch market, which will create jobs and opportunities across the UK and attract international investment.”