Thu, Apr 12, 2007
Would Provide Atlas V For SpaceDev
Upstart commercial space travel provider SpaceDev may soon have
some heavy hitters in its corner, as a proposal is in the works for
United Launch Alliance -- a joint venture between Boeing and
Lockheed Martin -- to provide launch vehicles for the company's
Dream Chaser manned spacecraft.
SpaceDev CEO Mark Sirangelo told the Wichita Eagle ULA has
agreed to study using its Atlas V booster -- a mainstay of current
unmanned commercial launches -- to send SpaceDev's spacecraft on
commercial and tourist flights.
As Aero-News has reported,
SpaceDev hopes to send six to eight passengers at a time on
low-earth-orbital flights onboard the Dream Chaser. A variant of
the spacecraft -- which lands on conventional runways, similar to
the current space shuttle -- could also be used to transport paying
customers and/or cargo to the International Space Station.
"Space tourism is going to be a multibillion-dollar market,"
said Sirangelo. "It's fairly significant, but it's only a part of
our market, not the whole thing. We're going to sell the same core
system to the government, to commercial operators to move
satellites to space, or to operators who may move people back and
forth for tourism in space."
ULA spokeswoman Julie Andrews confirmed the spaceflight
consortium is reviewing SpaceDev's case -- but declined to comment
"We will be a merchant supplier of launch services," Andrews
said. "We're just at the beginning of this."
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