Private Suborbital Saceflight

SpaceShipTwo resting under the Mothership WhiteKnight2 inside a hangar in Mojave,Ca.
Source: Virgin Galactic/Mark Greenberg

The private suborbital spaceflight can be seen as a spaceflight or the development of new spaceflight technology which is owned, conducted and paid for by a body that has no affiliation with the government in any way. It can be said that in the early decades of Space Age, the government space agencies of the “Soviet Union” and that of the “United States” initiated the space technology with support from the design bureaus in the USSR and other private companies in the US.

In response to this the European Space Agency was formed in the year 1975, with it also following the model of space technology development, and then later on large defense contractors eventually started to develop and operate space launch systems, which is said to have been gotten from government rockets. At this point they have been able to see the benefits that will eventually spring from private suborbital spaceflights and wanted to be a part of it.

As a follow up on private spaceflight, in the 2000s, entrepreneurs began designing and at about 2010 they started deploying space systems that were competitive to the space systems the government owned, coming toe to toe with the early decades of the space age. And since there are have been numerous successes which include the flying of the suborbital spaceplanes, the launching of orbital rockets and as well the successful development of the first-stage orbital launch vehicles. The private suborbital spaceflights that has been planned beyond Earth orbit include the personal spaceflights around the Moon and it has been said that two private orbital habitat prototypes are already in Earth orbit.

The private suborbital spaceflight has been fully recognized due to the fact that even before now various private initiatives started up for sore purpose of pursing the private use of space and it is important to have it in mind that the first privately funded rocket to achieve spaceflight was “Conestoga I” which was successfully launched by the Space Services Inc. and various others have sprung up since the launching of the “Conestoga I” and they will be addressed briefly.


Virgin Galactic is a American spaceflight company known to be within the Virgin Group, and was founded in 2004 by Richard Branson who is a British entrepreneur and also the founder of the Virgin Atlantic just so you know. The Virgin Galactic is known to be developing commercial spacecraft and it aims to provide suborbital spaceflights to space tourists. Virgin Galactic has set up plans to provide orbital human spaceflights and this can be attained with the “SpaceShipTwo”, which is the Virgin Galactic’s suborbital spacecraft and it is air launched from beneath a carrier airplane known as “White Knight Two”.

In 2009 the founder of Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson made a statement that he hoped to see a maiden flight by the end of that year but eventually it didn’t occur due to the fact it has been delayed on a number of occasions but not until 2018 that the Virgin Galactic’s project achieved its first suborbital spaceflight, with it reaching an altitude of 82.7 kilometres and officially entering outer space by US standards. Now you should take note that the project did not carry a third person as a passenger when it first launched it was not until February 2019 that it eventually had its first passenger.

Since they achieved orbit in 2018, the motion was already put in place, things started to change drastically and that led to Virgin Galactic making an announcement on January 24 that they’ve partnered with Under Armour for the fabrication of space suits for passengers and pilots of SpaceShipTwo. Under Armour will as well create uniforms for the employees at Virgin Galactic. With all of these going on you can already tell that they’ll be positive outcomes from it in the future.


SpaceShipOne was a space plane designed and created by Scaled Composites, a company known to be owned by the aerospace designer Burt Rutan. In addition to this, the ship’s development was backed up by the co-founder of Microsoft Paul Allen, so by now you can already tell it had the appropriate funding needed during its development. Now the SpaceShipOne was 28 feet long, while the cigar-shaped fuselage was about 5 feet in diameter and was able to convey a pilot and two passengers. The plane had short, wide wings with a 16-foot span, and to that a large, vertical tail booms were mounted on the end of each wing.

The SpaceShipOne was launched in midair, at an altitude of 50,000 feet, from the underside of its said mothership, “The White Knight” which is a turbofan-powered airplane. Now after the spacecraft successfully glided for a few seconds, hybrid rocket motors which was placed on it fired for 80 seconds to loft the spacecraft just beyond the Earth’s atmosphere. The spacecraft arced through space for about 3 minutes and then made its way back to Earth without making orbit around it.

SpaceShipOne was said to have made a major turning point on June 21, 2004, when the spacecraft flew 62.5 miles above Earth’s surface. In doing so, SpaceShipOne was said to have crossed a boundary called the Karman line, the known accepted point of entry to space in regards to the International Astronautical Federation. After two more flights in 2004, precisely September 29 and October 4, the spacecraft won the $10 million Ansari X Prize for repeated flights in a privately developed, reusable spacecraft. After making these success, the SpaceShipOne was retired from active service and that led to the birth and development of the SpaceShipTwo.


