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November 23, 2011

U.S. Commercial Suborbital Industry

FAA - The U.S. Commercial Suborbital Industry: A Space Renaissance in the Making (44 pages) This report profiles six companies that have made significant progress in development of suborbital reusable launch vehicles (SRLVs). The suborbital service providers in this publication aim to reach or surpass the altitude of 100 kilometers (62 miles). Current concepts for suborbital vehicles either launch vertically like a traditional launch vehicle, at a high altitude from a carrier craft, or horizontally take off under rocket power from a runway. The vehicles then either use rockets or parachutes to assist landing vertically, or they use wings to land like a glider or conventional aircraft.

Thus far, Virgin Galactic has received over $55M in deposits from almost 440 customers, and XCOR has announced $40M in wet lease agreements.





Armadillo Aerospace Hyperion Statistics

• Seats: 2
• Altitude: 100 km
• Mass: TBD
• Payload: 200kg
• Propulsion: LOX/alcohol
• Operational flights: 2014
• Ticket price per seat: $102,000
• Ticket broker: Space Adventures. Space Adventures currently has a customer wait list of over 200 people.

Blue Origin New Shepard

• Seats: 3+
• Altitude: 100 km
• Mass: TBD
• Payload: 3 crew, or ~200 kg (internal) and 120 kg (external)
• Propulsion: 90% hydrogen peroxide and RP kerosene
• Operational flights: 2012
• Ticket price per seat: TBD

Masten Space Systems XA-1.0

• Seats: 0
• Altitude: 100 km
• Mass: TBD
• Payload: TBD
• Propulsion: LOX/alcohol
• Operational flights: 2012

UP Aerospace Spaceloft

• Seats: 0
• Altitude: 160 km
• Mass: 354 kg
• Payload: 36 kg
• Propulsion: Ammonium perchlorate solid propellant
• Currently operational

Virgin Galactic SS2

• Seats: 8
• Altitude: 100 km
• Mass: TBD
• Payload: TBD
• Propulsion: Hybrid (proprietary)
• Operational flights: 2012
• Ticket price per seat: $200,000

XCOR Lynx

• Seats: 1-2
• Altitude: 100km
• Mass: 4,546kg
• Payload: 120kg (265lb) internal, 650kg (1433lb) external
• Propulsion: LOX/kerosene
• Operational flights: 2013
• Ticket price per seat: $95,000

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