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Stratollite Mission Reaches Key Milestone

By Eric Van Rees - 2nd October 2019 - 07:32

Longest demonstration to date of Navigational Stratospheric Flight with Station-Keeping

World View, the stratospheric exploration company, today announced it has reached an important milestone representing a key step towards the productization of persistent and navigational stratospheric flight. After achieving the goal of more than 30 days aloft with full navigational control, the Stratollite completed its 32-day mission over the weekend showcasing its enhanced long-duration flight capability.

Prior to this mission, the longest Stratollite flight stood at sixteen days, which was achieved in June of 2019. This mission moves World View closer to scaled commercial operations, making the unique data and information sets it can provide available to commercial and government Earth observation and remote sensing customers around the world.

Notable Accomplishments from the Mission:

  • Executed 4 continuous days of station keeping (mission objective) with an average distance of 20km from 1st pre-determined target location, followed by an intentional navigation to the 2nd station keeping target location 1,230km away
  • Achieved 2.5 days of continuous station keeping at 2nd station keeping target with an average of 40km from 2nd target location
  • Averaged an altitude of 19.5km during both station keeping exercises
  • Traveled more than 11,200km during the mission, covering Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas
  • Demonstrated complete navigational control during the mission from World View’s remote Mission Control in Tucson, AZ
  • The total mission duration was 32 days, 5 hours and 14 minutes
  • Executed over 1,000 trajectory control maneuvers over entire mission

“This is another encouraging milestone for the team and our customers that confirms we are on the right track,” said Ryan Hartman, World View President and CEO. “It sets the stage for a challenging set of missions ahead of us as we continue to push the envelope and demonstrate the ability of the Stratollite to meet customer requirements.”

World View’s flight operations team landed the Stratollite at a pre-determined landing zone in Iowa on Saturday, September 28 to conclude the mission. The system landed upon command, was recovered and will be refurbished for re-use on future missions.

World View will continue to increase the cadence of its flight operations as the company moves toward the near-term productization of the Stratollite. The company plans to launch multiple missions in the very near future, focused on demonstrating optical imaging and synthetic aperture radar sensing systems with further enhancement of station-keeping and navigational performance.

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