Latest in Science

Image credit:

Commercial space shuttle prototypes fly through wind tunnel testing

44 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

A pair of companies developing their own commercial space shuttles are presumably trying to flatten their hair after some rigorous wind tunnel testing. First up, Blue Origin, founded by Jeff Bezos (the guy behind Amazon), a company that's remained pretty quiet on its efforts to shuttle astronauts to the International Space Station. Its Space Vehicle setup will plump for a biconic shape (seen above), with a flattened side and a split flap. According to Blue Origin's president, Rob Meyerson, the shape allows greater volume than traditional designs, but forgo the "weight penalty" of winged craft. Compared to earlier capsules, the Space Vehicle's shape, with its fuselage flap to generate lift, should also give it better control on re-entry to earth.

Juggling for wind tunnel time, Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser has also been blasted with smoke to test its own air resistance credentials. Its module would launch from the top of the rocket, and glide (as much as anything that costs this much can) back to earth like NASA's own space shuttles. The Dream Chaser is planning its first flight for this fall. You can check out its more traditional take on the future of space travel after the break -- and decide which of the two you'll want sending your children to the mines.

[Picture credit: Blue Origin, SNC]

Image

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Share
44 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
Turns out smartphones aren't making millennials grow horns after all

Turns out smartphones aren't making millennials grow horns after all

View
Google makes Assistant available via a free phone call in India

Google makes Assistant available via a free phone call in India

View
Arcimoto is finally shipping its three-wheeled EV to customers

Arcimoto is finally shipping its three-wheeled EV to customers

View
Tesla's Model 3 joins Audi's E-Tron in claiming top safety award

Tesla's Model 3 joins Audi's E-Tron in claiming top safety award

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr