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Thread: What happened to commercial suborbital flight

  1. #271
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    Yet another US company attempting a suboribatal launch but no details available.

    https://spacenews.com/alaska-launch-...ed-in-secrecy/

    A secretive California company carried out a suborbital launch from an Alaska spaceport July 20, but a week after the event few details about the event are clear, including its outcome.

    Astra Space carried out a launch at 6 p.m. Eastern July 20 of its “Rocket 1” vehicle from Pacific Spaceport Complex – Alaska on Kodiak Island, Alaska. Foggy conditions made it difficult to observe the launch, according to one local reporter covering the event.
    Wrong thread as this company is focusing on launching small satellites.
    Last edited by selvaarchi; 2018-Jul-28 at 12:08 AM.

  2. #272
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    Stratolaunch's future human spacecraft could be named "Black Ice"

  3. #273
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    Stratolaunch's future human spacecraft could be named "Black Ice"
    Black Ice is an orbital vehicle, or at least a concept for one. It's also unmanned. At best, if they develop it, they might eventually make a version that can carry passengers.

  4. #274
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    Yet another American company to enter the suborbital field.

    https://www.lcsun-news.com/story/new...ca/1056037002/

    EXOS Aerospace Systems & Technologies, Inc of Greenville, Texas, has selected Spaceport America for final testing of a reusable space launch vehicle known as SARGE (Suborbital Autonomous Rocket with GuidancE).

    EXOS has completed the design, test and build; has received its FAA launch license and completed the final integration and test hovering for the rocket. A successful test flight is needed to solidify the company’s plans to use the technology as the basis for a planned reusable Orbital class vehicle, the company said in a pres release issued Tuesday.
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  5. #275
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    Wow, America's suborbital companies are really bubbling away. News of Virgin Orbit making their move now.

    https://spacenews.com/virgin-orbit-p...-flight-tests/

    The carrier aircraft for Virgin Orbit’s LauncherOne system has performed a series of test flights in preparation for upcoming flights with the rocket attached.

    The flights of the company’s Boeing 747 aircraft, nicknamed “Cosmic Girl,” were the first since the company installed a pylon on the plane’s left wing that will be used to carry the LauncherOne rocket on future flights of the air-launch system.

    The company disclosed few details about the test flights, but flight tracking services such as Flightradar24 list three flights of the aircraft in recent days, most recently Aug. 27, taking off from the Southern California Logistics Airport in Victorville, California. The flights ranged in duration from one and a half to three and a half hours in airspace over the Mojave Desert and over the Pacific Ocean off the California coast.
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  6. #276
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    Now news that a Japanese commercial company plans to enter this market.

    https://english.kyodonews.net/news/2...l-in-2023.html

    Japanese startup PD AeroSpace Ltd. is developing a reusable spacecraft shaped like an airplane to carry ticket-buying customers into space by 2023.

    The Nagoya-based company plans space flights to an altitude of 110 kilometers by the spacecraft, capable of carrying six passengers and two pilots, at a price of 17 million yen ($153,000) per person.
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  7. #277
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    "Virgin Orbit nears first test flights with air-launched rocket"

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/08/3...unched-rocket/

    The attachment of a mounting bracket for Virgin Orbit’s smallsat launcher under the wing of a modified passenger jetliner portends the start of a series of captive carry tests with a full-scale model of the rocket, culminating in a drop of the vehicle before the first orbital launch attempt.

    Virgin Orbit is developing the LauncherOne rocket, which is set to become the first liquid-fueled orbital-class rocket to be dropped from from a carrier aircraft. The company says the first launch could happen by the end of this year, but officials have not set a target date for LauncherOne’s maiden orbital test flight.
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  8. #278
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    "Suborbital space tourism nears its make-or-break moment"

    http://www.thespacereview.com/article/3721/1

    At the Space Symposium, the annual conference held by the Space Foundation in Colorado Springs, it’s easy to get jaded by the high-profile attendees: a space agency leader here, a corporate CEO there, a general over that way, all blending together in their business suits and uniforms.
    Astronauts, though, are an exception: especially commercial astronauts wearing distinctive black flight suits. Three Virgin Galactic astronauts—Dave Mackay, Mike Masucci, and Beth Moses—arrived for an interview about 20 minutes late during the conference last month, but they had a good excuse: it’s tough to get across the sprawling grounds of The Broadmoor, where the conference takes place, they said, when people want to meet you and get their pictures taken with you.

    Earlier that day, the three were on stage at the conference to formally receive their commercial astronaut wings from Wayne Monteith, the FAA’s associate administrator for commercial space transportation. They were the fifth, sixth, and seventh people to receive such wings, which the FAA awards to flight crews of commercial spacecraft that fly to an altitude of at least 50 miles (about 80 kilometers), joining the Virgin Galactic pilots who flew SpaceShipTwo beyond that altitude for the first time last December as well as SpaceShipOne pilots Mike Melvill and Brian Binnie.
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  9. #279
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    "World View keeps one of its high-altitude balloons afloat for a full 16 days"

    https://www.theverge.com/2019/6/5/18...tude-satellite

    World View Enterprises — the company aiming to hoist payloads and people to high altitudes with giant balloons — has kept one of its vehicles afloat for the longest time yet. Today, the company announced that one of its payload-carrying balloons remained at high altitude for a consecutive 16 days before landing safely back on Earth. It’s the latest milestone on World View’s quest to keep a high-altitude balloon up for a full 60 days.

    The balloon vehicle that World View has been testing is the company’s Stratollite system. The idea behind it is to create a vehicle that functions like a satellite, without requiring an expensive rocket launch to orbit. World View’s Stratollites are designed to leisurely float to an altitude between 50,000 and 75,000 feet where they’re meant to hover over the same patch of Earth for up to two months at a time. From that height, whatever payload or instruments the balloon is carrying can gather data of the same part of the surface continuously, similar to a stationary satellite in a high orbit.

    World View still has a ways to go before the Stratollite’s promised capabilities are fully realized. But the company has been getting closer to its goals through a series of tests. Before this most recent test flight, World View had only flown a Stratollite for five days at a time. Then on May 18th, the company launched this latest test vehicle out of World View’s headquarters in Tucson, Arizona, with the goal of staying up for just two weeks, and it was able to stick it out for an extra two days before coming back down.
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  10. #280
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    Quote Originally Posted by selvaarchi View Post
    "Virgin Orbit nears first test flights with air-launched rocket"

    https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/08/3...unched-rocket/
    "Virgin Orbit’s Cosmic Girl conducts successful drop test with LauncherOne"

    https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2019...t-launcherone/

    Virgin Orbit achieved another major milestone in its test program for LauncherOne when an inert rocket was drop tested over a test range at Edwards Air Force Base in California. The flight saw the Cosmic Girl carrier aircraft follow up on its series of captive carry flights with Wednesday’s release of its LauncherOne rocket.

    The test rocket was a fully built, fully loaded – although inert – LauncherOne rocket, allowing for it to be safely dropped over the Edwards test range.

    The test flight began with a takeoff from the Mojave Air and Space Port at Mojave, CA, at 8:43 A.M. Pacific; the drop itself occurred at 9:13 A.M. Pacific from an altitude of 35,000 feet.
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  11. #281
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