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A Houston Startup Is Building a Zero-Emissions Mach 9 Spaceplane for Hypersonic Air Travel

From electric air taxis to commercial airliners running on hydrogen, air travel is about to change forever. Unprecedented speed, reduced carbon emissions, and highly-advanced avionics are some of the key characteristics of all “aircraft of the future.” Some of these aircraft are even being developed by space experts like the ones at Venus Aerospace.
The Houston-based startup is building a spaceplane for hypersonic flight 6 photos
Venus is betting on hypersonic flightVenus is betting on hypersonic flightVenus is betting on hypersonic flightVenus Aerospace TeamVenus Aerospace Team
An air vehicle that can take you “around the world and back home in time for dinner” is certainly exciting, but it is currently still elusive. Hopefully, not for long. A young company based in Houston, Texas, claims to be almost ready to launch a spaceplane that could literally fly anywhere in the world in one hour, at a jaw-dropping Mach 9 (6,850 mph/11,000 kph) speed.

What makes this concept intriguing is that it’s supposed to combine an innovative shape with an advanced rocket engine. And, of course, it will be emissions-free.

Although the Venus spaceplane is still mysterious, as the company hasn’t released any images or details about it so far, it looks to be on the right track. The startup says that it has already built a demonstration engine and completed initial testing at several hypersonic wind tunnels and propulsion test facilities in the U.S.

Also, it recently secured $20 million in a Series A funding round led by Prime Movers Lab, a company that invests in breakthrough scientific startups. This raises the aerospace company’s total funding to $33 million, which it’s using to bring some of the best experts in rocket science and engineering on board, as well to further develop the future hypersonic spaceplane.

The U.S. is in the middle of a global race for hypersonic technology” said Prime Movers Lab General Partner, Brandon Simmons. A spaceplane that could take passengers from the U.S. to Japan, for example, in less than an hour, is an important part of that equation.

At the moment, Venus Aerospace is maturing its three main technologies – the advanced engine, the innovative spaceplane design, and the cutting-edge cooling technology, and gearing up for flight tests at Spaceport Houston.

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