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Guest: Jess Sponable; Topics: Multiple topics around launch including vertical takeoff and landing, horizontal takeoff and landing, the DC-X reunion, DARPA, AFRL, New Frontier Aerospace (NFA), hypersonics, point to point flight.
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We welcomed Jess Sponable to the program to talk about the DC-X reunion just completed plus many other topics including both vertical takeoff and landing for launch, horizontal takeoff and landing for launch, reusability, hypersonic flight, point to point rocket and hypersonic flight, China and space plus China’s technology development and more. In addition, Jess had many stories to tell us from his DARPA and AFRL days. As with other Space Show programs, please follow the tags for the topics discussed during this program. For your convenience, the tags are repeated below.
Tags: Jess Sponable, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), demo flights, launch politics, LOX, Atlas, Delta, Titan, Starship landing, soft landings, DC-X reunion, AF, DOD, DC-X museum, White Sands, NM, DC-X for human spaceflight, reusable launch, Pete Conrad stories, space shuttle commentary, horizontal takeoff and landing, China, maneuverable hypersonic weapon, point to point hypersonic flight, New Frontier Aerospace (NFA) optimizing vertical takeoff and landing, skin temperature, scramjets, the SR71 example, NFA co-founders, VTOL bias, two types of VTOL, natural gas as a fuel, the SUSTAIN project, single stage to orbit, XS-1 DARPA experimental vehicle, AFRL boost back, Stokes Space, Truax and the big dumb rocket, China lead.
Our lead story and perhaps the reason for this interview focused on the DC-X reunion. Jess was a big part of the project and the reunion and had much to say about DC-X and its place in history. Listeners also asked several questions including questions about the relevancy of the project for today. Please pay attention to the DC-X segment as we also addressed vertical launch, fuels, and much more. Do post your thoughts on our blog regarding the value and importance of DC-X then and now. We want to hear from you.
As mentioned above, Jess had much to say about vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) plus horizontal takeoff and landing. Our discussion included hypersonic flight and the potential for point-to-point flight. This included a look at the Chinese space program and their military focused hypersonic weapons program. Jess did much of this work with DARPA and the AFRL so do listen to his stories and what he had to share with us on these topics.
Our guest talked extensively about his new company, New Frontier Aerospace (https://www.nfaero.com). NFA has the goal of delivering cargo and/or passengers to anywhere on Earth within two hours. Jess talked about the technology and the plans plus you can read about NFA, their engine development for the Mjölnir
3D-printed, full-flow staged combustion engine. Jess, speaking as President & Chief Operating Officer of the company, had much to say about it, the technology, goals and more. We will be keeping an eye on the company for future Space Show programs.
Please post your comments/questions for Jess on our blog for this show. You can reach our guest through me or the NFA website.