A team of 15 people, Ripple Aerospace, designed a spacecraft that can be built in shipyard that floats on the sea, and plans to launch already next year a product which could send a small dog to space.
With this spacecraft they are removing the need for costly ground launch infrastructure, and make the launch less dependent on weather. Kristoffer Liland, the CEO of Ripple Aerospace is confident that sea launches will be used more often in future. 140 reported rocket launches from water show without a shadow of doubt that they work.
Ripple Aerospace is a small international business scattered across the world. The team includes engineers and business professionals from EU, US, Australia and Norway. The ambitious team aims to become the leading launch vehicle provider for large payloads. Ultimately they want to send the entire infrastructure for humans’ activities in space.
“In our team, we are united by the same goal – expanding the new unique space activities and making them more accessible for people,” says Liland.
“2 years ago I was looking for my way to space industry. With the Masters degree in innovation & knowledge development it was quite challenging as the industry mostly requires engineers. So I started to look for business ideas instead. I talked with a bunch people from space industry, and joined related groups on Facebook and LinkedIn. Turned out that I found most of my team online – my CTO & COO were members of the same group on Facebook called Mars Settlement research organization.”
At the moment the company is working on the rocket engine together with NY-based Rocket Star. They plan their first launch in 6-8 months when sounding rocket is ready. The rocket will be built in Norway, while the launch will take place on equator. In this way the engineers will take advantage of the greater rotational speed of the Earth to get an extra boost for the launch.
Space community in Norway is not large compared to the US but space startups are popping up little by little. The country invests in space education and research. Currently Norway offers funding and scholarships for study programmes in International Space University. Plus, the University of Oslo, University of Stavanger and Arctic University of Norway offer the number space study programmes.