The Radian One craft aims to be the world’s first crewed, single-stage to orbit vehicle with runway-like take-off and landing. Washington-based Radian Aerospace has announced their “disruptive launch vehicle” has reached a key milestone. “Our fully reusable, aircraft-like configuration requires far less infrastructure than vertical launch systems and can be re-flown within 48 hours.”
The company say they have “operated in stealth mode” focusing on the design and initial development of the Radian One aerospace vehicle.
They add that it will “fill the efficiency and capability gaps that exist with traditional vertical rockets”.
The craft will take of subsonically, with full propellant tanks, reaching low-Earth Orbit – where missions could range rom once around to five days in orbit.
Upon reentry, wings allow smooth landing on any 10,000ft runway. Landing to launch times can then be achieved as fast as 48 hours.
Radian’s system will be capable of a wide range of space operations, including the delivery of people and light cargo.
Richard Humphrey, CEO and co-founder of Radian, said: “We believe that widespread access to space means limitless opportunities for humankind.
“Over time, we intend to make space travel nearly as simple and convenient as airliner travel.
“We are not focused on tourism, we are dedicated to missions that make life better on our own planet, like research, in-space manufacturing, and terrestrial observation, as well as critical new missions like rapid global delivery right here on Earth.”
Brett Rome, from one of the key investors, said that the world has been “lacking” low-cost space travel.
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“Radian is leveraging existing enabling technologies with high technology readiness levels and integrating them in ways never done before.”
Livingston Holder, Radian’s other co-founder, said the revolutionary design sets the company apart from the rest of the market.
He added: “Wings offer capabilities and mission types that are simply not possible with traditional vertical takeoff right circular cylinder rockets.
“What we are doing is hard, but it’s no longer impossible thanks to significant advancements in materials science, miniaturisation, and manufacturing technologies.”