A Christchurch-based aerospace company has unveiled its new suborbital spaceplane today, called the MK-II Aurora.
Dawn Aerospace says it’ll one day be able to launch satellites into space.
Chief technology officer Stefan Powell calls it a “massive step forward in space transportation”.
Unlike traditional rockets, the MK-II Aurora is hoped to be able to land and refuel at an airport, reaching altitudes of up to 100km – the border of space – in its flights.
Mr Powell says they could use the spaceplanes to “access space daily”, without disposable rocket debris polluting the ocean.
Its next iteration, the MK-III Aurora,will be 94 per cent reusable, Dawn Aerospace says.
The company claims to have a memorandum of understanding with Waitaki District Council to let them fly suborbitals out of Oamaru Airport.
Test flights will begin later this year, Dawn Aerospace says.