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
Facebook looks to reduce white share of staff
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has voiced a desire to transform the demographics of Facebook's employee base to better echo the company's billion-plus international users. However, Facebook's most recent diversity report revealed that white men continue to have a claim on positions at Facebook.
The online social networking service claims that diversity is central to the company's mission, observing &"Our work is producing ...
New DOJ Statistics on Race and Violent Crime
Numbers finally include Hispanics as an offender category.
Heather Mac Donald of the Manhattan Institute has just published a table of statistics on race and violent crime that she received from the Department of Justice. For the first time in figures of this kind, DOJ has treated Hispanics as a separate category rather than lumping them in with whites. These data cover all ...
Fanning the Flames of Another Black Church Arson Hoax
America is still reeling from the horrific Charleston, S.C., massacre at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church that claimed the lives of nine innocent people.
The last thing the community and our country need are hysterical journalists compounding the pain with inflammatory reporting on an unsubstantiated “epidemic” of black church arsons.
On Monday, a Baltimore Sun lead editorial decried “a series of mysterious ...
Cold War Redux: Do you want to fight in World War Three?
The rhetoric coming of Washington is pushing us dangerously close to a world changing scenario.
In the following episode of CrossTalk, Peter Lavelle discusses the way Russia and Putin are being framed by Western governments and mainstream media with guests including Chris Hedges. The dangers of ignoring historical context when reporting ‘news’ is examined, along with the pure ‘imperial hubris’ of ...
Survey Says: 35 Percent of Americans Would Expatriate
As the Fourth of July weekend looms and Americans prep their grills and ready their fireworks, some citizens are packing their bags.
A recent online poll of more than 2,000 adults by TransferWise, a peer-to-peer money transfer service based in the United Kingdom, revealed that 35 percent of American-born residents and emigrants would considering leaving the United States to live in ...
|More News » |