Hypersonic space plane

Digital rendering of the Stargazer, the company's first conceptual hypersonic vehicle design. (Credit: Venus Aerospace)

HOUSTON — An aerospace company has announced a plane they claim will fly passengers around the world and still get them back home in time for dinner!

Houston start-up Venus Aerospace says the Mach 9 hypersonic aircraft will be capable of “one-hour global travel.” The firm introduced their first conceptual vehicle design, the “Stargazer,” at the UP.Summit in Bentonville, Arkansas.

They explained the Venus Vehicle Engineering Team has been working on this iteration since the company’s founding in 2020.

“At Venus Aerospace we are building the world’s first Spaceplane that can fly at hypersonic speeds at the edge of the atmosphere. A Spaceplane that can take off from LAX and land in Tokyo in an hour, and then make the return flight to get you home for dinner,” a spokesperson explains in a statement, according to SWNS.

Backed by “leading venture capitalists,” Venus says they have received $1 million in government funding for the project, adding “Venus has since raised over $33m to build a Mach 9 hypersonic drone and Mach 9 spaceplane, both capable of one-hour global travel.

Hypersonic space plane
Digital rendering of the Stargazer, the company’s first conceptual hypersonic vehicle design. (Credit: Venus Aerospace)

Hypersonic travel by 2023?

Venus Aerospace claims to have “scaled fast” in the last year, having designed and built its tech demonstration engine, executed key experiments at hypersonic wind tunnels and propulsion test facilities throughout the U.S., and started a ground test campaign at Spaceport Houston.

Over the next year, they plan to start subsonic and supersonic flight testing of a scaled drone.

Venus was founded by Sarah “Sassie” Duggleby, previously Launch Systems Engineering and Mission Management Consultant at Virgin Orbit, and Dr. Andrew Duggleby, former head of launch operations at Virgin Orbit.

Their team consists of a dedicated and experienced team of aerospace, military, and research and development veterans who are “pushing the boundaries of high-speed transportation.”

Hypersonic spaceplane
(Credit: Venus Aerospace)

“The team is maturing its three main technologies: a zero-emission next-generation rocket engine, innovative aircraft shape and leading-edge cooling, which allows the spaceplane to take off from existing spaceports, using existing infrastructure,” the spokesperson tells SWNS.

“Our team is solving the thousands of problems that make hypersonic travel possible. We’re engineering innovative aircraft shapes, heat shields, flight mechanics, and so much more. This is all supported by our next generation zero-carbon emission hypersonic engine.”

Report by South West News Service writer Dean Murray

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