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Philippines' startup rocket company 'OrbitX' to lead the world with biofuel space tech

 This young Filipino entrepreneur is making himself competitive by luring private firms or individuals to join him on his vison to space using renewable, low-cost rocket fuel. 

Dexter Baño Jr., founder of Orbital Exploration Technologies (OrbitX), is a startup aerospace/rocket company that aims to be the Philippines' very first commercial spaceflight company.

OrbitX has joined the space race and it is currently working on trying to develop its very own launch vehicles called the 'Haribon SLS', aim to provide cheaper, greener and sustainable launch for satellites.

“We have a global waste problem. At the same time, people are complaining we are spending too much on space without paying attention on climate change. So because of that, we decided to tackle this problem,” Baño told SpaceTechAsia.

The company also announced its plans to develop a suborbital two-stage rocket called the 'Haribon SLS-1' which will be powered by biofuel. It can launch with a payloads of up to 200kg, which OrbitX is targeting to launch between 2023 and 2024.

Its proprietary fuel OrbitX RP-2 was named after the refined kerosene RP-1 typically used in rockets, while OrbitX RP-2 is derived from waste plastics.

The company is also in the research phase of developing another organic, sustainable fuel. This one is a methane fuel derived from algae, being developed in partnership with the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

“We want to be a major provider of cheap, green and sustainable space access to developing countries like the Philippines while preserving the earth.” 

For its long term plan, using its OrbitX Haribon SLS-1, it aims to conduct 6 launches a year. Each launch is projected to cost US$4.959 million, which the company says will be 13% cheaper compared to U.S. based Rocket Lab's Electron rocket.

OrbitX has secured an initial funding of US$50,000 from investors.

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