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Private Space Flight. A presentation by: Peter Solfest. Click on the hyperlinks (superscripts and pictures) to go to the source website. The Dawn of Private Spaceflight.

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private space flight

Private Space Flight

A presentation by:

Peter Solfest

Click on the hyperlinks (superscripts and pictures) to go to the source website

the dawn of private spaceflight
The Dawn of Private Spaceflight
  • In 1984, President Reagan signed the Commercial Space Launch Act, allowing private organizations to send satellites into space on non-government rockets1,2
  • In the 1990s the US Air Force paid Boeing and Lockheed Martin to develop rockets for putting satellites into space, hoping to reduce cost3
  • In 1996 the Ansari X-Prize, worth $10 Million, was made available to the first private firm to launch a vehicle to an altitude of 100 km, capable of carrying 3 people, twice in 2 weeks4
  • Scaled Composites achieved this with their SpaceShipOne craft on October 24, 2004. They were competing against 25 other teams.4
virgin galactic history 5
Virgin GalacticHistory5
  • Founded in March, 1999 by Richard Branson, chairman of the Virgin Group6
  • In 2004 Branson announced that Virgin Galactic would sponsor SpaceShipOne’s X prize flights, and fund the development of its successor if the original worked
  • After SpaceShipOne won the Ansari X Prize, Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic form a new company, The Spaceship Company, which will manufacture the space fleet
  • On December 7th, 2009, the first SpaceShipTwo and its mothership (in the background) are revealed to the press. These are the vehicles which will be used for putting paying customers into space.
virgin galactic
Virgin Galactic
  • Has inspired New Mexico to build Spaceport America, to be Virgin Galactic’s world headquarters7
  • Virgin Galactic has been selling tickets for $200,000 per flight since 2005. To date they have sold over 340 tickets.8
  • One set of these went to two astronomers who will use this flight to get a picture of the solar system within Mercury’s orbit about the sun, where another potential batch of asteroids may exist9
space exploration technologies history
Space Exploration TechnologiesHistory
  • Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) was founded in 2002, by Elon Musk, a PayPal co-founder10
  • Aimed at developing a cheap American option to put satellites (and eventually people) into orbit10
  • Launched its first rocket, a low payload Falcon 1, into orbit in September of 200811
  • In 2008, SpaceX received a NASA contract to deliver supplies to the International Space Station once the Space Shuttle is retired later this year12
  • Successfully launched its medium payload Falcon 9 into orbit on June 4, 2010. This was carrying an early version of their Dragon payload capsule.13
  • Successfully launched their falcon 9 rocket first try, to a streaming webcast, on June 4
  • Mounted on top was a Dragon capsule. This is a capsule developed by SpaceX which will double as human and cargo transportation in the future.14
  • This launch also helped out President Obama. He has proposed to cut the Constellation program in favor of private space flight, which now looks like a viable alternative.15
bigelow aerospace history
Bigelow AerospaceHistory
  • In the 1990’s NASA was developing an inflatable space module. It was canned due to budget contstraints16
  • Robert Bigelow, a billionaire due to his Budget Suites of America franchise, purchased the rights to develop these inflatable modules.
  • Robert Bigelow has put $180 million into this company, and has stated that he is willing to put $320 million more into this enterprise.16
  • In 200617 and 200718, two small prototypes were put into orbit. They are still up there collecting data.
  • Bigelow offered a $50 million X-Prize to anyone who could get commercial human orbital launches by early 2010. It expired unclaimed.19
  • Currently in development is a larger, human habitable inflatable spacecraft. Furthermore, Bigelow Aerospace is working with Boeing to develop a crew capsule to deliver people to the habitats. 16
bigelow aerospace
Bigelow Aerospace
  • Plans on having a habitat in space in 4 years, with a crew living on board.20
  • The following year hopes to rent space on this habitat to nations too poor to develop their own space program. 20
  • Claims that they could do this for $25 million for 30 days, including transportation. By comparison, NASA pays $50 million per person to put astronauts into orbit using the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. 20
  • Furthermore, Bigelow plans to sell these modules to NASA to construct moon bases and possibly to use on Mars missions.21
  • Most of the citations are hyperlinks, this slide only lists those which are not accessible via the web
  • 9 – Phil Plait, “Invisible Planetoids.” Discover Magazine, July/August 2010 issue: Pg 37
  • Backgrounds:
    • Intro: Gravitas by Jeff Michelmann
    • The Dawn of Private Spaceflight:

Full Earth-Rise by Japanese Exploration Agency

    • Major Players slide: Spaceport America Terminal Concept
    • Virgin Galactic History: In Air Banking Concept
    • SpaceX History: Falcon 1 Flight 3 Liftoff
    • Bigelow Aerospace: An Inflatable Space Station
    • This slide: Stranded by Jeff Michelmann
    • Other Slides have Hyperlinks on the images in the slide