Astronauts can make a second space house, but they are rising even for the first time. NASA hopes to better prepare for space challenges by sending its teams on suborbital flights such as Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin – which has potentially proposed a huge new market for the new private spaceflight industry.
Speaking at the Next Generation Suborbital Researchers conference in March, NASA Manager Jim Bridenstine announced that the agency is currently considering private carriers, because previously there was no possibility. “This is a talent that we have not had as a nation until recently,” he said in a statement by Space.com. Indeed, it is not entirely clear what we have even now. Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin showed suborbital flights that crossed the boundaries of the area, but test flights and commercial flights to order are very different.
Although Virgin is already selling tickets, there is no set date for the first flight with passengers. This flight will most likely be this year, but without a reliable schedule and registration of successful missions, it’s hard to say that talent is currently a willing thing. This is the nature of space travel – 99% of the road is still nowhere. Still, it seems inevitable that Virgin, Blue or another provider will offer suborbital flights with space and cargo for passengers over the next few years.
Something that seems hot to get them from NASA. It is strange that astronauts do all their training here on Earth, but equally inevitable. All the simulators can do their “vomit comet” flights and the pool training they want – but in the end, the only way to experience the space is to go there
Leaving the rocket-powered atmosphere and the resulting weightless minutes are a convenient venue for training, testing, and other operations that might otherwise happen in orbit. That’s what NASA hopes to happen – no contracts have been signed yet.
Although it is guaranteed that the first few suborbital flights will be sold from these providers, space tourism is not a proven industry, and then events such as the current pandemic and inevitable economic downturn can actually have a serious impact (or ability to provide them) on these high ticket items. Therefore, the possibility of regular government contracts is almost certainly a great relief for any company that aims to provide or support sub-flights.
“This is a big change for NASA, but an important one,” Bridenstine said. The shift uses official flights as official training, not just the private sector recently undertaken by government programs. He said that even though it does not have the same standards as flights to ISS, flights should be extremely secure.
Further training and testing will only increase the readiness for new missions, increase their readiness for flights, and reduce the complexity of existing programs based on NASA-managed missions for these capabilities, on flights that are not actually carried out by NASA. I asked the agency for more information on this topic and if I hear it again I will update the post