How the world's biggest drone will get satellites into orbit
4:22

How the world's biggest drone will get satellites into orbit

Science
[MUSIC] We're looking at the raven x, the world's biggest drone, and the company behind it, hopes this massive UAE will change the way satellites get to space. [MUSIC] So satellite delivery, isn't exactly exciting tech these days. I mean, lately, it feels like SpaceX is doing it pretty much on a weekly basis. But that's really a good thing for us. As our world gets more and more connected, we use satellites on a daily basis whether we realize it or not. But launching a rocket from the ground is no small task. It's a massive effort that normally requires a ton of equipment and fuel, but thousands and thousands of hours of manpower. And that's where a company called AEVUM sees an opportunity for The Raven x. This is a massive drone designed to be an autonomous aerial launch system for small satellite Standing five and a half meters tall and 24 meters long, with an 18 meter wingspan, even called it the world's biggest drone. CEO and founder Jay skyrace told me he's still in awe when he sees it up close. He designed it on the computer and then when you see it in real life, you're like Holy crap, just like that you're kinda speechless for a little while and then you go, well I guess this is what we're flying. [LAUGH] [MUSIC] For Raven X can take off and land on a runway as short as 1.6 kilometers and this is a three stage launch system with the Raven X Speed the first stage. So once the drone reaches the right altitude and speed, the two stage rocket drops and launches delivering the payload to low Earth orbit. Abrams goal is to have the ability to make deliveries to space at a high frequency. A scalar says when they've got their fleet of drones built out, they'll be able to deliver payloads to anywhere in low Earth orbit every 180 minutes. And he says the system is 70% reusable. He's hoping to get that number close to 100%. The first stage does land throw another often on, and it can take off again just like an airliner would at the gate. And speaking of airliners, the raven x uses the same fuel as them. That means it can fuel up at any major airport. But the sounds at all familiar. It may remind you of Virgin Orbit, which is working on its own ariel launch system. That's not a drone on Virgin system satellites are launched on a rocket from a manned aircraft, but Skylar's says by using a drone not only do they minimize the risk to human life, but they're also able to speed up that launch process. We needed a launch vehicle that could physically execute something as fast as our software can process it. And there is no way that we were gonna do that if we have to go, hey, our computer just process this, get out of bed, jump into the launch vehicle and go fly. AM has already locked down more than $1 billion in launch contracts. And that even includes a contract with the US space force to deliver 360 satellites to space. And if everything goes according to a VM schedule that's going to happen by the end of 2021, but Schuyler says long term. This launch system is really designed for customers that can't afford to wait more than a week to get their satellites into orbit. I think our customer focus is. [MUSIC] Those that already have a business model that works from space, they're generating revenue. And if they're down for a week, they're losing a lot of money. And that's who's going to come to us and go, I know you charge a premium, but get this up there like tomorrow because I'm losing more money than. Wait you're charging. Those first launches are planned to take off from Cecil spaceport off Jacksonville, Florida. But Skyler says his goal is to be within a 24 hour drive of any customer worldwide. So they're planning on at least two more launch locations in the United States alone. Now I for 1am really excited to see the raven x fly. And we should be seeing those test flight happen really soon, specially if they plan on hitting their goal at the end of 2021, for that space force mission. So, what about you? What do you think? What do you think of AVM, and its three stage satellite delivery system? Let us know in those comments below. [MUSIC]

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