A suborbital spaceflight in the coming years will be confronted you with something entirely new.
In the next few years, suborbital spacecraft will transport scientific payloads and passengers into space. In the foreground of the scientific payload are the natural exploration of Earth and the development of new materials and the test of it.
People who may be flying into suborbital space will have a world-class adventure, which will allow them a look that will bring a lifetime's memory. Moreover, above all things, this flight is a psychological event. People who fly into space, thinking of that moment differently about their life or the entire universe. This effect could be observed especially at the Apollo astronauts; partly they talked about 'divine experiences'. However, it is on your own how to react to this event. This can not be predetermined or determined in advance by specialists.
Surely a flight into suborbital altitudes is primarily associated with much work.
"Suborbital" as refers to the physics, as a little info about the technical details of the matter of science, as a trajectory that lies at an altitude between 100 and 200 kilometres above the Earth's surface. The edge of space here is not yet physically reached, the Earth's atmosphere molecules can also still be measured in orbits of 1.600km.
In the 50s of last century, someone thought about how could refer to a flight altitude, leading to the border of the universe (Edge of Space), or into space.
The most highly "flying" man was in 1960 the U.S. Air Force Captain Joseph Kittinger. Joseph Kittinger was a test pilot and participant in the program "Man High". This project was an attempt by the U.S. Air Force to test and to develop systems, what could be used from pilots of high flying aircraft (e.g. the U2-Spyplane 'Dragonlady') to allow the emergency exit from a great height from the machine if it was necessary to do.
Kittinger reached on a flight with a helium balloon with its gondola an altitude of 110,000 feet (31.232 meters). As the altitude was reached, he got out of the gondola and fell back to earth. Kittinger set some world records what are unbraked until then: the highest-flying person in a balloon, the highest drop speed in free fall. He landed safely with his parachute with an injured hand, because his glove at this hand failed.
Some claimed it that he was faster in this case as the speed of sound during his falling (speed of sound 333 m/s), but this could not be measured on the radar images, but he moved into his freefall at high altitudes near the sound barrier. He would probably not have survived if he would have broken the sound barrier. One record is still, this time, unbroken: the longest free fall in history. On October 14, 2012, the Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner crossed as the first human the sound barrier, as he jumped off the gondola on 127,852 ft (38,969.4 m). Baumgartner's record-breaking maximum vertical speed was revised upwards to 1,357.6 kph / 843.6 mph / Mach 1.25 from an initial estimate of 1,342.8 kph/ 833.9 mph/ Mach 1.24. This wasn' an adventure, this was a stunt! Any record of Kittinger's jump in 1960 was broken by Baumgartner, but one Kittinger still holds the longest free fall with 4 minutes and 36 seconds!
In October 2014, Alan Eustace, a Google exec, has broken the high altitude record of Baumgartner. Eustace jumped from a height of 135,890 ft (41,419 m)
Pilots and astronauts
The first human 'suborbital flight' in the history of space flight can be described by the American Alan B. Shepard, who became the first American in space with his Mercury capsule in May 1961.
His ship was flying at an altitude of 186 kilometres, and then he landed safely in the Atlantic Ocean.
Yuri Gagarin's space flight on 12 April 1961, however, was an orbital space flight. Yuri reached an altitude of 350 kilometres, and he circled the Earth in 96 minutes once. The Americans were first with John Glenn in 1962, completing the first successful orbital flight.
Already in the 50ties, they worked on an experimental aircraft, which later became known as "X-15 project". The X-15 rocket-propelled aircraft was attached to a wing of a B-52 bomber, first transported to an altitude of about 14 kilometres. Then it was dropped, the rocket engines ignited and began the rapid ascent to high altitudes.
In 1963 pilot Joe Walker twice reaching heights beyond the official international boundary of space with more than 100 kilometres altitude. This was the official rules, the first suborbital flights with a rocket-powered plane. The U.S. Air Force defined in this period the 'edge of space' at 80 km altitude. Out of this reason, the military pilots of the X-15 who crossed these limits received the 'USAF Astronaut Wings' award, while the civilian pilots only awarded with the 'NASA Astronaut Wings' 35 years later.
Since these days of space flight missions with the Russians Vostok, Mercury and Gemini flights, around 700 astronauts & cosmonauts flown to space, with the proportion of the Americans is the greatest. The Russian cosmonauts presented with fewer persons in this number have resided for the longest time in space. After the Moon landing race had been lost by Soviets, they started with long-term stays in space. The residence of Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov with 437 days in space during one mission represents until today the world record. Sergei Krikalev, a Russian cosmonaut, owned the world records for most time in space up to 2014: during eight missions onboard MIR-Space Station, US space shuttle flights, Soyuz flights and ISS missions, Sergei stayed 803 days, 9 hours and 41 minutes in space. In 2016 his record was broken by Russian cosmonaut Gennady Padalka who spent 878 days, 11 hours and 31 minutes in space as he came back in September 2016 from his 5th mission.
Space tourists & passengers
Passengers on suborbital space flights have always been the winged spirit of man, and thus already crystallised out in the early 90s of last century, that this step would be made sometime in the future.
Moreover, so it was only a matter of time before the first commercial aircraft manufacturers arise to address this subject.
