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Innospace, the South Korean small satellite and hybrid rocket startup, laid out Wednesday the stride

[HIT Forum] Innospace champions small satellite renaissance

Innospace, the South Korean small satellite and hybrid rocket startup, laid out Wednesday the strides being made in small satellite technology and emphasized the growing role of Innospace in this domain.

"The old space era, dominated by large institutions and national objectives, contrasts sharply with the current landscape. Today, startups and medium-sized ventures with market-driven objectives are shaping the 'New Space Era'. Innospace is at the forefront of this shift," said Jung Hun, the chief technology officer of Innospace, at the 2023 Korea Herald Humanity In Tech or HIT Forum held at The Shilla Seoul.

With projections suggesting the global space market could reach 1,200 trillion won ($895.8 billion) by 2040, up from 440 trillion won in 2020, Hun indicated that Innospace's interests are closely aligned with sectors like space mining, cargo missions and satellite internet. In 2022, 96 percent of spacecraft launches were dedicated to small satellites, emphasizing a trend towards cost-efficiency and adaptability, he said.

While the industry faces challenges in terms of reliability, launch readiness, and various regulatory and developmental roadblocks, Hun expressed hope in Korea's progress in space exploration, particularly pointing to the Korean launch vehicle, “Nuri”.

Hun then elaborated on the significance of Innospace's hybrid rocket technology, specifically their Hanbit series. "This technology, blending the strengths of solid and liquid propellants, offers notable advantages, including safety and cost-efficiency," he said.

A notable development from Innospace is the 3D printed electric pump, designed specifically for their hybrid rocket engine. This advanced pump efficiently manages both liquid oxidizer and solid fuel, leading to several patent acquisitions in countries like Korea, the US and Australia.

Highlighting recent company milestones, Hun mentioned the launch of Hanbit-TLV, which stands for Hanbit Test Launch Vehicle, from Brazil’s Alcantara Space Center this March. "This mission was significant, carrying the SISNAV inertial navigation system developed by Brazil's Department of Aerospace Science and Technology," he said.

On the international front, Hun highlighted InnospAce's global ambitions, emphasizing their partnerships, like the one with Brazil's Alcantara Space Center and ongoing negotiations with Norway's Andoya Spaceport.

Furthermore, he spoke of the company's advanced SISNAV inertial navigation system, developed in collaboration with the Brazilian Air Force, which offers a combination of advanced sensors and computing to monitor motion and position without external references.

Hanbit-TLV is only a part of the Hanbit family of hybrid rocket launch vehicles set for the future. "These vehicles cater to the diverse needs of the small satellite market, and Hanbit-Nano, in particular, is set for a launch in 2024 after a successful test of Hanbit-TLV,” he said.

Hun also discussed the company's broader strategic objectives, emphasizing their diversified business engagements, which span engine manufacturing, commercial spaceport development and various small satellite launch services.

“However, as we gaze into the horizon, our projections are not just about market share, but about etching out our legacy,” he said.



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