In December 2017 the SpaceForest company from Gdynia, Poland received funding to design and test a Polish suborbital rocketSpaceForest is a Polish SME active in the space sector. The company is located in Gdynia in the north of the country and currently employs over 25 engineers. Its two main competences are radiofrequency technologies and rocketry. In these two domains SpaceForest is realising several projects, including ones for the European Space Agency (ESA).
In the recent years SpaceForest has been developing its own hybrid propulsion technologies. In 2017, the company has successfully tested the “SF200” engine, which is the most powerful Polish civilian engine made in over four decades. This is a hybrid propulsion-type engine, which utilises inexpensive compounds, such as paraffin and nitrous oxide.
In December 2017 the company announced it has received substantial funding for the development and testing of a new rocket. The name of this project is Suborbital Inexpensive Rocket (SIR). The funding was received within a grant from the Polish National Centre of Research and Development.
The SIR rocket is to be ca. 10 m long and should be capable of delivering 50 kg payloads into the to an altitude of 150 km. This project is scheduled to start in April 2018.
Four decades ago Poland had its own high altitude sounding rocket program called Meteor. Multiple launches were conduced, and in 1970 the Meteor 2K variant reached an altitude of 90 km. However the program was cancelled in 1974 following political pressure from the Soviet Union.
Today in Poland two main entities are developing rocketry technologies. One is SpaceForest and the other is the Institute of Aviation, which is developing it’s own launcher named Bursztyn (Amber).