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U.S. Human Suborbital Launch

Year: 2015
Country: United States
NASA’s efforts with its Commercial Crew Program and Space Launch System primarily focus on launching humans into Earth orbit and beyond. However, other organizations and companies are pursuing the goal of reusable suborbital launch vehicles for humans.
Year: 2014
Country: Iran, United States
Private companies are developing suborbital reusable launch vehicles as well. Virgin Galactic flight-tested its SpaceShipTwo crewed suborbital vehicle in 2014. The second of the year’s powered test flights of SpaceShipTwo ended in a crash, with the vehicle breaking up mid-flight and killing one...
Year: 2013
Several crewed, reusable suborbital vehicles have been under development during the past decade. These vehicles are being designed and built by commercial companies to carry paying passengers to the edge of space, enabling them to experience microgravity for minutes at a time. When operational,...
Year: 2012
Country: United States
A new aspect of space infrastructure is the development of suborbital reusable launch vehicles (RLVs). Unlike sounding rockets, these vehicles are designed to land intact and be flown again. Stimulated by the $## million Ansari X PRIZE, won in 2004 by Scaled Composites’ SpaceShipOne vehicle,...
Year: 2011
Country: United States
Suborbital RLVs are designed to fly multiple times, with or without human passengers, to serve space tourism, research, and other markets. The best-known of these vehicles is SpaceShipTwo, which is undergoing flight tests and may begin commercial passenger-carrying operations in 2013. SpaceShipTwo...
Year: 2010
Country: United States
There has been a surge of interest in crewed suborbital launch vehicles in recent years, owing in large measure to the Ansari X PRIZE. This competition offered a $## million prize to the first team to fly a reusable suborbital vehicle capable of carrying three people (or a pilot plus ballast) to an...
Year: 2009
Country: United States
Although no suborbital human-rated vehicles flew in 2009, there was considerable progress by several companies actively developing such vehicles. Among the most visible of these was the formal unveiling in December 2009 of SpaceShipTwo, a suborbital vehicle built by The Spaceship Company, a joint...
Year: 2008
The SpaceShipTwo vehicle, scheduled to begin commercial service by 2010, is the product of The Spaceship Company, a joint venture between Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic. The design of SpaceShipTwo is similar to that of SpaceShipOne, the only suborbital spacecraft with a demonstrated capacity...

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