. Some Companies for Suborbital and Orbital Levels: XCOR Aerospace - Virgin Galactic - Blue Origin -  Bigelow  Aerospace - Sierra Nevada Corp. 

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Back Image: Virgin Galactic

Here's Elon Musk's Vision for a Affordable Space Travel to Mars

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled his plan for colonizing Mars Tuesday at the 67th International Astronautical Congress in Guadalajara, Mexico. CreditBloomberg

 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

A Spacecraft reaches the orbital level when it goes toLow-Earth Orbit (LEO) between 180 –3000 km –High Earth Orbit (HEO) –Geocentric 35,786 km

At those orbits, the Tourist Industry can offer spending long periods of time in microgravity at ISS or on private space stations. One example is Space Adventures where 7 private citizens can goes at ISS for 8 missions at a cost of $20M  to $40M per trip. At this level, we can do some research and conduct experiments in microgravity and life sciences.

For Commercial purpose, we can launch small sats from ISS and make Satellites Servicing, where we put them in proper orbits, refuel, fix and upgrade systems.

Private Space station

International Space Station, ISS

A Spacecraft reaches the deep space level when it goes at Lagrange points, Moon, Asteroids, Mars and beyond. Well, here we have some kinds of Tourist and Explorers who can make exotic experiences in the same way of The Inspiration of Mars Foundation. Example of that is the proposed seat to the Moon by Golden Spike Company for $750M.

In its ultimate destinations in space, happy humans can be productive and in developing new materials and processes to create new markets and improve life, we develop in-space economy. That mean, proceeding mining and In situ Resource Utilization for Propellants, metal and building new materials.

These development provide a new space-based economy for as well as 3D printing and space manufacturing... and more. It will be also possible to establish settlement by moving human civilization to Moon and Mars.

Moon's Workers for Settlement

Mars'surface Habitat

The Suborbital Travel with XCOR Aerospace

Founded in 1999, XCOR Aerospace designs and custom-builds propulsion systems, spacecrafts and their rocket engines. Since 1999, XCOR has developed more than 15 rocket engines and flown 2 rocket-powered aircrafts.

Its Lynx spacecraft is developed in Hangar 61 in Mojave, California and, presently, it has an orbital vehicle in the design phase.

In addition to passenger and payload flights, XCOR Lynx spacecrafts are available to government and commercial customers on a wet-lease basis.

The Lynx departs directly from the runway under its own rocket power and reaches its supersonic speed in 1minute, and is weightless in 5 minutes. Then, the Lynx wastes no time to deliver the spaceflight to its full experience.

Before going up in the Lynx pressurized cabin, XCOR pilots and participants put their full pressure suits. Unique to this spacecraft, each reaction control thrusters has a backup  for a total of 12 thrusters and the main engines can be operated independently of one another.

Four flights in one day!

The Lynx spacecraft uses kerosene, a non-toxic liquid fuel, that makes flights simpler and, because the engines are piston pump fed, engineers can maintain the Lynx faster. This makes it possible to have more launch per day.

The company's flight program will begin with an initial test vehicle with the Mark I, followed by several production models for specific markets.

Now in development at XCOR's Hangar 61 in Mojave, California, the Lynx Mark I is the first spacecraft to be used to characterize and test its subsystems, train pilots and crew for Mark II. They tests the life support systems, followed by the re-entry heating.

Once done, Mark II will serve to the suborbital tourism market and, depending of the internal payload space, micro-gravity and biotechnology experiments. This vehicle uses the same propulsion and avionics systems as the first model but has a lower dry weigh and an higher performance.

Lynx Mark II will take spaceflight participants and payloads to the edge of space, and is designed to fly as high as 100 km, depending on the payload configuration.

The third model of XCOR will be the Mark III, an highly modified version of the Lynx Mark II. Withits external dorsal pod of 650kg capability, it can transport payload experiments or an upper-stage capable of launching small satellites in LEO.

 

The Suborbital travel with Virgin Galactic

In 2004, the British entrepreneur Richard Branson founded Virgin Galactic in Mojave, California. His major goal has always been to promote Space tourism and research.

Until now, almost 700 people have paid $250,000 for a seat in the reusable horizontal take off SpaceShipTwo. 

With the help of the White Knight Two, the SpaceShipTwo will be able to bring up 6 passengers and 2pilots or about 600 kg of payloads. The landing will be in the Spaceport America in New Mexico. 

 

For Virgin Galactic, the Space Travel in the near future:

«We are here because we believe we are at the vanguard of a new space industry that is defining the future of exploration and that we will ultimately make space accessible to more people and for more purposes than ever before.»

