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Bristol Spaceplanes - Hydrogen Peroxide Demonstrator Test Carried Out Successfully

Published by Rob Goldsmith on Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:24 am via: source
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Bristol Spaceplanes has carried out a strapdown test firing of the HPD (Hydrogen Peroxide Demonstrator) sounding rocket that will be used to test in flight a development version of the Ascender rocket engine. The test, shown in this video, was entirely successful.

HPD Image, BSP

HPD Image, BSP

The video is of a test firing of BSP’s HPD (Hydrogen Peroxide Demonstrator). BSP believes hydrogen peroxide is the best oxidiser for the rocket engines of first-generation spaceplanes such as Ascender.

The test, shown in the video, was entirely successful. The engine is based on UK heritage technology and the production version uses hydrogen peroxide and kerosene as the propellants. The test engine shown here is a development version that uses hydrogen peroxide only.

The exhaust products are steam and oxygen, which is why there is no flame. A nose cone and fin will be added before the HPD rocket will be launched.

New paper ‘The Aviation Approach to Space Transportation’ published in RAeS Aeronautical Journal

A new paper by David Ashford entitled ‘The Aviation Approach to Space Transportation’ has been published this month in the August 2009 of the Aeronautical Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society.

The Aviation Approach to Space Transportation shows how the cost of the first lunar base could be reduced by about ten times if priority were given to spaceplane development. The key argument is that operational prototypes of reusable launch vehicles can be built in experimental workshops, leading to great reductions in development cost. You cannot do this with expendable vehicles intended for human spaceflight because of their poor safety record.



To get launch costs down, we have to start thinking aeroplane rather than missile. The paper recommends that Ares 1 be replaced by a spaceplane and that Ares 5 should be designed to be fully reusable. The main point of the paper is to show how these changes could greatly reduce costs while hardly affecting timescales.

Within about fifteen years, the cost of science in space could approach that of science in Antarctica, and visits to space hotels could be affordable by middle-income people prepared to save.

This paper has also been submitted to the Review of U.S. Human Space Flight Plans Committee, chaired by Norman Augustine, for their consideration. To read or download the paper, click here or see the Library section.

For more information on Bristol Spaceplanes, read David Ashford’s Space Fellowship Interview Here

Rob Goldsmith
Great news to see David making progress with Bristol Spaceplanes! Congrat's! :)
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