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

West’s tributes to late Saudi King reveal hypocrisy not democracy
2015-01-27 2:16
Hypocrisy is not usually regarded as a virtue of leadership, yet judging by the gushing tributes paid to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah by various Western governments and establishment figures on his death, there are those who believe it should be. In the UK this hypocrisy has been stretched to breaking point with the decision to fly the flags over Downing ...
Millions of GMO insects could be set loose in Florida Keys
2015-01-27 2:34
Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases. Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood. "This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease," said Michael Doyle, executive ...
Furguson Scared The Super - Rich So Bad They're Planning Exits
2015-01-27 0:22
According to a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ferguson and Occupy absolutely terrified the world’s super-rich, and now they’re buying airstrips and farms in remote locations to escape to. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which was held between January 21-24, over 2,500 leaders in the fields of business, international politics, academia and journalism met to discuss ...
The Ring Of The Nibelungs
2015-01-27 0:20
Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King (also known as Ring of the Nibelungs, Die Nibelungen, Curse of the Ring, and Sword of Xanten) is a 2004 German television film directed by Uli Edel and starring Benno Fürmann, Alicia Witt, Kristanna Loken, and Max von Sydow. The film is based on the Norse mythology story Völsungasaga and the German epic poem Nibelungenlied, ...
Google Street View Shows NAACP Bombing a Hoax
2015-01-26 22:58
Caught in the act: NAACP passing off old soot marks as new in ‘bomb’ hoax NAACP Colorado Chapter President Henry D. Allen Jr. has been caught in the act of passing off old soot marks as new damage from the recent ‘explosion’ at the Colorado Springs chapter headquarters. Although Gotnews.com has previously remarked on the minimal damage as reported by the ...
More News »