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Rockets and Defence Systems

Rocket development has become a critical component enabling humans to travel beyond Earth and explore the vast reaches of the Universe. Part of humanity's quest for space exploration, the space economy is rapidly expanding, driven by both government initiatives and private sector investments. Our collaboration with the defence contractors across Europe, North America, and Australia is significant. Development partnerships include major players in defence, space, and aerospace technology such as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.

 

SPACE EXPLORATION


With a focus on improving efficiency, safety, and sustainability, concepts like reusable rockets and nuclear propulsion (renowned for delivering high thrust and efficiency) are being explored for future space exploration endeavours. This includes advancements in reusable rocket technology, development of nuclear propulsion systems, and exploration of alternative propellants and propulsion concepts, such as beamed propulsion and antimatter propulsion. Ainira Industries is a rocket propulsion specialist.


Rocket Propulsion Reference Sheets
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In recent years, the pioneering company SpaceX, as well as Blue Origin and others have entered the space industry. SpaceX came in with an aggressive development plan, daring ideas and putting everything on the line. Its Falcon rockets, particularly the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy, have revolutionised space transportation with their reusability and reliability, significantly reducing the cost of access to space.


Future of Space Exploration 2040-2060
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SPACE ECONOMY


As technology continues to advance, space-based activities are expected to play an increasingly significant role in our everyday lives and the global economy. Research and development in space technology lead to many innovations with applications on Earth. This includes advancements in materials science, robotics, life support systems, and energy generation.


Manufacturing products in space, known as in-situ resource utilisation, holds potential for creating materials in microgravity environments. This includes 3D printing, pharmaceutical research, and manufacturing of advanced materials not possible on Earth.


The Moon Economy
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Space mining is also becoming a viable prospect. Companies are eyeing asteroids for resources such as water, rare and precious metals, and the Moon for Helium-3 (found in Earth's natural satellite's regolith) which could support future space exploration and provide valuable resources for Earth (e.g. unlimited fuel for nuclear fusion reactors). Document below includes some of the early work on this program.


Asteroid retrieval feasibility study
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DEFENCE SYSTEMS


Lockheed Martin's defense systems include advanced missile defense systems like THAAD and Aegis, aircraft like the F-35 Lightning II, as well as satellites for communications, weather monitoring, and defence. Its Advanced Development Programs division, Skunk Works, is known for its unconventional approach to aircraft design and development, often pushing the boundaries of what's possible in aerospace technology. It operates with a high level of autonomy and secrecy, allowing for rapid prototyping and innovation. Skunk Works has been responsible for some of the most iconic aircraft in history, including the SR-71 Blackbird, also used by NASA, and the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter.


NASA Factsheet SR-71 Blackbird
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Northrop Grumman is known for its B-2 Spirit stealth bomber, the Global Hawk unmanned aircraft, and missile defense systems like Ground-based Midcourse Defense and Patriot. Representing perfect blends of groundbreaking technology, sleek design, and keen marketing, Northrop Grumman also produces spacecraft for NASA missions like the James Webb Space Telescope and Cygnus spacecraft (technology acquired in 2018 from Orbital ATK, another collaborator of ours) for resupply missions to the International Space Station.


US Army - Mobile Nuclear Power Plants for Ground Operations
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