PlanetSpace Selects Design for 8 Person Orbital Fly Back Spacecraft (Silver Dart); Silver Dart to Be Used for NASA’s Request for Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) Proposal. Thursday December 15, 8:00 am ET

PlanetSpace is please to unveil to the public what we expect to be our next step to orbit. Unknown to the world Canadian Arrow has been collaborating with Prof Paul Czsyz, a well known hypersonic glider expert, to evaluate and select a design that would provide a solid foundation for an orbital fly back spacecraft. After 4 years of research Canadian Arrow has decided to base its next rocket vehicle on a hypersonic glider developed in the early 60’s known as the Flight Dynamics Laboratory #7 (FDL-7). The PlanetSpace version of the FDL-7 is a 45 ft long 8 person hypersonic glider called the Silver Dart.

“The Silver Dart allows us to build on the work we are now doing with our Canadian Arrow rocket. A cluster of 10 Canadian Arrow rocket engines provide the 700,000 lbs of thrust required to boost the Silver Dart to orbit. PlanetSpace is one of only a handful of organizations that can provide this kind of thrust in a booster vehicle,” said Geoff Sheerin president and CEO of PlanetSpace.

After the first manned flights of the Canadian Arrow rocket, PlanetSpace will focus on development of the heavy lift booster to pave the way for the first flights of the Silver Dart to orbit. Early test will include the completion of a suborbital version of the Silver Dart.

“The specifications for the Silver Dart were finished back in 2001 in anticipation of a requirement for a space station transport vehicle for use by NASA and other private initiatives. We can see in NASA’s recent announcements this requirements is fast becoming a reality,” said Sheerin.

“One of the most practical operational aspects of the FDL-7 class of hypersonic gliders was that the lifting body configuration forms an inherently stable hypersonic glider from Mach 22 to landing. This design came out of work started in the 50’s by the Air Force Flight Dynamics Laboratory. When the Government decided to exclude the military from space developments the significance of this design was lost,” said Paul Czysz president of HyperTech Concepts LLC.

Paul Czysz, who is also a part of the PlanetSpace board of advisors, will help guide development of the Silver Dart at Canadian Arrow.

“We have always stated that PlanetSpace will have both suborbital and orbital vehicles in our company. The Silver Dart is the beginning of what will be the orbital vehicle to provide different services and capabilities to our customers including responding to NASA’s request for Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS),” said Dr Chirinjeev Kathuria, Chairman PlanetSpace.

You can read all about the history of the FDL-7 in the new book written by Paul Czysz and Claudio Bruno called “FUTURE SPACE CRAFT PROPULSION SYSTEMS” Published by Springer-PRAXIS and on sale in stores March 2006.

About PlanetSpace

PlanetSpace Corporation is an international joint venture created by Dr Chirinjeev Kathuria, his affiliated companies and Canadian Arrow, to capitalize upon a variety of both developed and undeveloped commercial, consumer and industrial spaceflight markets. PlanetSpace expects to be the first company to launch commercial passengers to suborbital space and in the first five years of flight expects to create at least 2,000 “citizen explorers”.

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