Wednesday, February 9

Commercial Space Flights

As NASA retires its shuttle fleet, they are reaching out to help develop commercial transportation services to the International Space Station (ISS).  Rapid Transit is a must for growth in any largely populated areas -- Atlanta's got MARTA; NY, MTA; Boston, BTA; Charlotte, CATS, and now NASA has COTS (Commercial Orbital Transportation Services). 
In December 2010, the first commercial spacecraft of COTS, "The Dragon" returned to the US from a low-Earth orbit where it had traveled over 17,000 mph for about three hours.  SpaceX is the company behind the Dragon and has spent close to $400 million to reach the launch pad first.....
  SpaceX and Orbital Sciences are both working with NASA to develop an orbital vehicle to be used for travel and resupply to the ISS.  Currently, the projection is to have cargo commercially transported to the ISS by the end of 2011 and to transport astronauts within three years.  Until then, our astronauts will continue to hitchhike from the Russians aboard the Soyuz
A NASA endorsement is not necessarily the only way to travel in outerspace commercially.  Spaceport America has a launch facility in New Mexico and expects it to be operating by the end of 2011.  They are hoping to launch tourist excursions into space soon after.  So.  Who's up for a ride?   Maybe we can charter one for Pookie's Planetary Party Bus.


Rick said...

Cool - I'm thinking Ms. Frizzle from THE MAGIC SCHOOL BUS needs to be the flight attendant?

Poof said...

I love Ms. Frizzle!!