4 July 2008
News - Vehicles (Good)
The Return of Starchaser
Announcing Nova 2
by Alan Breakstone
Flight International's Rob Coppinger reports that Starchaser is building a new manned rocket.

Starchaser's July 1 announcement of the Nova 2 vehicle (which was scooped by HobbySpace's Clark Lindey several days earlier) reveals a single-seat reusable suborbital rocket serving as a preliminary step to the company's Thunderstar tourist craft.

During the Ansari X-Prize competition, Starchaser built the Nova 1 single-seat test rocket. But Nova 1 was launched only once -- a low-altitude unmanned flight -- before Burt Rutan and his rocketeers won the X-Prize with SpaceShipOne in 2004. Starchaser went semi-underground after that, mainly engaging in educational programs in the public sphere, though it also expressed interest in New Mexico's fledgling Spaceport America.

Now, it looks as if Starchaser is chasing the stars once again. Much about Nova 2 remains a mystery, although photos can be found on the company's website, here. Whether the British company has the funding to complete and fly Nova 2 remains to be seen. We'll be keeping our eyes open.
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Alan Breakstone 4 July 2008
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