David Ashford


David Ashford is Managing Director of Bristol Spaceplanes Limited, an innovative small company developing the Ascender spaceplane. He graduated from Imperial College in aeronautical engineering and spent one year at Princeton doing post-graduate research on rocket motors.

His first job was with the Hawker Siddeley Aviation spaceplane design team, working on spaceplanes among other projects. He has since worked as an aerodynamicist, project engineer, and project manager on various aerospace projects, including the DC-8, DC-10, Concorde, the Skylark sounding rocket, and various naval missile and electronic warfare systems at Douglas Aircraft and at what is now BAE Systems.

He co-authored with Prof. Patrick Collins the first serious book on space tourism Your Spaceflight Manual РHow You Could be a Tourist in Space Within Twenty Years (Headline, 1990), and wrote a follow-up book Spaceflight Revolution (Imperial College Press, 2002). He has had published about twenty papers on space transportation in the professional press. Hodder & Stoughton published Space Exploration in the All That Matters series in August 2013.


Space exploration cover

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