Encyclopedia Astronautica

American manned spaceplane. Study 2004. X-Prize suborbital seaplane-spacecraft of Advent Launch Services of Houston, Texas. Reached the stage of engineering tests by 2003.

Mayflower was a concept of Advent Launch Services of Houston, Texas, USA, under a team led by Jim Akkerman. The Advent spacecraft was launched vertically from water and landed horizontally like a sea plane. Advent Launch Services was a group of NASA retirees with extensive experience with space vehicle development. A full-scale engineering test vehicle was completed and rocket engine tests were performed in June 2003. Results of these tests led to some redesign of propulsion system components.

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Associated Countries
See also
  • America's Space Prize Following the success of the Ansari X-Prize in motivating flight of the first commercial suborbital manned spacecraft, Robert Bigelow announced the 'America's Space Prize' - $ 50 million - to the first team to fly an orbital manned spacecraft that completes two missions safely and successfully by January 10, 2010. More...
  • X-Prize The X-Prize competition was an attempt to promote commercial civilian spaceflight in a manner similar to the prizes handed out in the early days of aviation. Ten million dollars was to go to the first team to fly a vehicle capable of launching three people into space (defined as an altitude of 100 km in a suborbital trajectory), twice in a two-week period. The vehicle had to be 90% reusable by dry mass. For purposes of the two flights, the competition accepted flight by one person and ballast equivalent to two others at 90 kg per passenger. More...

Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • Advent American manufacturer of spacecraft. Advent, Houston, Texas, USA. More...

Mayflower Chronology

2003 June 13 - .
  • Mayflower engine test. - . Nation: USA. Program: X-Prize. Spacecraft: Mayflower. Summary: Advent Launch Systems (Houston, Texas, USA) performed a hot fire testing their propulsion system. Combustion downstream of the nozzle throat resulted in an explosion that did not destroy the vehicle, but caused damage to the nozzle and feed system.

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