X Prize is a nonprofit organization which was founded in 1995 and it designs and manages public competitions that are intended to encourage technological development that would benefit humanity. The mission of X Prize was stated that it wants to bring about radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. It sets up high-profile competitions to motivate individuals, companies and organizations across the world to bring about innovative ideas and technologies that would help solve the grand challenges that restrict humanity’s progress. The highest-profile that it has ever set up to date is the Ansari X Prize in recognition to the spacecraft development awarded in 2004. This prize was made for the intention to inspire the research and development of technological space exploration and as you already know by now SpaceShipOne eventually won the prize.

SPACESHIPTWO Five years after the outstanding success of SpaceShipOne, Rutan decided to come up with a new version which will later be known as the SpaceShipTwo and its carrier plane, WhiteKnightTwo. This idea was supported by the British entrepreneur Richard Branson and his spaceflight company, Virgin Galactic. It is designed to fly two pilots and six passengers on short, and go on suborbital spaceflights that would travel more than 62 miles above the planet, offer a few minutes of weightlessness and then return to back to the runway landing.


Blue Origin, is an American privately funded aerospace maker and sub-orbital spaceflight administrations organization headquartered in Kent, Washington. It was established in 2000 by Jeff Bezos, the organization is driven by CEO Bob Smith and has focused on creating advancements to empower private human access to space with the objective to drastically reduce the expenses and increment unwavering quality. Blue Origin is utilizing a steady methodology from suborbital to orbital flight, with each formative advance structure on its earlier work. The organization proverb is Gradatim Ferociter, Latin for “Step by Step, Ferociously”. Blue Origin is building up an assortment of advancements, with an emphasis on rocketfueled vertical departure and vertical landing vehicles for access to suborbital and orbital space. The organization’s name alludes to the blue planet, Earth, as the purpose of origin.

At first centered on suborbital spaceflight, the organization has structured, manufactured and flown various testbeds of its New Shepard shuttle at its offices in Culberson County, Texas. Formative dry runs of the New Shepard, named after the primary American in space Alan Shepard, started in April 2015, and flight testing proceeded into 2018, with its first traveler conveying spaceflight made arrangements for 2019. On about all of the practice runs since 2015, the uncrewed vehicle has achieved a test elevation of in excess of 100 km and accomplished a top speed of more than Mach 3 achieving space over the Kármán line, with both the space container and its rocket supporter for effective delicate landing.

New Shepard launch stage before landing

Blue Origin moved into the orbital spaceflight innovation business in 2014, at first as a rocket motor provider for others through a legally binding consent to assemble another enormous rocket motor, the BE-4, for real US dispatch framework administrator United Launch Alliance (ULA). By 2015, Blue Origin had reported designs to likewise make and fly its own orbital dispatch vehicle from the Florida Space Coast, known as the New Glenn. BE-4 had been relied upon to finish motor capability testing by late 2018, yet the test program proceeded into 2019. In May 2019, Jeff Bezos disclosed Blue Origin’s vision for space and furthermore gets ready for a moon lander known as “Blue Moon”, set to be prepared by 2024.

Spaceships versus classic reusable rockets

The launching of satellites, spacecraft and people into space usually cost a lot and the launch systems are only used once. The reason for this is that after fulfilling its purpose the rockets either burn up in the atmosphere or crash into the ocean. Over the years engineers have been working endlessly for a suitable solution for this issue and they eventually emerged with solutions for it.

SpaceX has been able to come about a rocket that can return to base, using its rocket engines to land vertically, and that led the reusable rockets. The other solution turned out to be spaceships that spawned up as well and you have been able to read more on spaceships. Now have it in mind that all of this all points to one specific goal “the betterment and improvement of space exploration” that’s why both of them shouldn’t be placed in a competitive light, both of them serves their purpose, it’s more like to whom whatever seems appropriate for.


Ever since the space age started quite a number of people wants to go on a space tour, just have a feel of what space is all about in person and there have been ticket that has been on sale for space tourism. It has been said that to date only Russia Space Agency has only performed an orbital space tourism, and due to that other aerospace companies are working on developing suborbital space tourism vehicles.

Few years back the publicized price for flights brokered by Space Adventures to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz Spacecraft was in the range of US$200-250 million, although the price might be high various persons still paid it for then just for the purpose of space tourism. As time moves forward things tend to get more developed and other aerospace companies have been brought to light.

All of it led to NASA making an announcement on June 7, 2019, that in 2020 the organization will aim at allowing private astronauts to go on the Internatonal Space Station, with the use of SpaceX’s Dragon 2 module and the estimated price will be at $35,000 per day. The future of space explorations will have its own share of development, there are other miles to be reached.