USyd and Hypersonix are building a hydrogen-powered spaceplane called Delta Velos, with the aim of putting satellites into orbit.
The spaceplane is owned and developed by Hypersonix, an Australian space science startup, focused on using green launch technology. It has signed a research collaboration agreement with the University of Sydney, allowing the two bodies to research and manufacture components together. We love a crossover.
The spaceplane is called Delta Velos and is powered by four hydrogen-fuelled scramjet engines, allowing for carbon-neutral propulsion. It’s an unmanned vehicle, looking like a cross between a bullet and a dart in concept art. It’ll also feature 3D printed fixed geometry without moving parts.
The Delta Velos spaceplane is no slow thing, designed to be capable of Mach 5 (6,174kph) and Mach 10 (12,348kph) speeds, all with water vapour. Very spacey.
Several key components are set to be developed by University of Sydney researchers, including the launch system, the vehicle fuselage (the main body of the vehicle) and improved versions of the scramjet engine.
“We are delighted to be working alongside such an innovative, deep technology company like Hypersonix using advanced 3D-printing processes and world-class additive manufacturing facilities for such an important challenge,” says Professor Simon Ringer, a materials engineer and an expert in materials development for additive manufacturing at the University of Sydney. He’s leading the team behind the development of Delta Velos.
“Additive manufacturing is making the previously impossible, possible. This includes the proposed manufacture of satellite-launching spaceplane components right here at the University of Sydney’s Darlington campus.”
The Delta Velos spaceplane project is set to start production in early 2022, with Hypersonix working on some smaller proof-of-concept vehicles to demonstrate the efficacy of the vehicle. DART AE will be the first demo vehicle developed, powered by a SPARTAN scramjet engine with a range of 500km.
“We are pleased to have found such 3D additive engineering facilities in Sydney and are impressed with the capabilities of Simon Ringer’s team,” Says David Waterhouse, the managing director of Hypersonix.
“We are aiming to launch DART AE in the first quarter of 2023. It is good to be busy, right?”
We love a Spaceplane here at Gizmodo Australia.
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