Rising from the ashes: Phantom Space, the new startup smallsat rocket company created by Jim Cantrell, the former CEO of the smallsat rocket company Vector, has now successfully raised $5 million in seed money to begin development of its rocket, dubbed Daytona.
The expendable Daytona will be powered by eight Hadley engines — seven on the first stage and one on the upper stage. The engines are an example of Phantom Space’s strategy of leveraging externally developed tech; Hadleys are built by Denver-based company Ursa Major Technologies.
According to my sources, the reason Vector never flew and Cantrell and the company parted ways was that the engines they were building for the rocket ended up under-powered. It seems Cantrell has taken a different approach with his new startup by buying engines from an outside source instead of building them in house.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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