Tag Archives: suborbital tourism

Next Blue Origin test flight before end of year

The competition heats up: Blue Origin not only intends to launch another test flight of its suborbital New Shepard rocket/capsule before the end of 2015, they hope to begin commercial unmanned flights by the second quarter of 2016.

Manned flights will follow, though they don’t say when. Based on this schedule, however, it appears that Blue Origin, which had hardly been on anyone’s radar for most of the last decade, is going to beat Virgin Galactic and XCOR in flying their first commercial flight.

A new company is now offering balloon flights to the edge of space for one third the price of a suborbital flight.

The competition heats up: A new company is now offering balloon flights to the edge of space for one third the price of a suborbital flight.

World View passengers will soar to an altitude of about 30 kilometers (about 100,000 feet) — far short of SpaceShipTwo’s intended 110-kilometer (68-mile) high peak. Inside the capsule there will be little sensation of microgravity. Rather, the whole point of the ride is the view. “You can be sitting up there having your beverage of choice watching this extraordinary spectacle of the Earth below you and the blackness of space,” project co-founder and Paragon president Jane Poynter told Discovery News. “It really is very gentle. You can be up at altitude for hours, for days for research if you need to be… I think we have the opportunity to give a really, really incredible experience to people — and for a lot less than most of what’s out on the market right now,” she said.

SpaceShipTwo is being readied for its first powered flights before the end of the year.

The competition heats up: SpaceShipTwo is being readied for its first powered flights before the end of the year.

The article also provides a good review of the last two years of glide tests, what was learned and what was done with that knowledge.

A new report predicts that the demand for suborbital spaceflight, both manned and unmanned, will rise by one third in the next ten years.

A new report predicts that the demand for suborbital spaceflight, both manned and unmanned, will likely rise by one third in the next ten years.

You can download the report here [pdf].

The report admits there are many unknowns, and that this prediction could be way off, in either direction.