Other Commercial Space Interests
Listed first are three of the major Ansari X-Prize competitors who failed to win. This is not an all inclusive list of entrants. There were a total of twenty-six teams in the competition. Next are other entities deeply involved in manned space flight.
Canadian Arrow - Canadian team using a two-stage rocket. The first stage is based upon the German V-2 rocket. The capsule would be recovered in fresh water. Drop tests have been completed, thrust testing is underway and next up is a launch pad abort.
Since the end of the X-Prize competition, Canadian Arrow has joined with an American entrepreneur, Dr. Chirinjeev Kathuria, to form PlanetSpace. In November 2010 the president of Canadian Arrow stated that it is unlikely the Canadian Arrow rocket would be used for space tourism. There seems to have been no testing done since 2004.
Da Vinci Project - This is another Canadian X-Prize entrant. Their rocket will be tethered 720 meters below a piloted reusable helium balloon. The balloon will will take 60 to 80 minutes to reach an altitude of 80,000 feet. The rocket will then be launched. The main engines will cut off at 206,000 feet. Apogee will be about 75 miles (120 km). On 12 September 2004, the balloon, with payload, was successfully launched to 40,000 feet in Colorado. The first official X-Prize launch announced for 2 October 2004 has been postponed. No new date has been set.
Since the end of the X-Prize competition, the Da Vinci Project has partnered with the Dream Space Group to create a new line of spacecraft for tourist travel. The XF1 was to start testing in 2007, but no updated information has been found.
According to their website on 4 January 2014, Starchaser is STILL planning to launch the 2-person NOVA 2 capsule and Starchaser 4 booster to over 100,000 feet. A successful launch of a NOVA/Starchaser 4 on 22 November 2001 reached an astounding altitude of 5541 feet, over a mile! They still intend to get into the space tourism market.
XCOR Aerospace - While XCOR was not a contestant in the Ansari X-Prize competition, they are pursuing the ability to conduct sub-orbital tourist flights. The Lynx is a two seater craft which takes off and lands horizontally and will be capable of reaching sub-orbital altitudes. The seats will be occupied by a pilot and one paying passenger.
SpaceDev (now SNC Space Systems) - is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Sierra Nevada Corporation. While not selected by NASA for COTS, they did win NASA awards with CCDev (US$ 20 million), CCDev2 (US$ 80 million) and CCiCap (US$ 212.5 million). As a result, they are working with NASA for development of an ISS servicing vehicle. The focus is on Dream Chaser, a vehicle capable of delivering up to seven crew members and cargo to the ISS and providing return capability. They are also partnering with United Launch Alliance for the purpose of man-rating their Atlas V launch vehicle to be used with Dream Chaser. The design of Dream Chaser is based on previous lifting body research work down by NASA and the proposed HL-20 crew return vehicle. See this C3PO page for more information.
Page last modified: 15 August 2015 21:10:32.