Machine Design

Spaceship has room for six adults

The California company that built the hybrid rocket motor for SpaceShipOne says it has completed plans for a safe, affordable launch system — the SpaceDev Dream Chaser — able to carry six passengers into low earth orbit.

 

The California company that built the hybrid rocket motor for SpaceShipOne says it has completed plans for a safe, affordable launch system — the SpaceDev Dream Chaser — able to carry six passengers into low earth orbit.

CEO Jim Benson says the company can "quickly develop a safe and affordable space-transportation system based on existing propulsion technologies and vehicle designs." The primary target is the space tourism market, but SpaceDev says its project could also offer routine, safe, and affordable access to the International Space Station for NASA. The plan calls for multiple manned suborbital test flights by 2008, and manned test flights to orbit by 2010. The launch-system propulsion modules would be scaled-up versions of the motor used on SpaceShipOne.

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