Given its financial woes, it was not a surprise that Vector had to withdraw from its contract with the US Air Force to launch the Agile Small Launch Operational Normalizer (ASLON) 45 mission. That was originally supposed to be formed as an upper stage/delivery spacecraft. The mission’s launch has now been transferred to the Aevum launch provider start-up, which plans to launch a small two-stage rocket from a supersonic reusable “Stage 0” carrier aircraft capable of speeds of up to Mach 2.85. The system is called Ravn X and is designed to make regular quick launches of small satellites.

Aevum’s Ravn launch system is a two-stage rocket launched from a supersonic carrier aircraft. Courtesy: Aevum