There’s a new startup looking to serve the growing small satellite market. CloudIX (Cloud Nine) is developing a system that dispenses with a ground-based first stage in favor of launching a rocket from a balloon.
“The benefit of being launched at high altitude (135,000ft/41km) is dramatically reduced air resistance, allowing higher rocket altitudes that weren’t previously possible at this scale,” the company says on its website.
CloudIX says it can deploy 16 1U CubeSats or a 50-lb payload to an altitude of 220 miles (355 km). Mobile deployment will allow for the deployment of satellites into a variety of orbital planes, the company said.
CloudIX is headquartered in Hayward, Calif.