In the race to put people back into space, things are happening astonishingly quickly.
Virgin Galactic took their first civilian up in February and plan to commence their commercial operations early in 2020. Morgan Stanley are predicting a stock rise of over 700%, mainly due to Virgin’s intention to use these vehicles to attack the market in conventional long-haul flights. Boeing’s venture arm, HorizonX has already invested in Virgin to explore this application of hypersonics. This hypersonic ‘point-to-point’ travel is a long way off but it is being fuelled by tech and revenue being generated by space tourism right now.
In the meantime, Blue Origin just completed its 6th consecutive flight with the same vehicle, carrying payloads into space and testing their passenger capsule, intended for space tourism, starting next year. Their moon landing vehicle is being developed in parallel and should come into service in a similar time frame.
Possibly the biggest player out there is Elon Musk’s Space X. They have been supporting NASA for years and now do all the Agency’s heavy lifting and their development of moon and Mars landers is preceding at blistering pace. Their stated goal is to enable people to live on other planets.
Bloon (Zero2Infinity) are also going strong and their payload launch system is superb. Delicate satellite instrumentation is not shaken to bits on launch and fuel usage (green credentials / cost) is minimised by only burning for orbit after the vehicle is already 90% of the way up. A smooth ride up for an hour and a half, two hours floating around the planet and and an hour’s descent in a comfortable, large capsule (with very large windows) – a very civilised space day-trip!
If you would like to secure your ticket or talk about the different options, please call Global Artichoke.