Dawn Mk-II Aurora Suborbital Space Plane
First introduced in 2020, the Dawn Mk-II Aurora is a fully reusable sub-orbital aircraft that will one day launch satellites into space. It’s currently the second rocket-powered aircraft produced by the company, capable of flights up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) altitude, the edge of space, before returning to land at an airport. Once it lands, Aero Mk-II can be refuelled and flown again within hours. So far, it has successfully completed five flights to to assess the airframe and avionics of the vehicle. Read more for two videos and additional information.

This vehicle is serving as a technology demonstrator for the two-stage-to-orbit-vehicle, the Mk-III. It will also be used to capture atmospheric data used for weather / climate modelling as well as to conduct scientific research and technology demonstrations. The next-generation Mk-III, based on the Mk-II design, will have a larger payload capacity, thus enabling a 50-100kg (110 – 220lb) satellite to be delivered into orbit safely.

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Dawn is focussed on sustainable and scalable access to space and our Mk-II vehicle is entirely reusable. The team have successfully captured extensive data enabling further R&D on the capability of Mk-II. I’m hugely proud of our engineering team for designing and building a vehicle that flies beautifully first time and just as predicted. We are delighted with the results and demonstrating rapid turnaround – we conducted five flights within three days, and two flights occurred within ninety minutes of each other,” said Stefan Powell, Chief Technology Officer of Dawn Aerospace.