“Bloostar” the rockoon
Spanish company zero2Infinity, which conducts unmanned scientific and technical flights, launched nanosatellites from the stratosphere in November using balloons for the first-stage portion of the launch.
Known for its near-Space ballooning experience, the company has been working to expand its capabilities to include a nanosatellite launch vehicle, namedÂ bloostar, to offer launch-on-demand for small satellites. The “rockoon” concept presents advantages. Because the rocket does not need to travel through the denser parts of the atmosphere and ignites in close-to-vacuum conditions, there is lower drag, smaller gravity losses and higher specific impulse.
zero2Infinity has been operating high-altitude balloons since 2009. It is currently flying technical, scientific and commercial payloads to over 30km altitude.