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Dr Mordrid
2nd November 2006, 19:46
There's been a mystery private space program fot the last couple of years operating under the name Blue Origin. Well funded by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos the design has been a close held secret until now.

The FAA has published the environmental impact statement, and right there on the cover is a rendering of the ship - named the "New Shepard RLV" (reusable launch vehicle);

http://digitalvideo.8m.net/blueorigin/bonewshepardrlv.jpg

Look familiar? It should. It's a dead ringer for the Boeing DC-X "Delta Clipper";

http://www.princeton.edu/~stengel/DC-X.JPEG

Delta Clipper took off vertically but could then translate sideways, hover then land on its tail.

schmosef
2nd November 2006, 20:20
So what's the connection?

Dr Mordrid
2nd November 2006, 20:35
The connection is that NASA has been licensing off a lot of their canceled programs to private space companies for further development, and it appears to be bearing fruit.

DC-X, the Delta Clipper, was a project to explore single stage to orbit. BTW: aeroshell by Rutans Scaled Composites.

Bigelow started his very successful inflatable habitat program by licensing NASA's TransHab tech and improving on it. Genesis I was orbited a couple of months ago and Genesis II goes up after the first of the year. The first human-rated Sundancer goes up ~2009-2010.

http://www.explorersweb.com/sitemedia/TSthumbs/pythom/transhab.jpg

SpaceDev's Dream Chaser private spaceplane is the HL-20 10 passenger 'space taxi' NASA developed to take crews to the ISS so as to free up the shuttle. Canceled by NASA as well. SpaceDev's version is to be a 6 seater and use multiple hybrid rockets.

http://uk.geocities.com/osaka2015/hl20.JPG
http://www.daviddarling.info/images/Dream_Chaser_plan.jpg