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Houston Startup Unveils Stargazer, a Mach 9 Hypersonic Spaceplane Concept

A company that wants to make “one-hour global flight” possible needs to move fast as well. Just two months after a Series A funding round that enabled it to secure $20 million, this young aerospace company in Houston, Texas, is now unveiling the design concept of its flagship spaceplane called Stargazer.
Venus Aerospace unveiled the design of the Stargazer hypersonic spaceplane 7 photos
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Entrepreneur Sarah “Sassie” Duggleby and Dr. Andrew Duggleby founded Venus Aerospace in 2020 in Houston. The deep technology company’s goal is to develop a hypersonic spaceplane that would fly its passengers “around the world and back home in time for dinner,” meaning that it could conduct flights from the U.S. to Japan, for example, within one hour. That’s the benefit of a whopping Mach 9 (6,850 mph/11,000 kph) speed.

The Houston startup wasted no time in trying to reach that goal. The first step was to design and build a tech demonstration engine, which it describes as a “zero-emissions, next-generation rocket engine.” This was followed by several experiments carried out at various hypersonic wind tunnels and propulsion test facilities in the U.S. and the launch of a ground test campaign at Spaceport Houston.

The most recent milestone was the unveiling of the company’s first vehicle design concept at the Up.Summit in Bentonville, Arkansas. Although it hasn’t provided technical details about the spaceplane, Venus Aerospace claims that Stargazer has an innovative shape. Coupled with the next-generation engine and advanced cooling, this will allow it to take off from any current spaceport.

Until the Mach 9 spaceplane is ready to come to life, the startup will first focus on a hypersonic drone with similar capabilities. The company says it will kick off subsonic and supersonic flight tests for the scaled drone as soon as next year. Considering how much it’s achieved in just two years, it’s possible that a Houston-made Mach 9 spaceplane will be taking to the sky very soon.

press release

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