Navy officials in Hawaii have begun preparations for the debut of a new small satellite launcher by requesting the expansion of a danger zone around the Pacific Missile Range Facility (PMRF) on Kauai, The Garden Islandreports.
If approved, the danger zone fronting PMRF would roughly triple in size, encompass about 7 miles of coastline — from Barking Sands to Kokole Point — and extend between 2.96 and 4.19 nautical miles out to sea.
SpaceWorks Enterprise has released an update to its nano- and micro-satellite market analysis study that indicates that between 121 to 188 spacecraft weighing 1-50 kg will need to be launched in 2020. This is a significant increase from the 33 satellites launched last year.
“The Nano/Microsatellite Market Assessment by SpaceWorks shows that nano/microsatellite launches have grown by an average of 8.6% per year since 2000, with an expected 16.8% growth per year over the next 7 years (2013-2020),” according to a SpaceWorks press release.
The U.S. Air Force’s Office of Operationally Responsive Space (ORS) has teamed up with the University of Hawaii and Aerojet to develop a new small-sat launch vehicle that will make its maiden flight later this year from a missile range on Kauai.
The rail-launched Spaceborne Payload Assist Rocket Kauai (SPARK, a.k.a., Super Strypi) will be capable of launching small satellites and CubeSats into low Earth and sun synchronous orbits at a low cost. The objective is to place 250 kg. (551 lb.) payloads into a 400-km (249 mile) sun-synchronous orbit from Kauai.