Secretive Blue Origin Reveals New Details of Spacecraft Plans
2012-05-09 0:00

By Leonard David | ScientificAmerican.com

The curtain of secrecy is being raised by Blue Origin, a private entrepreneurial space group designing both suborbital and orbital vehicles.

Backed by Amazon.com mogul Jeff Bezos, the Kent, Wash.-based Blue Origin group has completed wind tunnel testing of its next-generation craft, simply called the "Space Vehicle." It would transport up to seven astronauts to low-Earth orbit and the International Space Station. Though the company has been stingy on public information in the past, new details of the recent work have been released.


Steve Knowles, Blue Origin project manager (left) points out details of Blue Origin’s BE-3 engine thrust chamber assembly to NASA Administrator Charles Bolden. Blue Origin is one of NASA’s partners developing innovative systems to reach low-Earth orbit. Image: Griffin Communications Group


Blue Origin’s spacecraft sports a biconic shape, with its design refined by more than 180 wind tunnel tests and extensive computational fluid dynamics analysis. To help validate the spacecraft’s shape and body flap configuration, tests were recently carried out over several weeks at Lockheed Martin’s High Speed Wind Tunnel Facility in Dallas.

The testing was conducted as part of Blue Origin’s partnership with NASA, under the agency’s Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program, which awarded the company $22 million in 2011 to develop the vehicle.



Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) image of Blue Origin’s next-generation Space Vehicle. Photo By Blue Origin/Griffin Communications Group


"Our Space Vehicle’s innovative biconic shape provides greater cross-range and interior volume than traditional capsules without the weight penalty of winged spacecraft," said Rob Meyerson, president and program manager of Blue Origin.

"This is just one of the vehicle’s many features that enhance the safety and affordability of human spaceflight, a goal we share with NASA," Meyerson said in a statement.

[...]


Also, the company’s "pusher" launch abort system is headed for testing later this summer. Those appraisals will spotlight an ability to control the flight path of a subscale crew capsule using a thrust vector control system.

"The pusher escape system for our suborbital system [called New Shepard] means you can get the capsule and the people away at anytime, for any reason," Alexander said.

[...]


Read the full article at: scientificamerican.com




Related Articles
Does Asteroid Mining Violate Space Law?
Huge, Mysteriously Silent Satellite Spotted by Another Spacecraft
James Cameron, Google Founders, Billionaires, Fund Mysterious Space Venture Company
Billionaires should be allowed to BUY up planets and rip up an out-of-date space treaty, claims expert


Latest News from our Front Page

Twitter Characterizes Criticism of Islam as "Hate Speech"
2016-02-11 23:39
"Advocacy" against religion off limits As it prepares to work with a ‘Trust and Safety Council’ that critics allege will police content, Twitter’s own rules characterize criticism of religion as “hate speech”. Earlier this week, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey announced the formation of the council under the Orwellian justification that “freedom of expression….starts with safety.” Despite claiming the council comprises a “diversity of ...
Twitter Recruits Feminist Who Thinks “Everything is Racist” to Police Content
2016-02-11 22:39
Social media censorship purge of conservatives accelerates Twitter has hired a feminist who thinks “everything is racist” and that criticizing feminism is hate speech to police its content. Source: infowars.com
Don't be fooled by Bernie Sanders - he's a diehard communist
2016-02-11 3:50
As polls tighten and self-described socialist Bernie Sanders looks more like a serious contender than a novelty candidate for president, the liberal media elite have suddenly stopped calling him socialist. He’s now cleaned up as a “progressive” or “pragmatist.” But he’s not even a socialist. He’s a communist. Mainstreaming Sanders requires whitewashing his radical pro-communist past. It won’t be easy to do. If ...
Roosh Really is a Rape Advocate (& a Rapist, if He’s Telling the Truth)
2016-02-11 3:16
Ed comment: When we covered the press conference earlier this week. We wrote: There are many different levels of criticism that is thrown around - perhaps some more valid than others.Well, the below piece is just such valid criticism. It's clear that the media made the right accusation, BUT over the wrong material. The most recent accusation was clearly based on ...
New Hampshire Voters "Outright Crazy" Says Bilderberger Carl Bildt, Ex-Prime Minister Of Europe’s Rape Capital
2016-02-11 1:17
The people of New Hampshire are “outright crazy” for voting for U.S. Republican candidate Donald Trump and Democrat contender Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) , a former Swedish Prime Minister and foreign minister has said. After the primary results were announced, Carl Bildt tweeted this morning that he had always felt New Hampshire to be a “decent small place”. Not anymore, however: Mr Bildt served ...
More News »