Saturday, March 29, 2008

Space Access 2008 - Chuck Lauer of Rocketplane Global

Chuck Lauer of Rocketplane Global said the market analysis still shows great potential for space tourism. Rocketplane Global is planning to only do 4 G's in contrast to Virgin's 6 G's. Chuck said this is a big difference for many people.

Chuck says you need to have help from the government. By and large the federal government is out of the picture. It is the states that are working with space companies. For example Virgin Galactic is working with the state of New Mexico and Rocketplane Global is working with Oklahoma.

There appears interest from reality TV shows to put celebrities into space. Also several brands are looking at by two tickets and having a contest. For example Nestle is having a contest for French speaking people; they'll have contests for other language groups down the road. Nestle is spending $400,000 for two tickets, and then another six million dollars to promote the contest.

Rocketplane Global's new design has six seats, three rows of two seats. They have designed the cabin so all seats see out the window. Each person has a side window and a monitor. Each person can select which of the seven cameras on the rocket they are looking at on the monitor.

The rocketplane flies as a plane to about 40,000 feet and then the rocket kicks in. They are flying out of Oklahoma.

The rocketplane is built in pieces by various sub contractors and integrated in Oklahoma.

In addition to the tourist market there appears to be a market for same day deliver across the world. Fed Ex charges on a per pound basis a premium to fly documents to Tokyo. Chuck had a fun line about you could fly a document to yesterday, going from Tokyo to the US. To have this service means the rocketplanes will have to be integrated with airports. Chuck showed a slide of flying from China to France in 90 minutes.

There are several spaceports around the world. There is nothing in the regulations that say you have to land in the spaceport you took off from.


Q: When start flying?
A: Looking around 2010 or 2011

Q: How many?
A: Looking at a fleet size of 8, would spread them out, currently planning on the first two in Oklahoma. You can see about six hundred miles away during a flight. People want to see their home, people from Europe would rather fly out of the Europe.

The full agenda

Technorati tags:


Anonymous said...

The only problem with flying from
China to Paris in one shot is that it's
85% as hard as making orbit and then
you still have to handle re-entry.

It's just a huge problem, ICBM missiles are
designed to Fly from Arkansas to Moscow,
it wasn't that much effort to make them orbital launchers.

Now to slow down, transition subsonic and then
land, is a big problem

Henry Cate said...

One of the points of Chuck's talk was that if they can work out these kinds of problems one of the ways rocketplanes can make money is to fly frieght which people will pay big bucks to be delivered in hours.