1. VIRGIN GALACTIC: Virgin Galactic hopes to be the first private space tourism company to regularly send civilians into space. SpaceShipTwo is the class of space vehicle that the first paying customers will use and it appears it will likely be named the VSS Enterprise.
In the UK if you mention space tourism then Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is certainly the company most people could name. The Virgin brand recognition is one of the highest, and most positively regarded. With an enduring association of pioneering adventurism from Richard Branson himself and a business seen as technologically ‘cutting edge’. It seems a natural step forward from Virgin Atlantic to Virgin Galactic for the future of air tranport. The space tourism of today will likely become the basis for sub-
The complete space flight is a two stage process. SpaceShipTwo is initially docked with the much larger EVE, the Virgin Mothership. The combined craft (pictured above) takes off from the SpacePort like a traditional civilian jet aircraft and climbs to the near edge of space. At this point SpaceShipTwo, with its lucky spacebound occupants, separates from EVE. Then, using its exceptionally safe hybrid rocket motor SpaceShipTwo is propelled into a controlled space orbit. After a weightless experience of a lifetime the new space travellers glide back to the SpacePort runway.
Virgin Galactic is not just about getting people into space, the additional launcherOne platform is also ideal for the commercial realities of space, satellites and payloads. Essentially LauncherOne takes the place of SpaceShipTwo and is docked with EVE, the Virgin Mothership in much the same way. The difference is LauncherOne is custom designed to provide an affordable, dedicated ride to orbit for smaller payloads. No longer will small satellite users be forced to make a choice between the limitations of flight as a secondary payload or paying dramatically more for a dedicated launch vehicle, or dealing with the added complexity associated with export control requirements and international travel to distant launch sites. A new generation of lower cost micro satellites with all sorts different uses can be launched, essentially creating whole new markets.
SpaceShipTwo docked under the EVE Mothership
4. Bristol SpacePlanes
A current design pioneer with these three clear designs
2. XCOR http://www.xcor.com
The Lynx is XCOR’s entry into the commercial reusable launch vehicle (RLV) market. This two-
Like an aircraft, Lynx is a horizontal takeoff and horizontal landing vehicle, but instead of a jet or piston engine, Lynx uses its own fully reusable rocket propulsion system to depart a runway and return safely. This approach is unique compared to most other RLVs in development, such as conventional vertical rocket launches and air-
Andrew Nelson, president of the California-
"I understand the desire to have a Scotland site, but we also like Newquay," Nelson told the Guardian. "Lynx has a pretty good business case with 100 to 150 days of sunshine, but it can do science and research missions too. They don't care if they can see the ground or not."
BRISTOL SPACEPLANES ASCENDER
THE LEADING SPACE TOURISM AND PAYLOAD DELIVERY COMPANIES.
PLEASE NOTE: These companies produce, or plan to produce the kind of vehicles that would use the Cornwall Spaceport. None are confirmed to use any particular location in the UK or have shown any location preference.
1.Virgin Galactic, uses a design able to carry a payload into space as well as paying customers so is also capable of offering fairly low cost satellite deployment.
2. XCOR Space may be described as the most pure design. One vehicle capable of runway take off, rocket powered ascent and then a glide return to the takeoff runway. Both for space tourism and payload delivery. Still at the advanced testing and development stages.
3.Skylon is a design for a single-
4. Bristol SpacePlanes is probably the most ambitious project. 3 designs serving 3 distinct purposes. Very much at the development stages.
5. SPACE X -
Other companies are also offering space tourism options based on vertical takeoff rocketry only or existing Russian operations.
Armadillo Aerospace: Founded by the computer-
Boeing Crew Space: With backing from NASA and the Virginia-
MORE DETAILS ON THE OPTIONS 1 to 4 BELOW
5. SPACEX: http://www.spacex.com/dragon
SPACEX is one of several private companies who are essentially replacing NASA’s day to day activities, such as delivering cargo and supplies to orbiting destinations such as the International Space Station. However, they have made clear overtures to the business of space tourism. However their designs are far more traditional rocket than horizontal take of and landing Spaceplane.
Founded by serial inventor Elon Musk, the California company ultimately wants to help people establish colonies in space. It is building its own reusable rockets and space capsules that will one day take people to other planets, beginning with Mars. SpaceX just successfully launched its first commercial satellite on Dec. 3. The launch heralded the company’s move toward adding more commercial space flights to its existing slate of partner missions with NASA, helping it supply the International Space Station in the post-
Dragon is a free-
The pressurized section of the spacecraft, also referred to as the capsule, is designed to carry both cargo and humans into space. Towards the base of the capsule but outside the pressurized structure are the Draco thrusters, Dragon's guidance navigation and control (GNC) bay and Dragon’s advanced heat shield.
3. Skylon: http://www.reactionengines.co.uk
Skylon is a design for a single-
The vehicle design is for a hydrogen-
Bristol Spaceplanes, based in the UK, was founded in 1991. It has developed plans for Spacecab, which is aimed at being the first orbital spaceplane. Spacecab is designed to carry six astronauts to a space station or launch a 750 kg satellite. As a lead-
Airbus Defence and Space (formerly EADS Astrium) is developing a spaceplane about the size of a business jet for spaceflight experience. It will be powered by two turbofan engines for normal flight and a rocket engine for the sub-
Swiss Space Systems (S3) plans to offer a means of launching small satellites – weighing up to 250 kilograms – into orbit, using a spaceplane. The first satellite launches are planned for 2018. Launching from a carrier aircraft at high altitude. It plans to use a slightly modified Airbus A300; its spaceplane, the unmanned Sub-
XCOR Aerospace, is also taking bookings for spaceflight experience on its Lynx spaceplanes. These are two-
Virgin Galactic uses a specially designed carrier aircraft known as WhiteKnightTwo to carry a rocket-
OVERVIEW OF CURRENT SPACEPLANE COMPANIES (MORE DETAILS BELOW)
|THE OTHER LOCATIONS|
|WHAT IS A SPACEPORT|
|WHAT IS SPACE TOURISM?|
|SPACE PLANE DEVELOPERS|
|CORNWALL & IOS LEP|
|THE THEORETICAL SPACEPLANE DESIGN|
|RAF ST MAWGAN|
|ST MAWGAN VILLAGE|
|DOCUMENT PDF DOWNLOADS|
|SPACE AGENCY STATEMENT|