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New space company unveils ultra-maneuverable spacecraft to hop between orbits

The race to space has just started.
  • Portal Space Systems developed the Supernova satellite bus
  • Supernova is designed to hop between orbits with ease
  • It boasts 50 times the range of existing spacecraft

Published on May 1, 2024 at 3:56PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on May 2, 2024 at 4:07PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Tom Wood
Space Portal Systems Suvernova aircraft

Just recently, a new player entered the space race, unveiling an exciting innovation that promises to revolutionize space travel.

Meet Portal Space Systems, a fresh-faced company based in Seattle, with big dreams and even bigger ideas.

Led by industry veteran Jeff Thornburg, alongside COO Ian Vorbach and VP of Engineering Prashaanth Ravindran, Portal Space Systems aims to shake up the space industry with its groundbreaking Supernova satellite bus.

READ MORE: NASA reveals lunar racer car that’ll transport astronauts to uncharted destinations on the Moon

So, what’s all the fuss about?

Well, it’s about Supernova, and what this aircraft could be able to do.

This ultra-maneuverable marvel is designed to hop between orbits with ease, thanks to its innovative solar-thermal propulsion system.

With a payload-agnostic design and a whopping 6 km/s delta-V – change in velocity – the Supernova has 50 times the range of existing spacecraft, making it a game-changer in space mobility.

But why is this such a big deal?

For starters, it means that missions that were once deemed impossible are now within reach.

It’s projects like Supernova and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic’s first flight into space that make revolutionary changes.

The Supernova can zip from Low Earth Orbit to geostationary orbit in a matter of hours, or even make a trip to the moon in just days.

This level of mobility opens up a whole new world of possibilities for space exploration.

Despite being a new kid on the block, Portal Space Systems has already made its name in the industry.

With over $3 million in funding from the Department of Defense and Space Force, they’ve caught the attention of some big players.

Their vision for space operations has garnered support from the United States Space Force, positioning them as a key partner in space programs.

Looking ahead, Portal Space Systems is gearing up for the first launch of the aircraft in late 2025.

With Thornburg’s experience in leading groundbreaking projects like SpaceX’s Raptor engine and Amazon’s Project Kuiper, and the expertise of his team, the company’s prospects seem vast.

Now it’s not just Jeff Bezos vs Elon Musk in the modern-day space race – there’s a new player in the market.

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