Poll

Will commercial space companies be able to conduct manned space flights (i.e. above 80km) in 2018?

Both Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic will send people to space in 2018.
Blue Origin will send people to space, but Virgin Galactic won't.
Blue Origin won't send people to space, but Virgin Galactic will.
Neither company will send people to space, BO will launch unmanned NS rocket, VG will have powered rocket flights
Neither company will send people to space, only BO will launch unmanned NS rocket
Neither company will send people to space, only VG will conduct gliding or powered tests.
Neither company will send people to space - total hiatus, only ground activities, no flights at all.

Voting closes: 02/03/2018 01:05 PM

Author Topic: Will commercial tourist companies conduct manned space flights in 2018?  (Read 1354 times)

Online Svetoslav

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Here I go... In this chapter I will include Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin, the companies who plan to start tourism space flights. As of December 2017, neither of these have conducted a suborbital manned spaceflight.

Online Svetoslav

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Much thanks to Chris Bergin for fixing my poll :) Now everyone can vote.

Online ZachS09

For some reason, I think tourists will be more likely to fly in Blue Origin's New Shepard rather than Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo.
« Last Edit: 12/05/2017 01:22 PM by ZachS09 »
"Liftoff of Falcon 9: the world's first reflight of an orbital-class rocket."

I think we will see a manned NS by the end of the summer, a month or so before the first crewed Dragon mission. Because testosterone  ;D

Only unmanned tests for VG
Failure is not only an option, it's the only way to learn.
"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the custody of fire" - Gustav Mahler

Online Svetoslav

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Only unmanned tests for VG

VG never conducts unmanned tests. All of the tests are conducted in manned mode. Perhaps the only company that does this.

Online gongora

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So does a VG flight with just the test pilots count as a manned flight, or do we require other passengers?

Online Svetoslav

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So does a VG flight with just the test pilots count as a manned flight, or do we require other passengers?

Yes. We're talking about the first manned suborbital flight since 2004.

Only unmanned tests for VG

VG never conducts unmanned tests. All of the tests are conducted in manned mode. Perhaps the only company that does this.
Ops. I thought the gliding tests were unmanned. I'm going to vote for no actual manned suborbital space flights then :D
Failure is not only an option, it's the only way to learn.
"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the custody of fire" - Gustav Mahler

Online FutureSpaceTourist

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I think both will day suborbital crewed test flights in 2018, but I doubt either will fly paying passengers until 2019 (assuming no major failures).

Online high road

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I went a little negative on that one. Maybe VG surprises me, who knows.

Online Svetoslav

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I have to admit, I also voted negative. I don't believe they will do it, but maybe VG will surprise me too. I think November 2018 is earliest for manned spaceflight

Offline SweetWater

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So does a VG flight with just the test pilots count as a manned flight, or do we require other passengers?

Yes. We're talking about the first manned suborbital flight since 2004.

Based on this definition, I voted that both will send humans to space. I think we see manned test flights of both vehicles in 2018. Flights with paying customers, however, will not happen until 2019 or later.

Online Svetoslav

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To sum it up : Blue Origin is about to resume NS flights next week.

Meanwhile SpaceShipTwo appears to be in a hiatus (although White King Two was seen flying several days ago).

Apparently 2018 is going to be a very interesting year.

Online hop

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Voted both doing power flights but not crew to space. I think VG will be close, less of an idea how close BO is. Wouldn't be very surprised by any of the options, though I'd slightly lower odds on "neither flies anything"
« Last Edit: 12/10/2017 10:51 PM by hop »

Offline spacenut

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To me suborbital is a trip to nowhere.  If I was a billionaire, I would rather orbit the earth, than have a 15 minute joyride.  I guess it is a start though. 

Offline Paul451

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If I was a billionaire,

Suborbital is meant for non-billionaires. Rich enough to throw away $200k, but not rich enough to throw away $20m.

Online Svetoslav

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To me suborbital is a trip to nowhere.  If I was a billionaire, I would rather orbit the earth, than have a 15 minute joyride.  I guess it is a start though. 


The question is: what does it mean to be a trip to somewhere? Yes, Blue Origin is seeing New Shepard rocket as a testbed for reusability, and New Glenn and future rockets are meant to be upgrades of this rocket. Virgin Galactic IMO doesn't - the spaceplane is just for tourism is nothing else.

But space tourism is more about entertainment and personal gain and pleasure,  and everything else is secondary - that includes expansion in the Solar System.

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