"Silver Dart" - Independant Spacecraft design... Dec 16, 2005 11:02:20 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Dec 16, 2005 11:02:20 GMT -6
Space Tourism Firm Unveils Orbital Spacecraft Concept
A space tourism group developing a suborbital rocket ship is now taking aim at orbital trips with a new spacecraft that doubles as a hypersonic glider.
Canada’s London, Ontario-based firm PlanetSpace unveiled designs for its Silver Dart spacecraft, an eight-person vehicle derived from experimental aircraft studies in the 1970s, Thursday with hopes of carrying fare-paying passengers into orbit and resupplying the International Space Station (ISS).
“The Silver Dart is the DC-3 of the space industry,” said Geoff Sheerin, PlanetSpace president and CEO, in a telephone interview. “It has so many things going for it in terms of performance.”
NASA based its X-24B test aircraft on the FDL-7 lifting body and valued the added range and stability the sleek, sharp-nosed design, according to documentation from the space agency’s Dryden Flight Research Facility in California.
Paul Cyzsz, an engineer who worked on the original FDL-7 effort and is guiding PlanetSpace’s Silver Dart work, said the new spacecraft would use a 1960-1970s era shell wrapped around a lighter inner body with updated, modern electronics.
“The advantage of an all metal aircraft is that you can land in any kind of weather,” said Paul Cyzsz, adding that unlike NASA’s space shuttle – which does not land in rain to prevent damage to its exterior. “You can’t trap it in space, it can always get back to the continental United States.”
Cyzsz said the FDL-7’s lifting body design would also give the Silver Dart about twice the lift coefficient as NASA’s space shuttles at subsonic speeds.
More Here: www.space.com/missionlaunches/051215_planetspace_silverdart.html
Great to finally see independant viable space crafts on the table.
I remember Buzz Aldrin working on one and saw video of the craft hovering above the ground with thrusters firing to stablize the thing. I wonder what happened to it?