Sunday, September 13, 2009
Interorbital Systems Plans Crewed Capsule Launch from Spaceport Tonga in 2011
Mojave, California-based Interorbital Systems (IOS) announced Saturday that it is developing a two-person orbital crew module as an addition to its orbital tourism operations to loft in late 2011 aboard the company’s modular NEPTUNE 1000 rocket.
Two Interorbital Systems test pilots---Nebojsa Stanojevic, a 'Tweeting' Serbian, and Miroslav Ambrus-Kis, [vid], a 'Tweeting' Croatian, both of whom are seasoned explorers, will be aboard the NEPTUNE 1000 spacecraft. The test pilots are also a part of the Synergy Moon Team for the Google Lunar X-Prize.
The two-man capsule is designed to orbit the earth for approximately 12 hours or 8 orbits around the planet. For assured reentry, the spacecraft will be launched into a self-decaying orbit. The crew module, which has a launch escape system to ensure the pilots’ safety, will splash down Apollo-style on parachutes in the South Pacific Ocean near its launch location in the Kingdom of Tonga. The Spaceport Tonga is being readied by IOS for human and lunar robot flights.
The price for the Interorbital Systems spacecraft ride to orbit is expected to be $800,000 per person when commercial service begins in 2012. The BBC looks at IOS too. There appears to be no commercial plan to service the International Space Station (yet any way). More from the Croatian Times and Javno.com.