ThunderStruck Spacecraft Details
It has been spoken about before with other spacecraft design, but let’s put it clearly on the table. ThunderStruck is a multipurpose spacecraft designed as a carrier for your payload. It is modular. The systems on board will be designed to fit into a several configurations:
- A winged vehicle for straight up and down flight, launched on a sounding rocket for microgravity experiments. The vehicle will need min or heat shielding and will land on a runway. A capsule and parachute is also a possibility.
- A winged vehicle for LEO reentry. A capsule with heat shield and parachute is also possible.
- A capsule for high speed reentry – a bigger heat shield and a parachute.
These are just a couple of the possibilities. Others are:
- Laser or radio communications
- optional ion engine for long distance travel
- navigation aids
- Power systems / solar configuration.
- Cold gas or chemical thrusters
Of course there is more, but like a Lego system, these units will be basically a plug and play system. The units ensure compatibility and we can optionally open the payload doors if additional power or access to space is needed. The doors may have solar panel deployment.
We expect that the craft will not be sold, but the service rented. Place your payload in the spacecraft and we will take it where it is needed, we can swap out payloads and take on new payloads and we can return. It is expected that we can also stay on station and control the attitude, etc of your experiment for many years with no expectation of the craft returning to earth. ie no heat shields, no parachute.
If we are to rent such a service, it means that we also have to supply the mission control centre; backup centre; global links, receiving/transmitting stations and much more. The ThunderStruck concept is not just a spacecraft, it is a space service.
Ideally it would be great to have this small craft land in Australia, but if other countries wish to take part, spaceports around the world would be a consideration for a winged landing. With full autonomy on landing, once the destination details are uploaded, the flight systems will fully control the flight all the way to the ground, but given that this is a glider, it would need priority on the landing spaceport runway and the airspace to lead into the landing strip. This would suit dedicated spaceports where the runway is not for commercial aircraft landing or incoming spacecraft have priority.
Okay, there is a glimpse to the long term ThunderStruck spacecraft and its mode of operation. All comments appreciated.
There is one more important factor soon to be made public – the ThunderStruck team! Also the associations that we are making with important companies. Stay tuned for details.