SpaceShipOne was developed by Mojave Aerospace Ventures (a joint venture between Paul Allen and Scaled Composites, Burt Rutanâ€™s aviation company, in their Tier One program), without government funding. On June 21, 2004, it made the first privately funded human spaceflight. On October 4, it won the US$10 million Ansari X Prize, by reaching 100 kilometers in altitude twice in a two-week period with the equivalent of three people on board and with no more than ten percent of the non-fuel weight of the spacecraft replaced between flights. Development costs were estimated to be US$25 million, funded completely by Paul Allen.
During its test programme, SpaceShipOne set a number of important "firsts", including first privately funded aircraft to exceed Mach 2 and Mach 3, first privately funded manned spacecraft to exceed 100km altitude, and first privately funded reusable manned spacecraft.
For more information please visit SpaceShipOne Wikipedia page
|01C||May 20, 2003|
|02C||July 29, 2003|
|03G||August 7, 2003|
|04GC||August 27, 2003|
|05G||August 27, 2003|
|06G||September 23, 2003|
|07G||October 17, 2003|
|08G||November 14, 2003|
|09G||November 19, 2003|
|10G||December 4, 2003|
|11P||December 17, 2003|
|12G||March 11, 2004|
|13P||April 8, 2004|
|14P||May 13, 2004|
|15P||June 21, 2004|
|16P||September 29, 2004|
|17P||October 4, 2004|
The Scaled Composites Model 339 SpaceShipTwo (SS2) is a suborbital, air-launched spaceplane designed for space tourism. It is under development as part of the Tier 1b program under contract to The Spaceship Company, a California-based company that is wholly owned by its sister company Virgin Galactic. The Spaceship Company was formerly a joint venture between Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites, but Virgin became the companyâ€™s sole owner in 2012.
SpaceShipTwo is carried to its launch altitude by a jet-powered mothership, the Scaled Composites White Knight Two, before being released to fly on into the upper atmosphere, powered by a rocket motor. It then glides back to Earth and performs a conventional runway landing. The spaceship was officially unveiled to the public on 7 December 2009 at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. On 29 April 2013, after nearly three years of unpowered testing, the spacecraft successfully performed its first powered test flight.
Virgin Galactic plans to operate a fleet of five SpaceShipTwo spaceplanes in a private passenger-carrying service, starting in 2014, and have been taking bookings for some time, with a suborbital flight carrying an initial ticket price of US$200,000. The spaceplane could also be used to carry scientific payloads for NASA and other organizations.
The launch customer of SpaceShipTwo is Virgin Galactic, who have ordered five vehicles. The first two were named VSS (Virgin Space Ship) Enterprise and VSS Voyager. As of August 2013, only VSS Enterprise has been flown; VSS Voyager has yet to begin flight tests. The WhiteKnightTwo carrying SpaceShipTwo crafts will take off from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California during testing. Spaceport America â€“ formerly Southwest Regional Spaceport, a US$212 million spaceport in New Mexico partly funded by the state government â€“ will become the permanent launch site when commercial launches begin.
The duration of the flights will be approximately 2.5 hours, though only a few minutes of that will be in space. The price will initially be $200,000. More than 65,000 would-be space tourists applied for the first batch of 100 tickets. By December 2007, Virgin Galactic had 200 paid-up customers on its books for the early flights, and 95% were passing the 6-8 g centrifuge tests. By the start of 2011, that number had increased to over 400 paid customers, and to 575 by early 2013. In April 2013, Virgin Galactic announced that the price for a seat would increase 25 percent to $250,000 before the middle of May 2013, and would remain at $250,000 "until the first 1,000 people have traveled, so that it matches up with inflation since Virgin Galactic started."
Following 50â€“100 test flights, the first paying customers are expected to fly aboard the craft in 2014. Refining the projected schedule in late 2009, Virgin Galactic declined to announce a firm timetable for commercial flights, but did reiterate that initial flights would take place from Spaceport America. Operational roll-out will be based on a "safety-driven schedule". In addition to making suborbital passenger launches, Virgin Galactic will market SpaceShipTwo for suborbital space science missions.
For more information please visit SpaceShipTwo Wikipedia page
The XCOR Lynx is a suborbital horizontal-takeoff, horizontal-landing (HTHL), rocket-powered spaceplane under development by the California-based company XCOR Aerospace to compete in the emerging suborbital spaceflight market. The Lynx is projected to carry one pilot, a ticketed passenger, and/or a payload above 100 km altitude. As of August 2012, the passenger ticket was projected to cost $95,000.
The concept has been under development since 2003, when a two-person suborbital spaceplane was announced under the name Xerus. Fabrication and assembly of the Lynx Mark I is currently underway.
For more information please visit XCOR Lynx Wikipedia page