Suborbital: Industry at the Edge of Space

Suborbital: Industry at the Edge of Space

Paperback Springer-Praxis Books in Space Exploration

By (author) Erik Seedhouse

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  • Publisher: Springer International Publishing AG
  • Format: Paperback | 210 pages
  • Dimensions: 168mm x 241mm x 23mm | 318g
  • Publication date: 28 February 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Cham
  • ISBN 10: 3319034847
  • ISBN 13: 9783319034843
  • Edition statement: 2014 ed.
  • Illustrations note: 5 black & white illustrations, 79 colour illustrations, biography
  • Sales rank: 888,274

Product description

The nascent commercial suborbital spaceflight industry will soon open the space frontier to commercial astronauts, payload specialists, scientists and of course, tourists. This book describes the tantalizing science opportunities to be offered when suborbital trips become routine within the next 12 to 18 months. It describes the difference in training and qualification necessary to become either a spaceflight participant or a fully-fledged commercial suborbital astronaut and it describes the vehicles this new class of astronauts will use. Anticipation is on the rise for the new crop of commercial suborbital spaceships that will serve the scientific and educational market. These reusable rocket-propelled vehicles are expected to offer quick, routine and affordable access to the edge of space along with the capability to carry research and educational crew members. Yet to be demonstrated is the hoped-for flight rates of suborbital vehicles. Quick turnaround of these craft is central to realizing the profit-making potential of repeated sojourns to suborbital heights. As this book outlines, vehicle builders still face rigorous shake-out schedules, flight safety hurdles as well as extensive trial-runs of their respective craft before suborbital space jaunts become commonplace. The book examines some of these 'cash and carry' suborbital craft under development by such groups as Blue Origin, Masten Space Systems, Virgin Galactic and XCOR Aerospace and describes the hurdles the space industry is quickly overcoming en-route to the industry developing into a profitable economic entity. Seedhouse also explains how the commercial suborbital spaceflight industry is planning and preparing for the challenges of marketing and financing and how it is marketing the hiring of astronauts. It examines the role of commercial operators as enablers accessing the suborbital frontier and how a partnership with governments and the private sector will eventually permanently integrate the free market's innovation of commercial suborbital space activities.

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Author information

Dr. Erik Seedhouse worked as an Astronaut Training Consultant for Bigelow Aerospace in 2005, a company for whom he wrote the Spaceflight Participants Flight Surgeon's Manual. He also developed astronaut-training protocols for future spaceflight participants and wrote and edited several chapters of Bigelow Aerospace's Astronaut Training Manual. Erik is a research scientist specializing in environmental life sciences and physiology, the subject in which he obtained his Ph.D. in Physiology while working for the European Space Agency between 1996 and 1998. In 2009, he was one of the final candidates for selection as an astronaut in the CSA's Astronaut Recruitment Campaign. He is a certified commercial suborbital astronaut who will fly a payload mission in 2014. He is also Training Director for Astronauts for Hire and for the last four years served as Director of Canada's Manned Centrifuge Operations.

Back cover copy

Until recently, spaceflight has been the providence of a select corps of astronauts whose missions, in common with all remarkable exploits, were experienced vicariously by the rest of the world via television reports and Internet feeds. These spacefarers risked their lives in the name of science, exploration and adventure, thanks to government-funded manned spaceflight programs."All that is about to change"The nascent commercial suborbital spaceflight industry will soon open the space frontier to commercial astronauts, payload specialists and, of course, spaceflight participants. "Suborbital "explains the tantalizing science opportunities offered when suborbital trips become routine and describes the difference in training and qualification necessary to become either a spaceflight participant or a fully fledged commercial suborbital astronaut."Suborbital "also explains how the commercial suborbital spaceflight industry is planning and preparing for the challenges of marketing the hiring of astronauts. It examines the role of commercial operators as enablers accessing the suborbital frontier and how a partnership with governments and the private sector will eventually permanently integrate the free market s innovation of commercial suborbital space activities"

Table of contents

The Industry.- Suborbital Spaceflight.- Suborbital Reusable Vehicle Markets.- Training Suborbital Astronauts.- The Operators and Their Vehicles.- The Frontrunners.- Systems under Development.- Launch sites.- The Missions.- Science Missions.- Payload and Tourist Missions.- The Industry Today & Emerging Markets.