Secretive Blue Origin Reveals New Details of Spacecraft Plans
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
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
Galaxy Poll: 86 per cent of Australians want childhood vaccination to be compulsory?
Australians want Prime Minister Tony Abbott to make childhood vaccination compulsory and close loopholes that allow vaccine refusers to put all children at risk.
An exclusive national Galaxy poll commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph has revealed overwhelming support to ensure every child is vaccinated.
The highest support for compulsory jabs is in South Australia, where 90 per cent support the call.
The poll ...
Eye in the sky: Local police now using drones to spy on citizens
The Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office is doing something that no other agency in Harris County is believed to have done yet: Use drones to help fight crime.
It's an eye in the sky for law enforcement, without giving up the element of surprise.
"It could absolutely save lives," says Constable Alan Rosen.
Rosen says the agency's two new $1,200 drones, which ...
New Zealander of the Year: refuse vaccines, lose money
Following in the footsteps of Australia, 2014 New Zealander of the Year, Dr. Lance Oâ€™Sullivan, wants to punish people who donâ€™t get vaccinated.
The New Zealand Herald (4/15) reports:
â€œA leading New Zealand doctor has called on the Government to follow Australiaâ€™s example to cut child welfare payments to families who do not vaccinate their children, saying the policy would help protect ...
Iris Scanner Identifies a Person 40 Feet Away
Police traffic stops are in the news again, tragically, sparking a new round of discussion on whether and how to outfit police with cameras and other technology.
For several years now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon Universityâ€™s CyLab Biometrics Center have been testing an iris recognition system that can be used to identify subjects at a range of up to 40 feet.
Yes, You Can Catch Insanity
One day in March 2010, Isak McCune started clearing his throat with a forceful, violent sound. The New Hampshire toddler was 3, with a Beatles mop of blonde hair and a cuddly, loving personality. His parents had no idea where the guttural tic came from. They figured it was springtime allergies.
Soon after, Isak began to scream as if in pain ...
|More News » |