QuantumScape’s New Solid-State Battery Is Twice as Energy-Dense as Lithium-Ion (4 minute read)
QuantumScape's solid-state lithium metal battery can charge to 80 percent capacity in just 15 minutes, has nearly double the energy density of top commercial lithium-ion cells, retains more than 80 percent of its capacity after 800 cycles, and doesn't set on fire. The increased energy density makes it possible to create electric vehicles with similar ranges as gasoline-powered ones. It may even be possible to use the batteries to power electric aircraft. QuantumScape has more than $1 billion in funds to take the technology through to production, with $300 million from Volkswagen, who plans to start using the batteries in its cars by 2025.
Autonomous Ravn X Drone to Launch Satellites From Airport Runways (3 minute read)
Aevum's Ravn X is an 80 foot long, 18 foot tall autonomous rocket-launching aircraft. With a 60-foot wingspan, the aircraft flies as high as 60,000 feet before its two-stage, liquid-fueled rocket payload detaches and races into orbit. While SpaceX is set to dominate the large payload market, there is still a market for smaller rockets that deliver faster, cheaper launches. Ravn X can launch as fast as every 180 minutes, fly around weather to avoid launch delays, and only requires a crew of six to operate. Aevum has yet to launch Ravn X into space, but it plans to make an attempt next year.