Sine the first spaceship, that carried human, launched, the researchers became being on afford to build stronger, safer, more uticeable shuttles. The first real breakthrough was the Space Shuttle, but after the crash of the Columbia (2003.02.01.), the NASA used no one of them. Meanwhile, advancing continued and the big space agencies joined the match.
Phoenix SpaceShipOne SpaceShipTwo NASA Space Shuttle Soyuz
prototype space ship. The EADS built it to be the forerunner of the Hopper by testing the concept. Its size is the one sixth of the Hopper’s, which going to transport passengers. The Phoenix is driven by automatics. This is the first non-military spacecraft, and hopefully it will act an important part in the history of the ISS. The developing cost 8.2 million USD till now.
non-pilot prototype;length: 6.9 m; wingspan: 3.9 m; weight: 1.2 t; maximal speed: 450 km/h
On the 8th of May, 2004, it flew a successfully glide above North-Sweden. In the experiment, the Phoenix had benne let pass from a big load-bearing copter, and then reached its max. speed, finally landed. The experiment took 90 seconds. The shuttle was driven by the GPS.
SpaceShipOne (SS1) or N328KF
The Scaled Composites’ most important goal was winning the Ansari-X Prize, so building a sub-orbital plane. The Prize means 10 million USD and the objects was taking passangers into the altitude of 100 km, with the serviceable weight, 270 kgs, landing safely, and reply this in two weeks. They did it this way: two planes were built, the bigger was the White Knight, which put the SS1 to the altitude of the 14.35 km, and then they divided. The SS1 started its own engine (which burning the mixture of N2O and synthetic rubber). The N328KF name, which registered in the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration.), came from these parts: N has been given to every aircrafts registered there, 328 KF (kilo-feet, 328 KF = nearly 100.04 km) means the maximal altitude, what reached by that plane. They wanted the N100KM name, but it was taken before. The designer of the SS1 and the leader of the Scaled Composites, Burt Rutan believes that the SS1 is the key for the fulfilment of his old dream: levitating weightlessness in the space. The project’s biggest sponsor is Paul Allen, the partner-founder of the Microsoft and the world’s seventh richest man.
it is driven by one pilot, can carry two passengers; length: 5 m; wingspan: 5 m; empty weight: 1.2 t; maximal weight: 3.6 t; maximal speed: 3.09 Mach (3518 km/h)
At the fourth of October, 2004, it won the X-Prize. It launched on the Mojave airport, the pilot was Brian Birnie. After the dividing from the White Knight, the SS1reached its maximal speed in 90 seconds, it got to the rim of the space, turned the wings to 65° and returned to the atmosphere. At the altitude 15.5 km, it turned the wings back, and glided to the Mojave.
With this flight, they have outgone the North American X-15’s record (1963), 107.2 km.
The English businessman, Sir Richard Benson ordered five ships for his new firm (the Virgin Galactic) inspired by the SS1’s success. These spacecrafts going to be the SS2s, twice bigger than the SS1, and the plans reconsidered to solve the errors of the SS1’s. Naturally, there will be White Knight Two (or WK Eve), what is going to be twice big than the WK1. The first SS2’s name going to be VSS (Virgin Space Ship) Enterprise (referring the Star Trek’s Enterprise.), and it is going to carry tourists, whom paid to fell micro-gravitation and reveal in the Earth. The first route likely is going to start from the Mojave airport, but Mr. Benson is going to plan a new-Mexican port. The SS2 is going to take passengers to a sub-orbital flight, but hopefully, and if the SS2 is success, the Space Ship Three will put travellers to orbital route.
Tickets can be bought nowadays, the fare is about 200 thousand USD, and the buyer must take 20 thousands into deposit. It is planned to train 3000 tourists per year, spaceship or starting point.
2-strong crew support capacity is seven tourists. The cabin is going to be 1.9 m high and 2.2 m board, so the size of a Gulfstream Jet.
NASA Space Shuttle
After the Apollo-project finished, the NASA made new goals to be reached. These plans contained the developing of Space Shuttles, the building of the planned space station and the taking humans to the Mars. Without the needed subsidy, the leader of the NASA wanted reclaimable spacecrafts, and they hoped in the Congress’s bless to the plans. The financial status just got wrong meanwhile and other cheaping conversions needed on the new planes. Richard Nixon subscribed the final plan in 1972.01.03. Most parts of the Space Shuttle can be reclaimed, excepting the big fuel tank, which can’t be recycled. The NASA has given 1500 million USD for the expenditures in the Space Shuttle fleet’s building; otherwise it cost more 10000 million USD for a time 1981. Two booster rockets were planned beside the planes, and they’ve benne propelled by firm fuel. This was more dangerous, had the risk of a bad start, which didn’t give the astronauts with chance of surviving, but otherwise it was the cheaper solution. The financial limits caused the building of a simpler Space Shuttle than the original plans. A Canadian robot-arm got up the planes, which made easier the lifting.
support capacity is ten astronauts; the crew is seven- or five-strong; length: 37.23 m; wingspan: 23.79 m; entire (starting) weight: 2041 t; orbiting speed: 2785 km/h, 7.7 km/s
The presidential deed ordered the building of four Space Shuttles. The Columbia was the first, and it launched on the 12th of April in 1981, with Captain John Young and Cadet Robert Crippen. After the successful test flight, the ship landed on the Californian Edwars airport, what built on a dried salt lake. In the next years, launchings became as in a schedule, the spacecraft-experiments were also successfully.
The Challenger’s tragedy (1986.01.28.) threw the project back. The side-booster rocket’s insulation problems caused blast after the 73rd second from the start. Seven astronauts were killed in the blast.
The system failure repaired in the next year, and in 1988 the Shuttles started again, but NASA couldn’t hold the schedule, because of the lost ship.
In 2003, at the first of February, the Columbia exploded above Texas, while its returning after the 16 day long STS-107 mission. The reason of the catastrophe could be a little rubble, which hit the plane at starting, and when the Columbia returned, the wing couldn’t bear the load. The rubbles of the destroyed shuttle were found in the immediate area. The seven astronauts, who were aboard, killed, including Ilan Ramon, the first Israeli in the space.
planned by Sergey Korolyov, and the first flight with human pilot were on the 23rd of April, in 1967. The name means „Alliance”. Originally it was the part of the Soviet Luna-project, but after all, its primary object became supporting the space stations, and covering the stations’ crew’s changing. Although the first test flight and the Soyuz-11 were also fruitless, but the project itself is success. The Soyuzes serving as the lifeboats of the ISS nowadays (instead of the stopped CSV project) otherwise the regular crew is 3-strong. The inner systems changed since the first type of them. The second generation was the Soyuz Ferry, between 1973 and ’81, and then was the Soyuz-T, with changed solar cells, and the cosmonauts found enough room in the Soyuz-T, when they wore space suit. Fourth generation was the Soyuz-TM, with the „Kurs” docking system. The newest, fifth generation is the Soyuz-TMA. The Soyuz class served as the basic of the Progress supporter class, which flies without a crew.
Supporting capacity: maximum 3 astronauts; Length: 7.5 m; Solar cell’s span: 10.1 m; Diameter: 2.5 m; Weight: 7.3 t
This project is successfully, although it’s original object – taking man to the Moon – wasn’t completed, but the Soyuzes served many space stations (f. e.: Mir, Salyut, ISS), took a part in experiments, and there was an Apollo-Soyuz project, as a first version of the ISS.