26 July 2013

EuroSpace E950 Minerva Executive Transatmospheric Vehicle (TL9)

The E950 Minerva is an business transatmospheric craft produced by EuroSpace, an aerospace technology subsidiary of EuroCorp. The design traces its origin back to Astrium (a subsidiary of European Aeronautic Defence and Space, EADS, a former global aerospace and defence corporation that merged into EuroCorp) Space Tourism Project.  

Slightly bigger than its ancestor, the Hermes retains its business jet silhouette and dual propulsion system: a pair of conventional turbofan ensure propulsion during take-off, climbing to the upper parts of the troposphere, descent and landing; the rocket engine is, in this case, an advanced design using the metalic hydrogen technology developed for the Ariane 7 Heavy Lift Vehicle. Although capable of reaching LEO in a single step, the Minerva still uses almost all of its fuel doing so and needs to be refuelled for anything but docking or reentry.

The basic version comes with seating for six passengers, but variants with a one or two person(s) cabin or office have been built. The Minerva is operated by governments, corporation and a few private individuals.


Front Hull
[1] Advanced Metallic Laminate Armour (dDr 3)
[2] Cockpit (1 control station, C7 computer*, comms/sensor 3)
[3-5] Passenger Seating (6 seats)

[6] Fuel Tank (1,5 tons jet engine fuel, 2 hours autonomy)
* Advanced Computers as per GURPS Spaceship 8 - Transhuman Spacecrafts 

Central Hull
Advanced Metallic Laminate Armour (dDr 3)
[2-6, Core] Fuel Tanks
(5 x 1,5 tons High Energy Density Matter fuel, 0,5 mps delta-V each)
Rear Hull
Advanced Metallic Laminate Armour (dDr 3)
[2-5] Fuel Tanks (4 x 1,5 tons HEDM fuel, 0,5 mps delta-V each)
[6] Turbofan (0,5G acceleration)
[Core] HEDM Rocket (2G acceleration)

The Minerva is Streamlined and Winged.

One single cockpit crew (pilot) can operate the Minerva using Piloting/TL9 (hig).

dST/HP 20
Hnd/SR 0/4
HT 12
Move 2 g/5 mps
LWt 30
Load 1,1
SM +5
Occ 1+6SV

Range 24 h (life support)
Cost € 910K

Top air speed is 1 800 mph with turbofan or 3 500 mph with rocket engine (turbofan cannot be used above 2 000 mph and thus cannot be used together with rocket engine). In atmosphere, Hnd/SR is +4/5.


Design notes:
The pictures and concept are obviously from the actual EADS Astrium Space Tourism Project. To turn it into the Minerva, I enlarged the hull  to 30 tons (GURPS Spaceships only allow for 10 or 30 tons hulls) and replaced the conventional oxygen-methane engine by a hypothetical metallic hydrogen one, allowing LEO insertion instead of just suborbital hops.