(SPACE.com) -- A space tourism group developing a suborbital rocket ship is now taking aim at orbital trips with a new spacecraft that doubles as a hypersonic glider.Uhhhhhhhh…hold on a minute. What V2 rocket design are we talking about here? Admittedly, I’m no rocket scientist (to coin a term) but the only V2 rockets I’ve ever heard of were the pioneer rocket weapons used by the Nazis in World War II.
Canada's London, Ontario-based firm PlanetSpace unveiled designs for its Silver Dart spacecraft, an eight-person vehicle derived from experimental aircraft studies in the 1970s, Thursday with hopes of carrying fare-paying passengers into orbit and resupplying the international space station (ISS).
"The Silver Dart is the DC-3 of the space industry," said Geoff Sheerin, PlanetSpace president and CEO, in a telephone interview. "It has so many things going for it in terms of performance."
Sheerin's Silver Dart program is separate from his Canadian Arrow effort to use a proven V2 rocket design to build a three-person rocket ship for suborbital flights.
Plans for the Silver Dart date back about four years as Sheerin was researching the Canadian Arrow rocket to compete in the $10 million Ansari X Prize competition for suborbital spaceflight.
And that’s not the only mention of old technology that has me a bit worried. The few paragraphs I reprinted also include a reference to 1970s experimental aircraft and a later comparison to the DC-3, a 1930s aircraft. What, they aren’t using breakthrough steam power technology that ended the age of sails?