North Carolina Firm Awarded Contract for Suborbital Vehicles

View of Earth from space

Mooresville, North Carolina-based Corvid Technologies was recently awarded a $223.3 million contract to produce hardware, equipment, and components for suborbital flight vehicles. These short- and medium-range vehicles will be available to the U.S. Navy, other government organizations, and Japan over a five-year ordering period.

In a suborbital flight, a spaceflight reaches outer space, but its trajectory intersects the atmosphere or surface of the gravitating body and does not complete one orbital revolution. The edge of the atmosphere is 62 miles above Earth's sea level. The rocket-based Corvid flight vehicles are specifically configured to deliver payloads into flight for systems being tested.

The contract is broken down so that the Navy receives 76% of the work, followed by 12% each for other government agencies and Japan. Work on the vehicles is expected to be completed by February 2024. The vast majority of the work will be performed at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, with the remainder taking place in Mooresville, North Carolina, and other Corvid sites in Virginia, Maryland, and Alabama.

Corvid’s primary competition in the suborbital flight vehicle market includes Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin. Last August, the Federal Aviation Administration approved launching satellites into suborbital space. Space planes take off like a normal jet and then engage rockets at about 45,000 feet in order to transport passengers or payloads into suborbital space.

Image Credit: Volodymyr Goinyk / Shutterstock.com

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