posted on May, 11 2004 @ 03:45 AM
There have been several articles about ESA's Pheonix test shttle for the ESA Hopper or Space Hopper proposal
The prototype has just complete it first successful drop tests.
The interesting thing for me is the proposed lauching mechanism for the Space Hopper which is 7 times larger than the Phoenix which is seven metres
long and has a wing span of four metres. This would launch on a sled running on a four-kilometre-long track at Europe's space base in French Guiana,
accelerated by either magnetic fields or steam.
At a height of 130 km, the vehicle would fire an expendable rocket to place its satellite payload into orbit. It would then "hop" down to an island
in the Atlantic Ocean and be taken back to French Guiana by ship.
EADS says a reusable launch vehicle like Hopper could halve the cost of sending a satellite into orbit, which now stands at $15,000 per kilogram of
Does anyone have any more info on the proposed lauch system hoe fast how high it will send the Hopper and what power requirement will be?