Venus Aerospace is a team of literal rocket scientists and they are developing a hypersonic aircraft that enables one hour travel anywhere in the world. It takes off and lands like a regular jet. But once it’s over water and is at 35,000 feet, the rockets kick in.
Venus CEO and co-founder Sassie Duggleby says; “It boosts to the edge of the atmosphere where you are traveling at 170,000 feet at Mach 9 and cruise across the world, coming down on the other side. Los Angeles to Tokyo in one hour.”
Duggleby says you cannot fire off the rocket attached to the aircraft right off the bat because rockets are incredibly loud.
“If you’ve ever been around a rocket that takes off, it makes an incredible amount of noise,” Duggleby said. “They break windows five miles away. There are issues with sonic booms over land so initially, we would have to be out over water.”
Any big body would do, including the Gulf of Mexico close to the company’s hometown of Houston.
So, what could you expect in that aircraft?
Duggleby says once the rocket fires it would feel similar to a jet engine takeoff. You’ll be pushed back in your seat for perhaps ten minutes. And once that phase is over “the sky will turn from blue to black. You will actually see the stars. You should be able to look out of the window and see the curvature of the earth. We talk about the astronauts having ‘aha’ moments. We believe every one of our passengers will have that same experience in just being able to see the beauty that is the earth from a totally different perspective.”
This phase lasts about 30 minutes. You’ll be at the edge of the atmosphere but you won’t be weightless, unbuckling, and floating around the fuselage. The craft at this point is going around 7,000 miles an hour.
This technology is modeled on a well-known program, the space shuttle.
“The space shuttle, when it would come out of orbit would actually come out of orbit in Japan at speeds of Mach 9, Mach 10 and glide across the world and land in the United States,” Duggleby said.
Duggleby says a person would fly across the world, spend a few hours and be home in time for dinner. There would be no jet lag. And there are so many other applications, including transporting military personnel or ambassadors.
“If a factory is down and needs a part, you could literally have it anywhere in the world in an hour,” Duggleby said. “Even global organ transport suddenly opens up to the market.”
She says anytime the world has stepped into the next level of speed and transportation and connectivity “whether you’re going from horses to trains and then automobiles, it has always led to more peace and prosperity across the globe. We feel this is the next step that allows us to be more connected as on earth.”
The company has raised $33 million. The goal is to have this hypersonic aircraft up in the air in about ten years.