Source: http://www.virgingalactic.com/who-we-are/

The ship will go above an altitude of 100 km, in near-vacuum conditions, followed by a straight-down re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere and a gliding return to the airport of origin.

 

Constructed of carbon composites, the WhiteKnightTwo has a twin-fuselage and a 140-foot wingspan, powered by 4 turbofan engines. Between its fuselages, a heavy lifter grips the rocket ship, takes off from a runway of 47,000 feet and flies for a horizontal launch.

Between its fuselages, a heavy lifter grips the rocket ship, takes off from a runway of 47,000 feet and flies for a horizontal launch.

The rocket ship SpaceShipTwo, is a twin-tailed, stubby-winged aircraft the size of a business jet. Its hybrid rocket engine contains enough fuel to provide one-minute burn and, enough to thrust the aircraft at a speed of Mach 3.5 in a vertical climb. After its injection into Space, the powerless ship returns as a glider. It has a two-pilot cockpit and a cabin large enough for 6passengers in recliner seats.

 

For a Suborbital and Orbital travel with Blue Origin, LLC

Blue Origin has been created in 2000 by Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos. The headquarter is based in Kent, Washington, and its launch site in Van Horn, Texas.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard is a rocket-propelled vehicle capable of carrying manyastronauts into suborbital space. Placed inside a pressurized crew capsule, public and researchers can experiment flying into space in a micro-gravity environment.

Named "New Shepard", the capsule's interior gives 530 cubic feet of space, that is 10 times the room Alan Shepard had on its Mercury flight. Six astronauts can sit inside the New Shepard and the space is large enough to float freely and doweightless somersaults. 

Around the capsule, the windows are designed to provide crystal clarity for incredible views of the Earth. Minimizing distortion and reflection, these windows transmit 92% of visible light—as good as glass.

From the time astronauts are secured in their seats until the capsule separates from the booster near apogee, theescape is an option if needed. In fact, the New Shepard escape system is built around a solid rocket motor that provides 70,000 lb. of thrust in a two-second burn. So, the capsule can quickly move away from any hazard.

During the launch, the BE-3 engine provides a powerful 110,000 lb. of thrust through the atmosphere. This accelerating power gives more than 3 Gs at a speed of Mach 3, making a unique experiment in space Travel for people.

The New Shepard Suborbital space vehicle is powered by the Origin third-generation, BE-3, the first new liquid hydrogen-fueled rocket engine to be developed for production in America in over a decade. Designed to withstand the extremely low temperatures of liquid  hydrogen at -423 degrees Celsius and combustion nearing 6,000 degrees Celsius, the company considers the BE-3 the ideal engine for the boost, the upper-stage and in-space traveling for government and private customers. 

Blue Origin designed its liquid rocket engines for high performance, low recurring cost, reliable operations. These engines provide great control with a precisely-timed start, high-powered thrust for launch, deep throttling for landing, and stop and restart capabilities.  

Blue Origin's engines are American-made and are designed, developed, and manufactured at its headquarters in Washington State. Since its first, simple, single-propellant engine—the Blue Engine-1 (BE-1)—the company has built and tested multiple generations of engines for suborbital and orbital spaceflights.

Once the trip ends, the rocket reenters the atmosphere, and air flows through a ring at the top of the booster. To control its descent, the booster moves passively its center of pressure and, deploys its 4 wedge-shaped fins to further enhance aerodynamic stability.

Also, fins near the base of the booster pivot to stabilize the vehicle during ascent and steer it back to the landing pad on descent. Hydraulic actuators provide enough force to drive these fins through air speeds up to Mach 4.

The revolutionary BE-3 engine can throttle down to 20,000 lb.—a uniquely low throttle that enables a precise vertical landing, within mere feet of its target.

When descending to Earth, the New Shepard goes at the speed of sound and the booster deploys 8 large drag brakes, reducing its speed by half.  Deploying landing gear, the rocket will make a precise touchdown, enabling re-usability.

What about the Capsule?

The crew capsule descends under parachutes for a smooth landing, in the same way as the firstspace pioneers. Three independent parachutes provide redundancy, while a retro-thrust system further cushions the landing.

Next-Step: ORBITAL SPACEFLIGHT

Blue Origin designed its suborbital vehicle to feed directly into its orbital program. With every suborbital launch, it will reach the orbital spaceflight level sooner.

 

Suborbital and orbital travel with Bigelow Aerospace

Spirit of Bigelow: Think beyond tomorrow

Robert Bigelow has founded Bigelow Aerospace in 1999 to continue the work started by NASA on expandable habitats.