The Ansari X Prize was won in 2004 by the American manufacturer Scaled Composites. 10 million dollars in prize money was suspended for the team, which exceeds by a commercial space flight the edge of space by international rules of the FAI (www.fai.org) of 100 km, and returns to space again repeated within two weeks.
Since then, several companies are working on an approach to space, which 'Space Participants' (as called space tourist in the jargon, they do not sound like a space tourist with a suitcase) leads at or beyond altitudes of the boundary of space.
The boundary of outer space was in the last century set by the U.S. Air Force described with 80 kilometres, however, determined by the FAI (www.fai.org) with a height of 100km. This limit was considered as a target, the first commercial astronaut who exceeds them. The 100-kilometer mark was decisive of the scientific work of Theodore von Kármán, founder of the JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory).
Now we are facing a new era when heading out of the man into space, but on "private wings." The orbital flights to the ISS are still in focus by the remain of performing of countries and their governments; the suborbital space tourism is slighted in the next upcoming years to or beyond the limit of the 'Karman Line' (100 km).
Requirements and flight phases
First: you have to go up to there! Surely this is a piece of work. You must be healthy, but you do not need to be Iron Man! There are physical minimum and maximum dimensions, and as you may not suffer from claustrophobia, too. Your heart must be in order, and your blood pressure too. Depending on which flight vehicle is used, it must be simply first present medical examinations and medical checks on basic conditions. Sometimes this issue is extenuated a little to the slogan 'Anybody can make it', but so easy it is not.
However, you can be sure that you will get accurate documentation from the various providers, and it will not remain to save you having to undergo a thorough medical investigation. Sometimes you can even do preliminary studies with your family doctor. If you want to be sure, then please take our offered 'Suborbital Prequalification training'. When you are through there, you know that you bring the necessary bite to adapt to the various flight phases what will occur during your ride into space.
The flight into space will take you through the same three walls namely: the first step is to break the sound barrier at Mach 1 (333 m/s), then through the next stage of Mach 2 (666 m/s). This is followed by MACH 3 (999 m/s). You will rise at a rate of about 3.600 km/h into space when the rocket engine was ignited. It loads about 3-4 G to your body; it means multiple body weight of your body. (Example: a person who weights 80 kilos weights 320kg at 4 G). You will be pressed into your seat; your arms are massive. However, this burden is unbearable; you were trained to charge this all in training before.
At an altitude of about 55 km (or sooner, depending on which altitude has to be reached), the rocket engine is turned off, and then begin your free-flight phase. It is suddenly quite around to you because the rocket engine is shut down and the vehicle moves only by the initial velocity unmotivated towards Karman line.
From this moment begins, physically speaking, a Keppler parabola! You will be weightlessness! This is a very exciting moment. You will feel zero gravity, but this feeling will be overtaken by another event, namely the view of the Earth. You will rush forward to beginning approximately 3.600 km/h to the Karman line, after the shutdown of the rocket engine your speed will rapidly decreasing all the time.
Arriving at an altitude of 100 and 120 km you have reached your goal, the highest point of your trip (apogee). Quickly begins the descent toward Earth. You have a view out of the space vehicle. Some ships will be rotated in space in all directions so that you can see both: Earth as well as the absolute blackness of space. You cannot see the start, Earth's blue-white glow will outshine all around you.
If you look in the direction 12 o’clock (aviators language: 12 o'clock means to the front, 3 o'clock means to right, 6 and 9 o'clock to the back and the left), you can see far 1.600km. That means for example: If you are flying from northern Italy, you see in the north Denmark, you can see on the left next to the English island. Look to the south; you can see the boot of Italy well, and the Mediterranean islands of Corsica and Sardinia. You see the north coast of Africa! The Earth has a large curvature, which you could already be observed during the ascent into space also.
The curvature becomes stronger, as further, you move toward to space, and you notice that the Earth is a sphere, which draws its tracks in space for billions of years. The different shades of the Earth atmosphere layers will be burned into your mind. The human eye can detect colour differences more than a camera lens.
The Earth in total you will obviously not get to see. For this, you need to fly as an example into the direction of the Moon to a distance of 260,000 kilometres. There were previously only the Apollo astronauts who landed (nearby all) on the Moon.
How will it be?
Such a flight, you can not put into words. Our customers flying with the MIG-25 to high altitudes, Andreas our 'boss' reached during such a flight nearly 29 kilometres. Today we offer the "Edge of Space flights' with the MIG-29 UB, altitudes from 21 to 23 km are possible, depending on the season and of course the technical conditions that apply on the day of the trip.
For most participants during jet flights the point of maximum flight altitudes was "indefinitely". Time seemed to stand still, and the minute they seemed like hours.
Others described their experience as passed by in seconds, which was however offset by the fact that they received their flight video and then they could 'fly' again. This video, from different points of view are also available from your suborbital flight. In HD.
Nobody can do this prediction if this all will happen to your suborbital space flight. This experience can be experienced only by the fact that you will go on this flight!
Welcome to the era of suborbital space flights! Welcome to space! We look forward to assist you on your way to up there!
[Pictures by: NASA, US-Airforce, Scaled Composites, Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center, Federal Aviation Administration, Space Affairs]