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Mission & Profile

Space Plane is an open source design project for a single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) horizontal takeoff and landing vehicle. Being fully reusable and able to take off and land on most runways, it will greatly reduce the cost of putting large payloads (>1000 kg) into earth orbit and be much safer than conventional rockets.

Space Plane will make orbital space tourism an experience as smooth as commercial airline flights. The gentle climb and descent angles of lifting ascent and reentry will result in minimal g-loads (g < 2) on its passengers. Physically demanding reentry capsules that are difficult to steer and land will become obsolete.

How will we turn this vision into reality? Our group of international scientists and engineers dedicated to this goal is continuously growing, and so is our support from academia, industry, and governments around the world. Please contact us if you want to contribute to our mission with your expertise or funding.

Space Plane is being structured as a multi-national non-profit organization, incorporated in the EU (Ireland) and the US (Florida). This allows funding to be disbursed within the jurisdiction in which it was received. The organization is run by a board of directors that oversees all its individual legal entities.

Board of Directors

Axel Rohde has a doctorate degree (PhD) in aerospace engineering from Florida Institute of Technology and 10 years of teaching and research experience at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - ERAU. He has taught courses in aircraft design, aircraft engine design, spacecraft dynamics and control, and many courses in the basic engineering sciences. Dr. Rohde is the founder of MicroCFD - he speaks English and German.

Yongho Lee has a doctorate degree (PhD) in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a professor of mechanical engineering at ERAU with 20 years of teaching and research experience. His area of expertise is aerodynamics, computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and aircraft stability and control. Dr. Lee is a member of AIAA and KSEA - he speaks English and Korean.

David Ong holds a bachelor's degree (BSc) in computer science and a post graduate diploma in game technology from Murdoch University (MU) in Perth, Australia. He is an experienced C++ and OpenGL programmer who spent the past decade developing a physics based real-time simulator for aerospace and ballistics applications. Mr. Ong is the founder of Photon Bytes - he speaks English and Chinese.

Mihai Pruna has a master's degree in aerospace engineering (MAe) from ERAU in Florida and a graduate certificate in computational fluid dynamics (CFD) from Iowa State University. He is an independent computer aided engineering (CAE) software developer with a focus on simulation, parametric design and automatic optimization. Mr. Pruna is the founder of ProgModCon - he speaks English, Romanian and French.

Philip Rakhou has a bachelor's degree (LLB) in Dutch law from the University of Amsterdam and holds a certificate of international law from Xiamen University in China. He is a compliance and legal specialist, and an auditor, who has been active in the technology / innovation and banking / finance industries. Mr. Rakhou was a co-founder of Avicenna Ventures - he speaks English, Dutch, German and French.