Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Venus Aerospace Stargazer spaceplane capable of one-hour global travel

If “time is of the essence,” then the idea of being able to travel from one remote location to another aboard a Venus Aerospace hypersonic aircraft can be appealing. This week, the Houston, Texas-based company unveiled the design concept of a hypersonic passenger aircraft called “Stargazer.”

The Venus Vehicle Engineering team has been working on this iteration since the company’s founding in 2020. Backed by leading Venture Capitalists and with $1M in government funding, Venus aims to develop a Mach 9 hypersonic aircraft that will fly passengers around the world and back home in time for dinner.

Venus Aerospace’s team is comprised of dedicated and experienced aerospace, military, and research and development veterans who are pushing the boundaries of high-speed transportation. It recently announced its $20M Series A, led by Prime Movers Lab. The Venus 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 most recent milestone was the unveiling of the “Stargazer,” the company’s first conceptual vehicle design, at the Up.Summit in Bentonville, Arkansas. The Stargazer is a proposed Mach 9 hypersonic drone and Mach 9 spaceplane, both capable of one-hour global travel. The hypersonic aircraft will take off from a regular airport and then fly to the edge of space.

The vehicle is being designed to carry 12 passengers at speeds of up to Mach 9 (approx. 6,905 mph). It will be able to travel at an altitude of 170,000 feet (around 52 km), according to the company.

Venus says it has scaled fast over the last year. The company 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, Venus will start subsonic and supersonic flight testing of a scaled drone.