Outpost Completes Flight Test of Autonomous Space Paraglider


September 22, 2022

During a technical session at the International Astronautical Congress (IAC), Outpost presented a paper on the findings of its two successful flight tests of its autonomous paraglider re-entry system, which enables the return of payloads to Earth from orbit. The tests, conducted in April 2022, mark a milestone for the company in creating a technology aimed to disrupt the future of satellite operations.

The autonomous high-altitude paraglider system enables Output to achieve precision landing accuracy of its satellite system and customer payloads. The technology is meaningful because all enterprise-class spacecraft experience a 100km or more error dispersion when entering the atmosphere, making conventional low-altitude deployment of parachutes incapable of a precise and pre-coordinated landing, the company said.

“Nobody has flown a high-performance robotic paraglider from these altitudes anywhere in the world before,” said Michael Vergalla, founder and CTO of Outpost. “These flight tests provide us with valuable insights on vehicle performance and control and contribute to our leading position in this novel technology development and application. We have the edge in understanding how this technology works in a new environment and in unpredictable weather.”


Outpost said it conducted two flight tests, to 26 km and 21 km, respectively. On the first test, the system was brought to altitude and tested flight modes, environmental survival, and tracking. The second test released the payload under drogue and transitioned to gliding flight shortly after. The total distance from launch to landing was 181 km, Outpost said. The vehicle was able to successfully navigate to its waypoints as it flew, and made a soft landing along the flight path, where it was recovered by the Outpost team.

The company said the flight tests closed an important set of risk reduction measures to move forward to its first orbital flight missions and Earth return.

For additional details on the company and its technology, visit the Outpost website here.

Robotics World News

  • Raise Robotics Raises $2.2M in Seed Round Funding

    Raise Robotics Raises $2.2M in Seed Round Funding

    Raise Robotics, which develops robotic equipment for construction sites, has announced it raised $2.2 million in a pre-seed funding round (reported by Construction Dive). The company is currently providing fenestration and mass timber contractors with semi-autonomous equipment that completes bracket layout, installment and verification four times faster than standard methods. “Our mission at Raise is… Read More…

  • Scythe Robotics Raises $42M for Commercial Autonomous Mower

    Scythe Robotics Raises $42M for Commercial Autonomous Mower

    Colorado-based Scythe Robotics, which develops advanced commercial-grade autonomous systems for professional landscapers, has announced it raised $42 million in Series B funding. The company said it will use the funding to help meet demand for more than 7,500 reservations for its fully electric, fully autonomous M.52 mower. With the latest financing, Scythe Robotics has raised… Read More…

Products for Robots & Cobots

  • Celera Motion Introduces the World’s Smallest Servo Drives

    Celera Motion Introduces the World’s Smallest Servo Drives

    Celera Motion, a business unit of Novanta Inc., announced the launch of two of the world’s smallest servo drives, the Denali Series. Denali is the latest addition to Celera Motion’s line of premium-performance Ingenia servo drives. Denali offers hardware architecture as well as optimized power management, with a minimum standby power consumption of down to 1.2 W. The servo drives… Read More…

  • Heiland Electronics Introduces Mini I/O Connectors for Fast Speeds and Easy Field Installs

    Heiland Electronics Introduces Mini I/O Connectors for Fast Speeds and Easy Field Installs

    Heilind Electronics, a leading global distributor of electronic components and authorized distributor for TE Connectivity, offers the Mini I/O Cat6A connector as part of its full line of TE ethernet products. TE Industrial’s Mini I/O connectors eliminate the need for special tools to create a fast and secure wire-to-wire or wire-to-board connection. The mini I/O… Read More…