Kosmolayner 2050: Project or inevitability?

SpaceLiner, presumably, be able to throw fifty passengers from Europe to Australia in 90 minutes — or 100 passengers from Europe to California in an hour. To do this, it must accelerate to M24 — more precisely, up to 25 200 km / h, and at altitudes up to 82 km.

The passenger cabin is fully concentrated in the bow. (Here and below illustrate the DLR.)

"Maybe we better characterize SpaceLiner, saying that it is a kind of second generation Space Shuttle, but with a totally different challenge," — says Martin Zippel, Project Coordinator German aerospace center (DLR). German developers confidence in their own abilities is at least curiosity to compare their offspring with not very successful project (that's us on the shuttle), which was criticized in the period of development, can only be the one who really got something substantial.

So, SpaceLiner will take off vertically using rocket motors closed loop liquid hydrogen and oxygen. Length assumed in the region of 70 meters wingspan — 40 m at maximum take-off weight of 1250 tons maximum range — 16 500 km. So, again, purely German project: expensive, fast and … once more expensive — from 12.5 to 25 tons weight of the aircraft by each passenger. Something like this:

However, designers do not hide that they will not carry the regulars institutions on distribution of free soup. This is a commercial project, they assert, and in the next decade, the German aerospace center will find commercial partners for its implementation.

What about known problems shuttles? Alas, the designers are stingy on the details. True, it is noted that after the active part of the trajectory (speed up) and start planning situation is better than that of the said ship, due to a higher aerodynamic efficiency. Some puzzling sharp nose SpaceLiner: have long shown that at speeds above the M5 does not provide substantial advantages over the rounded, if not the other way around.

Developers, however, downright luchatsya optimism: the final form of aircraft is not already selected, and can be adjusted. But we are guaranteed to be projected to overtake competitors in other countries, koi are going to use open-cycle hypersonic engines (to take the air out of the atmosphere). The truth is, the need to carry much less fuel, which will reduce the price of their projects, but such details in DLR prefer not to remember. But a closed cycle for speed works perfectly well, and no radically new technologies do not have to create, making initiative implemented in the near future, the Germans boast. "We will try to improve the efficiency of the engine, better prefer to work on the possibility of re-use," — emphasizes Herr Zippel.

The first stage after working SpaceLiner fuel will descend by parachute to the surface nearby (due to vertical take-off) from the launch site. She immediately begin to prepare for the re-launch: a reusable first stage — a necessary condition for this project. Built engines will only have to maintain speed on the high part of the trajectory.

Cooling — the Achilles' heel of the shuttles — "becomes active, and thermal protection — effectively", and both processes will focus "on the edge of the wing of the aircraft."

SpaceLiner at the moment of separation of the first stage.

In its current form would certainly raises more questions. At such speeds, taking off and landing over populated areas are excluded: the sound barrier to overcome is not given and the first step will be to descend norovit not fall there. That is subkosmoporty have to build in the desert. In California and Australia, developers, of course, guessed, and that's where they will find the desert in Europe? Start vertical, ie acceleration of the water near the surface is clearly not work. How much will it take to from the spaceport in the middle of the Baltic or the North Sea? And if not easier to revive the "Concord"? ..

Separately deliberately vague traditional aerodynamic shape. Since the time of designing the shuttle decades passed, and now it is clear that their form was not optimal. Meanwhile SpaceLiner obviously close to her. Would not the Germans second Me-262 — the device with motors and speed of one era and the aerodynamics of the previous?

However, even if all and will not be corrected before starting SpaceLiner'a into service is scheduled for 2050, you can convert the project into suborbital tourist empyrean (up to 82 km) — unless, of course, the U.S. private traders at the time and this is not flooded market.

Based on the materials Space.Com.

Category: Technology

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