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HALO Space completes first major operational milestone with the assembly of its prototype capsule for first test flight
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Nov 24, 2022, 6:25 AM ET
HALO Space has completed the first assembly of its prototype capsule in Spain and will carry out its first test flight in India December.
The first flight will be unmanned and will be used to collect important data about the capsule, the stratosphere and the navigation system, which will be decisive for future trips. This first capsule prototype, with a capacity for nine people (eight passengers plus the pilot), weighs 800 kilograms and has a diameter of 5 meters wide and 3.5 meters high. It is made up of eight segments designed like orange segments, attached to a base and a roof. The material used for its manufacture is carbon fiber with an opaque hue. The final design will have panel windows in each segment and space tourists will have a 360º view of the exterior.
Upon arrival at TIFR, HALO Space technicians will reassemble the prototype capsule, prepare it with cameras and various technologies for the collection of flight navigation data, and prepare it for its first liftoff to a maximum of 40 kilometers into the stratosphere, a journey that will last approximately six hours until landing.
HALO Space is a space tourism project driven by Carlos Mira, founder and CEO, and Alberto Castrillo, Chief Technology Officer (CTO), who lead a team of 22 top-level executives from various companies in different sectors, such as CT Engineering Grau, Aciturri, GMV and TIFR Balloon Facility. The company is working to become a benchmark in the near-space aerospace tourism sector (up to a maximum altitude of 40 km) and has set itself the target of making 400 commercial trips and carrying 3,000 passengers a year from 2029 onwards. The ticket price will be between $100,000 and $200,000.
"We are working according to the roadmap we have set. With the manufacture of the capsule, we have succeeded in completing a very important milestone in our plan. We have already succeeded in bringing the project to fruition. Next month we will reach another very important milestone: our first test flight," says Carlos Mira, founder and CEO of HALO Space, "We have a great team of professionals and experts. We are very grateful to all those companies that have made this first milestone possible," he added.
Alberto Castrillo, Chief Technology Officer of HALO Space, explains that "the first milestones of projects of this importance are always complicated. But we have managed to manufacture and assemble this prototype capsule in a timely manner. It only resembles the final capsule in the shape it has, but the information that the first test flight will give us will be fundamental for the evolution of the project and navigation at various altitudes." Castrillo is a reference in the global aerospace sector. A graduate of the Madrid Aerospace School in 1979, he has more than 40 years of experience in the sector. His first relevant work was as head of the department of stress analysis between carbon fiber and metal parts in aircraft, a pioneer at the time, for the former CASA (Construcciones Aeronáuticas s.a.), and he has led aeronautical projects of great relevance, both in civil and military aviation. He is responsible for the design of the final assembly line of the Airbus A400 defense aircraft in Getafe, and has been an engineer for the Australian Royal Airforce. In his opinion, "HALO Space’s project is attractive because it represents the union between the aerospace and tourism sectors, both from the engineering point of view and the variety of equipment, which allows us to offer a unique and incomparable experience".
The Balloon Facility at TIFR, HALO Space's strategic partner for the manufacturing of the balloon, has a track record of more than 500 scientific balloons successfully launched. Thus, the company is now ready to start a series of test flights, which are an essential part of the development and certification of its program. After this first performance in India, HALO Space has chosen Spain as the scenario for its second test flight.
About HALO Space
HALO Space is a global space tourism company that will offer zero-emission commercial flights between 25 and 40 kilometers high, allowing passengers to observe the curvature of the planet Earth and the vastness of Space in a flight that lasts up to 6 hours. This will be possible thanks to its aerospace balloon, equipped with a pressurized capsule with capacity for eight passengers and a pilot, which will have panel windows offering a 360º view.
Founded in 2021, HALO Space was initially incubated by the prestigious consulting firm Arthur D. Little in its Breakthrough Incubator program. After securing €3 million in seed funding, HALO operates independently and is led by industry veterans Carlos Mira, CEO, and Alberto Castrillo, chief technology officer (CTO). HALO Space will work closely with a consortium of top-tier aerospace companies such as CT Engineering Group, Aciturri, GMV and TIFR in the development of its spaceflight program.
For more information, visit HALO Space (halospaceflight.com).
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