A reusable rocket ship that can fly from earth to space several times a day has completed five successful test flights. Conducted by Dawn Aerospace, a New Zealand-Dutch space transportation company the Mk-II Aurora suborbital spaceplane reached altitudes of 3,400 feet during the 3-day testing. The flights were to assess the airframe and avionics of the vehicle. The testing was run from Glentanner Aerodrome in New Zealand’s South Island. Mk-II is designed to fly 100km above the Earth, and aims to be the first vehicle to access space multiple times per day. Mk-II will also be used to capture atmospheric data used for weather and climate modelling and to conduct scientific research and technology demonstrations. Initial testing was conducted using surrogate jet engines but the final Mk-II will be fitted with a rocket engine which is already in the later stages of testing. This will unlock higher performance for supersonic and high-altitude testing of the vehicle.
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