Press Release

Announcing Parkin Research, LLC

By SpaceRef Editor
December 1, 2015
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New company combines artificial intelligence with 21st century rocket science to make space access 30x cheaper

San Francisco – December 1, 2015 – The high cost of launching people and satellites into orbit has been holding back activities in space since the 1960s. Science, exploration and commerce have all been stunted, but a new company stands ready to fix that. Parkin Research opened for business today in San Francisco and it bears the name of its founder, Dr. Kevin Parkin, the inventor of the Microwave Thermal Rocket, a low-cost rocket powered by microwaves directed from the ground. “New commercial space ideas literally can’t get off the ground, but Microwave Thermal Rockets can slash the cost of launching satellites or people into space by 10 to 100 times,” said Parkin.

Parkin invented and patented the Microwave Thermal Rocket over a decade ago as a graduate student at Caltech, and he has been honing the idea ever since. It is not just a paper rocket – Parkin has worked with the Air Force, NASA and recently DARPA to experiment with the technology. “Directed energy rocketry is where conventional rocketry was in the 1930s, there are a handful of pioneers worldwide and the significance of their work is only just beginning to be realized“, said Parkin. “The development effort is worth it because the U.S. Government currently spends $160 million dollars per week on space launch; agencies can get so much more capability for that money.” 

The most game-changing technology of all may turn out to be the software that designs the rocket, the Engineering Inference Engine. Artificial intelligence software traditionally uses inference engines for tasks like recognizing objects or diagnosing medical conditions, but Parkin is the first to use them to design rockets. “The Engineering Inference Engine empowers a single designer or a small design team to wield more complex engineering solutions than ever before. It’s quite magical to watch it deduce its way through a 20,000 variable rocket design problem,” said Parkin. “I wrote the Engineering Inference Engine to solve the complex engineering problem of designing Microwave Thermal Rockets without the massive cost of a room full of rocket scientists. Our research challenge now is to mature the Engineering Inference Engine into a tool that other engineers can use to design aircraft, satellites or even interstellar missions.”

Find out more about Parkin Research from the website


Kevin Parkin

Ph: 626-437-7488

SpaceRef staff editor.