The company’s mission is to provide safe and low-cost commercial space platforms for Low-Earth Orbit, the Moon and beyond.

Bigelow Aerospace sits on over 50 acres in North Las Vegas, Nevada. Today, the company has also an office in Washington, D.C.

For over a decade, the Bigelow team has evolved expandable technology and has enhanced the performance and reliability of the architecture.

In July 2016, after a historic launch for Bigelow Aerospace and SpaceX, the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module (BEAM) became the first expandable module to reach the International Space Station.

Major focus of Bigelow is to provide Commercial space stations and multiple uses of inflatable habitats, as orbital' hotels. The potential customers for its services include nations without human spaceflight programs, private companies, government's agencies and all people interested. 

The cost for a trip of two months in a inflatable habitat of 110 cubic meters, is almost $25 million. By comparison, a single trip in the Dragon's capsule of SpaceX will cost about $26.25 million and, aboard the CST-100's capsule of Boeing/ULA, $36.75 million.

Bigelow Aerospace Artist rendering of Station Alpha with four BA 330s (1340M3 volume) and three SpaceX Dragons attached. 

Inside the BA 330. Credit: Bigelow Aerospace. 

Expandable Bigelow Advanced Station Enhancement (XBASE) designed for low Earth orbit & deep space missions as a stand-alone station.

 

Suborbital and orbital travel with Sierra Nevada Corp. (SNC)

Many have claimed that the end of the shuttle means the end of Americans in space. But Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) proves them wrong. The company is one of four who received funding from NASA to carry cargo and crew to the International Space Station.

SNC was founded in January 1963 by a handful of employees worked out of a hangar in Stead, Nevada. Later, in January 1994, Fatih  and Eren Ozmen acquired the company.

Their vehicle, the Dream Chaser, looks a lot like the shuttle because it was originally a NASA design.

It will be launched atop an Atlas V and returned from space by gliding and landing at almost any aircraft runway in the world. It will be capable of holding a crew of seven people and its missions will include delivering and returning crew and critical cargo to the International Space Station.

Currently, SNC have the uncrewed vehicle Dream Chaser Cargo System and, the crewed vehicle Dream Chaser Space System. For future mission needs, more variants may be developed.

Each spacecraft have an re-usability of more than 15 times. As well as pilots experiment a low 1.5 g atmospheric entry, the vehicle perform a gentle, commercial runway landing compatible with runways worldwide. 

The Dream Chaser uses non-toxic consumables, including "green" propellants.

The vehicle continue its advanced developments to provide services for future space stations, for the deployment and retrieval of satellites, as well as to remove orbital debris.

To use the Dream Chaser on a global scale, SNC has begun some discussions with many international agencies. So, it will be possible to design it as an solution for a wide range of missions and clients, bringing a global access to space. 

The Dream Chaser Space System provide a environmental control, life support system and have enough place to transport a crew of seven persons and critical cargo to LEO. 

The Dream Chaser is launched without a fairing on top of a human-rated United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket. For the  security, the vehicle have the ability to safely abort in the event of an emergency. In space, it have a integral main propulsion system for abort capability and major orbital maneuvers.

Credit: SNCspacesystem

The Dream Chaser Cargo System is a module attached to the Dream Chaser vehicle. This module increase the amount of the mass cargo pressurized and un-pressurized that can be carried in space.

Placed inside the existing standard launch vehicle fairing, Dream Chaser use an innovative folding-wing design compatible with the current and future launch vehicles.

In space, the solar arrays on the module increase the flight time and the support powered to the payload.

The Dream Chaser spacecraft has been in development for more than 10 years, including six years as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. Also, it leverages more than 40 years of X-vehicle experiment and NASA Space Shuttle heritage. To mature the Dream Chaser, SNC have received funds from NASA and invested its own money. 

In 2016, the Dream Chaser has been selected by NASA under the Commercial Resupply Services 2 (CRS2) contract to transport pressurized and unpressurized cargo to and from the ISS,  with return and disposal services.

A Spacecraft reaches the suborbital level when it goes at 100 km (62 miles) or higher but does not have the forward velocity to go into orbit (e.g. 7.7km/s at 300 km)

At this orbit, Tourist Industry can be developed where Companies like Virgin Galacric propose trips-tickets for $250K, or a seat at $95K/$100K by XCOR. During the trip, itcan do around 4 minutes of microgravity, proceeding at some life science experiment and upper atmospheric measurements... and more. 

Travel from one location on Earth to another through space