- start-up Suborbitality is entering the ESA BIC Prague space incubator administrated by CzechInvest
- the objective of the firm’s incubation is to develop a suborbital rocket intended for conducting tests and experiments in the conditions of space
- the first test launch of the suborbital rocket is planned for the second half of 2019
The start-up Suborbitality is commencing incubation at the ESA BIC Prague space incubator administrated by CzechInvest. The firm plans to develop an affordable, commercial suborbital rocket intended especially for scientific experiments and tests in the conditions of space. Primarily scientific institutions, universities and manufacturers of satellites and other space technologies will be able to use the start-up’s services. Founded by engineers Hamed Gamal of Egypt and David Hubert of the United States, Suborbitality chose the Czech Republic for the development of its launch vehicle, particularly due to collaboration with local specialists and expert manufacturers.
“Suborbitality is the first start-up in our incubator that is focused on developing technologies for use in space. The company plans to collaborate with technology partners from the Czech Republic on the rocket’s development and manufacturing. It is currently negotiating with Czech Technical University in Prague and multiple companies throughout the country,” says Michal Kuneš of ESA BIC Prague.
A Suborbital flight consists of ascending to an altitude of more than 100 kilometres, i.e. beyond the globally recognised threshold of space. The rocket’s speed and power are not sufficient to reach orbit and the rocket will thus make a controlled descent to Earth. During its brief time in space, however, its payload will be exposed to microgravity, cosmic radiation and other conditions of space, which will enable testing of space technologies and smaller science experiments.
Suborbitality’s rocket will be made entirely of European components and will thus be able to offer services throughout the world. “The suborbital space market lacks existing means of accessing that region of space for a reasonable cost and with a frequent launch schedule. Suborbitality thus wants to develop a smart, reliable, and reusable launch vehicle to offer a chance for testing satellite components and scientific experiments in a space environment. We are aiming to make access to space affordable for everyone,” says Hamed Gamal, CEO of Suborbitality.
About ESA BIC Prague
ESA BIC Prague was established in May 2016 as part of the European Space Agency’s network of Business Incubation Centres, which provide facilities and support for innovative technology start-ups that work with, develop and find commercial uses for space technologies. CzechInvest is the operator of ESA BIC Prague. The City of Prague, Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Industry and Trade are also involved in the project. The incubator is located at Palác Adria in Prague. In March 2018, a branch of ESA BIC Prague was established at the South Moravian Innovation Centre in Brno. More information is available at www.esa-bic.cz.