Thursday, July 1, 2010
"ASTRONAUT WINGS" FOR 10,000 USD
Here has still found the article with the my project.
There were not many advanced long-term space projects exhibited at the International Aviation and Space Salon (MAKS-2001). Nonetheless, the project exhibited by a Russian company under the title of "Cruise-Service" was extraordinary due to the distinctive and bold solutions underlying the project. So we have decided to make it a starting point for a cycle of articles about advanced domestic and foreign space projects.
O. Aleksandrov specially for Astronautics News
Universal Space System (USS), the project developed by Cruise Service, is aimed at establishing space tour business in Russia with support from foreign investors. Provisions are made in the project for building universal cruise modules which will be able to dock with themselves thus allowing to be launched with the use of various launchers, for example, "Space Shuttle", "Zenit", "Soyuz". Real "space hotels" with any accommodation capacity can be built in the orbit on the basis of such modules.
The company decided to start implementing the Universal Space System project with participation in the X-Prize content (Astronautics News No. 8, 2001, p. 15) where it intends to demonstrate the capabilities of its system. With regular suborbital flights to the altitude of over 150 km under the Sea Launch Cruiser the cost of one passenger seat is expected to go down to 10,000 USD with the passenger capacity of one module reaching 150 to 200 persons!
Passenger safety is a serious consideration at all flight stages. Due to three spare parachute sets, a powerful, a powerful SAS and a triple system backup the safety of the Universal Space System can exceed that of passenger planes.
Unit A (the first stage of Energiya launch vehicle) designed for multiple use is planned to be used as the launch vehicle in suborbital cruises. The Universal Space System will be launched from the Sea Launch platform, and the company intends to combine high profile sea cruises with exotic space travel.
Just imagine a luxurious cruiser slowly mooring at the Sea Launch platform where a not less luxurious suborbital spacecraft is waiting for the lucky ones whose health and wallet allow to pay for the additional service.
But the company will go beyond suborbital cruises. The modules are originally designed as universal orbital units that can be placed into the cargo module of a shuttle. They will be equipped with a docking system with additional fuel modules and engines which will allow to fly round the Moon as early as in 2008 (a module with the passenger capacity of 35 persons for the price of 20 mln USD for each)!
And if there is nothing to hamper the implementation of suborbital flights under the Sea Launch Cruiser project, space in the shuttle cargo module will have be leased so that Universal Space System modules can be taken to the orbit. It should also be taken into account that, as a rule, the cargo capacity of shuttles is under-utilised by 10% to 60%. Accommodating Universal Space System modules as an additional cargo in flights to the International Space Station can reduce ISS logistics costs by 3 to 5 times.
According to the estimates made by specialists, the reconstruction of Energiya-Buran, the similar Russian system, will be possible, if about 10 bln USD of investment is available. Should it be possible to reconstruct the Energiya-Buran system for 2 to 3 bln USD, the project will be quite realistic without the need for using a US shuttle.
Currently Cruise Service has a specific plan for raising investment for the project. Nonetheless, the company is inviting all interested organisations and individuals to cooperate with the project.