Bio: Richard Osborne is a consultant on the SKYLON single stage to orbit space plane, as well as a rocket propulsion consultant on other space launch projects. He is also a member of the international Project Icarus, working on a viable design for an interstellar spaceprobe. Richard holds an MSc in Remote Sensing (specialising in Martian surface analysis), BSc in Physics, undertook research work for a Doctorate in Astrophysics (specialising in stellar magnetohydrodynamics), as well as CPhys, CSci, FRAS, FBIS. He currently also serves as Chair of the British Interplanetary Society's Technical Committee looking at future space technologies.
A new era in manned spaceflight currently beckons, with new space planes and space capsules being developed by private industry, along with inflatable space habitats and other technologies which would have seemed like science fiction to many, even a few decades ago. This talk will give an overview of what is being developed in manned spaceflight technology, some of the disruptive technologies which will allow all of us to go, and the work being undertaken to design a 21st century interstellar probe.
Hybrid Air Vehicles Ltd. is developing the SkyCat, a new class of lighter-than-air vehicles which are highly maneuverable using ducted fans, and able to take off and land vertically on any surface. HAV envisions designs with up to 1,000 tons payload for strategic airlift, humanitarian rescue, and service in the oil and gas industries.
HAV recently won a major role in a $500 million contract with the US Army, partnering with Northrop-Grumman to develop the LEMV (Long Endurance Multi intelligence Vehicle), a long-duration surveillance platform.
Rocketeer comments: I note that the projected dimensions of the internal payload bay on the SkyCat 200 are almost large enough to accommodate an assembled Falcon-9 stack including payload. One could envision a modified SkyCat capable of carrying two EELV-class stacks underslung side by side. The vehicle would pick them up from the assembly plant, fly to the launch site, and lower them directly onto launch erectors.