Boeing Research & Technology (BR&T) and Australia-based Hypersonix Launch Systems have agreed to conduct a joint study on the design of a reusable hypersonic vehicle, used for the sustainable launch of satellites to low-Earth orbit (LEO).
The vehicle is expected to be powered by the Hypersonix SPARTAN – a fully composite reusable accelerating scramjet engine, capable of speeds of Mach 12.
"The agreement with Hypersonix demonstrates Boeing's continued commitment to building out critical sovereign capability, supporting the development of Australia's space industry – safely and sustainably – and also partnering with small and medium-sized enterprises," Brendan Nelson, president of Boeing Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific, said.
Dr Michael Smart, head of R&D and co-founder of Hypersonix, said the firm’s launch system provides satellite network operators with a “green and sustainable” method of launching satellites to LEO.
“We ‘fly to space’, are fully re-usable and we use green hydrogen to provide a high cadence and flexible LEO launch service,” he said.
“Boeing’s long history with sophisticated high-speed airframe design and hypersonic flight makes them an ideal partner for Hypersonix.
Dr Kevin Bowcutt, principle senior technical fellow and chief scientist of hypersonics, BR&T, said Boeing has a “proven track record” of supporting the safe introduction of new hypersonics technologies and platforms.
“Boeing has had decades of experience testing and operating hypersonic technology, including supporting NASA and USAF in flying the very first air-breathing hypersonic test vehicles,” he added.
“This makes Boeing the right company to partner with to develop a revolutionary new approach to delivering payload to space in a sustainable way.”
Hypersonix, which received an Accelerating Commercialisation Grant from the Department of Industry last year, is also working on the supply of green hydrogen as fuel for the SPARTAN scramjet.
News Editor – Defence and Cyber, Momentum Media
Prior to joining the defence and aerospace team in 2020, Charbel was news editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business, where he covered developments in the banking and financial services sector for three years. Charbel has a keen interest in geopolitics and international relations, graduating from the University of Notre Dame with a double major in politics and journalism. Charbel has also completed internships with The Australian Department of Communications and the Arts and public relations agency Fifty Acres.
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