Scramjet-Based Project Looks to Blast Australia into Space

By Darren Quick, Gizmag – The list of spacefaring nations remains small, but thanks to continuing advances in technology that promise to reduce the financial and logistical hurdles involved, the numbers are set to increase. One country that could be joining the club, if the University of Queensland (UQ) and Heliaq Advanced Engineering get their way, is Australia. The two are teaming up on a project intended to deliver payloads weighing from 50 to 500 kg (110 to 1,102 lb) into orbit. Called Spartan, the planned three-stage project is aimed at riding the surge of interest in the small satellite market. The first stage consists of a reusable rocket booster called the Austral Launch Vehicle (ALV). This would launch vertically carrying the upper stages of a rocket to scramjet take-over speed of Mach five before releasing them at an altitude of around 25 km (15 mi). The ALV would...

Read More...