Has Burt Rutan done it again?
April 20, 2003 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Scaled Composites unveils a privately built spacecraft Could this be the leapfrog event that all of us sci-fi fans have been waiting for? If successful he will open up space for organizations other than the worlds most wealthy governments. Warp speed Mr. Sulu! (sorry getting a little carried away).
posted by canucklehead (11 comments total)
Pretty cool, but they've done some serious 'Photoshopping' to many of the images. Look closely at the engine's exhaust nozzle on the large image shots of the whole vehicle. I get the feeling that rocket engine doesn't really exist in that ship.
posted by BlueScreen at 8:27 AM on April 20, 2003

BlueScreen, they are still choosing between two propulsion systems so yes, there is no nozzle yet.
posted by effer27 at 8:31 AM on April 20, 2003

They're done already? Dammit!

*puts down blowtorch, goes to fridge for cold beer*
posted by Samsonov14 at 9:00 AM on April 20, 2003

yet another commercial space venture...although this one looks a little further along than some of the others. I've pretty much given up on NASA, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for this or any other commercial venture....or China's moon program. It's time for us to look to the stars and capture a spirit of adventure once again. It's what keeps humanity from imploding.
posted by jearbear at 9:16 AM on April 20, 2003

FYI: these guys are known as amazing aircraft builders - they are the ones who built voyager, the airplane that flew around the world with no fuel stops. If anyone could do it...
posted by jearbear at 9:20 AM on April 20, 2003

Anything involving Burt Rutan has a high chance of success. He is an aeronautical genius. As is his brother. One of their planes, as mentioned by jearbear, the Voyager, hangs in the Smithsonian Air and Space museum in DC. They truly are the Wright brothers of the modern era and many people have high hopes they will succeed.
posted by stbalbach at 9:33 AM on April 20, 2003

Wow, I actually agree with stbalbach! Two thumbs up to Rutan and company, and let's hope they get this into production soon because I am getting a ride even if it requires sexual favors.
posted by billsaysthis at 9:48 AM on April 20, 2003

It's what keeps humanity from imploding

I thought humanity was imploding...?
posted by scarabic at 11:11 AM on April 20, 2003

well, true, scarabic. one more reason I have hopes of a new frontier opening up....
posted by jearbear at 11:34 AM on April 20, 2003

warp speed to this thread and this thread
posted by 4easypayments at 2:40 PM on April 20, 2003

From the Scaled FAQ:

Does it pollute the atmosphere?
The products of combustion are mostly benign (water vapor, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and nitrogen and some carbon monoxide) and certainly much more friendly than any other class of rocket propulsion.

I'm surprised they're unfamiliar with Oxygen (an oxidizer) and Hydrogen (a fuel) which when fired, produce only water vapor (H20) as exhaust. It doesn't get much cleaner than that, certainly not if your solution produces Carbon Monoxide...
posted by kfury at 9:14 PM on April 20, 2003

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