Secretive Blue Origin Reveals New Details of Spacecraft Plans
2012 05 09

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

Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself
2014 10 30
In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science. One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to ...
Former Cop Headed to Trial for Raping a Child While Other Officers Watched
2014 10 30
Pharr, TX — Trial is set to begin December 1, in the case of former Pharr police officer Erasmo Mata, Jr., accused of repeated first-degree felony sexual assaults of a child. A federal civil lawsuit filed with Texas Southern District Court back in May accused Mata of assaulting the minor five times, on five separate occasions, all while on duty. ...
It Has Been Decided; Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton in ’16
2014 10 28
NY Times: The Bushes, Led by W., Rally to Make Jeb ‘45 ’ As Jeb Bush nears a decision to become the third member of his storied family to seek the presidency, the extended Bush clan and its attendant network are largely rallying behind the prospect and pulling the old machine out of the closet. Rebuttal by The Anti-New York ...
Putin at Valdai - World Order: New Rules or a Game without Rules
2014 10 28
From Youtube: Russian President Vladimir Putin is delivering a speech at the plenary session of Valdai International Discussion Club, a forum involving the world leading experts at foreign and domestic policy.
Hillary – Says Business does NOT Create Jobs – Washington Does?
2014 10 28
We have a very serious problem with Hillary. I was asked years ago to review Hillary’s Commodity Trading to explain what went on. Effectively, they did trades and simply put winners in her account and the losers in her lawyer’s. This way she gets money that is laundered through the markets – something that would get her 25 years today. People ...
More News »