Argo Navis Aerospace obtains flight heritage for next generation rocket engine technology.
AUCKLAND. 14th March 2023
Argo Navis, the New Zealand aerospace company focused on providing custom upper stage rocket engines to launch providers, has further proven the technology behind their innovative propulsion system with a successful launch.
The February flight of the purpose-built K-200 vehicle, Titipounamu, successfully launched their 5kN engine with a 4 second burn. The engine propelled the vehicle to an altitude of 3km where parachutes were deployed, resulting in a successful recovery of the vehicle. The vehicle and engine will both be reused for the next stage of the programme. The success of this demonstration flight means Argo Navis has obtained flight heritage before U.S competitor Ursa Major and is an important milestone for the Aotearoa New Zealand aerospace industry.
A launch in March is scheduled where a 10 second engine burn will power K-200 to an expected altitude of 15km.
Argo Navis’ Founder and CEO Dr. Malcolm Snowdon speaks of the programme so far: “Getting the vehicle operational is a huge achievement for our dedicated team. Obtaining flight heritage means launch providers will gain confidence in our engine’s capabilities”. Argo Navis’ engines can be built in a short space of time and engineered specifically for the customer. “Previously, propulsion systems have been a standard size and launch providers have built their vehicles around this limitation. Our technology is solving the problem of the costly wait times due to lengthy development programmes for those engines,” Snowdon says.
The next stage of the launch programme will commence in the next two months and involves a longer 26 second engine burn. This will propel the launch vehicle over the Kármán line and into space. Future flights will refire the engine in the vacuum of space to show Argo Navis’ reignition capabilities.
Launch Providers as early customers
UK based Black Arrow Space technologies signed a technical service and supply Memorandum of Understanding with Argo Navis in 2022. Black Arrow’s approach is to collaborate with the most innovative launch suppliers and Argo Navis is the perfect partner.
Argo Navis is rewriting the rules around rocket propulsion and what is possible. Carl Jones from WNT Ventures, an early investor into the aerospace company, says “The harsh reality for launch providers is that there are no existing ready to go engines available for new-space startup companies. Argo Navis is in a prime position to change that on a global scale.”
Founded in 2019 Argo Navis has raised over $2million in capital to date with the recent raise of NZ$1.07million, a round led by WNT Ventures. This latest capital is being used for the current launch
programme and the round remains open for a short time to interested investors. Contact WNT
Ventures to take part.
About Argo Navis
Argo Navis Aerospace is Aotearoa New Zealand’s commercial supplier of upper-stage rocket engines.
Their propulsion system is designed to overcome schedule challenges as well as cost, performance,
and reliability issues currently experienced by launch providers. Get in contact with the company for
tailor made cutting-edge technology for your mission and to find out more. www.argonavis.aero
Linkedin Argo Navis Aerospace.
About WNT Ventures
WNT Ventures is a pre-seed and seed stage venture capital fund and technology incubator. WNT
invests into pre-revenue, deep-tech companies which are science-backed with global potential. WNT has been in operation since 2014 and is part of the Callaghan Innovation Technology Incubator
programme. www.wntventures.co.nz LinkedIn WNT Ventures.