EADS Astrium To Develop Spaceplane
EADS Astrium has disclosed that Singapore will be a partner in its suborbital spaceplane program.
At the Global Space & Technology Convention in Singapore, EADS Astrium executives announced that Singapore will be building a small-scale demonstrator of the spaceplane and may be involved in developing parts for the commercial product. EADS Astrium is also hoping Singapore will ultimately have a fleet of its commercial spaceplanes stationed at Singaporeâ€™s Changi Airport.
Christophe Chavagnac, EADS Astriumâ€™s suborbital spaceplane chief engineer and program manager, says Singapore companies will be designing and building a small-scale demonstrator spaceplane used to test aerodynamics and glide capability. It will have no engines, whereas the real vehicle uses turbofan engines as well as a rocket engine.
The spaceplaneâ€™s two fuselage-mounted commercial turbofan engines are needed for takeoff and initial ascent. Once it reaches an altitude of 12 km. (7.5 mi.), the rocket engine takes over.
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