Boca Raton, Fl Nov 5th, 2014

XTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES HAS BEEN SOLD. The company and URL was recently acquired by Irwin Raymer of Acrylic Tank Manufacturing (ATM) of Las Vegas now interested in the Space Tourism business.

Mitchell J Schultz, Space Tourism Specialist and Publisher of Space Cruise News will consult with Irwin Raymer AKA 'THE GENERAL' from Animal Planet's hot reality series 'TANKED'. With his family of ATM in support, both Mitchell and Irwin are teaming up to build a unique SpaceTank Aquarium in the shape of an exact replica of a real SpacePlane. The SpaceTank Aquarium would be the subject of a future TANKED episode in 2015. (see

Initial Funding for this venture will come from a crowdfunding program soon to be placed in early 2015 onto one of the world's most successful online websites to raise funds through crowdfunding. Their marketing plans are to enlist many retail aquarium outlets to publicize the need to recruit followers and spread the word on social media. Plus to top off their cause is a direct donation of 5% of all that's raised that will go to the benefit of The Sea Life Trust helping maintain and protect our Oceans and Marine life worldwide. (

For further information and to join them visit

Space Tourism May Mean One Giant Leap for Researchers

Published: February 28, 2011

If all goes as planned, within a couple of years, tourists will be rocketing into space aboard a Virgin Galactic space plane — paying $200,000 for about four minutes of weightlessness — before coming back down for a landing on a New Mexico runway.

Sitting in the next seat could be a scientist working on a research experiment. Science, perhaps even more than tourism, could turn out to be big business for Virgin and other companies that are aiming to provide short rides above the 62-mile altitude that marks the official entry into outer space, eventually on a daily basis.

A $200,000 ticket is prohibitively expensive except for a small slice of the wealthy, but compared with the millions of dollars that government agencies like NASA typically spend to get experiments into space, “it’s revolutionary,” said S. Alan Stern, an associate vice president of the Southwest Research Institute’s space sciences and engineering division in Boulder, Colo.

He is a spirited evangelist for the science possibilities of what is known in aerospace circles as suborbital travel. Just as important as the lower cost, scientists will be able to get their experiments to space more quickly and more often, Dr. Stern said.

“We’re really at the edge of something transformational,” he added.

Dr. Stern’s institute announced Monday that it has signed a contract and paid the deposit to send two of its scientists up in Virgin’s SpaceShipTwo vehicle. Southwest also intends to buy six more seats — $1.6 million in tickets over all.

That follows an announcement on Thursday that Southwest is buying six seats from another suborbital company, XCOR Aerospace of Mojave, Calif., which has been charging $95,000 a seat for tourists. XCOR’s Lynx space plane carries just two people — the pilot and the paying passenger — so each flight will carry an experiment and an institute scientist.

“We have built, on our own dime, three payloads,” Dr. Stern said. “We’re buying tickets, before there is a government program from suborbital providers, for our own people to fly with those experiments.”

One of the Southwest experiments will look at how loose soil and rocks like those that cover asteroids behave. Another will fly an ultraviolet telescope that flew on the space shuttle Discovery in 1997. The third is a biomedical harness to measure heartbeat, blood pressure and other physical parameters of the scientist during flight.

When the experiments will get to space has not been set. Neither company has yet announced when commercial flights will begin, but eventually SpaceShipTwo could fly once or twice a day, and the Lynx is designed for up to four flights a day.

Virgin has already performed unpowered glide tests for the six-passenger SpaceShipTwo at Spaceport America in New Mexico and will begin powered ones soon. XCOR may begin flight tests of the Lynx later this year.

Two other companies — Blue Origin, created by Jeff Bezos, founder of, and Armadillo Aerospace — are also developing spacecraft for the tourist business. Another company, Masten Space Systems Inc., is developing a suborbital vehicle that will carry only payloads, not people.

Even if only some of these companies succeed, the prospect is that in a few years, hundreds of suborbital flights could be taking off every year. Dr. Stern predicted that even though a single flight would offer only a few minutes of weightlessness, the cumulative time of the suborbital experiments could quickly overtake that of the International Space Station, which has been in orbit for more than a decade.

NASA will be flying automated scientific payloads on Masten and Armadillo rockets this year, and the agency will provide more opportunities for researchers in future years, although it has not offered to buy seats for people to accompany their experiments.

For scientists, that could finally provide them ready access to space.

“It’s almost impossible to get research on the space station at the moment,” said Mark Shelhamer, a professor at the Johns Hopkins University medical school who would like to study people’s balance and other motor sensory abilities before and after suborbital flights.

On Earth, gravity is the dominant force, and many common processes — the way that water boils, for instance, and that a flame burns — behave much differently without it. But many of the theories describing how physics should work in weightlessness have not been tested in detail.

XCOR Announces Global Network of Research and Educational Mission Payload Integrators for Lynx Suborbital Spaceplane

ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- At the commencement of the 2011 Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) being held in Orlando, Florida, XCOR Aerospace announced its initial team of suborbital payload integration specialists who will begin taking orders and facilitating experiment development and integration for commercial, educational and government suborbital research missions aboard XCOR's Lynx reusable suborbital launch vehicle. Capable of up to four flights per day, the Lynx is expected to provide three to four minutes of micro-gravity and/or exposure to the harsh environment of space and the opportunity to investigate largely unknown regions of our upper atmosphere critical to environmental studies.


These pioneering payload integrators represent both large, established companies and start-up space entities run by seasoned executives and fresh new entrepreneurs from places like Asia, Europe, North America, and South Africa. XCOR will be adding additional specialist firms to the network in the coming months.

The first group of XCOR Lynx payload integration specialist firms include the following (in alphabetical order): the African Space Institute of Durban, South Africa; Cosmica Spacelines of Toulouse, France; NanoRacks of Lexington, Kentucky and Washington, D.C.; the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in Boulder, Colorado; Space Chariots in Oxon, England; Space Experience Curacao of the Netherlands and the Caribbean island of Curacao; Spaceflight Services in Tukwila, Washington, Valencia, California, and Huntsville, Alabama; and Yecheon Astro Space Center, Yecheon, South Korea.

"This is a win-win for all of us," said Jeff Greason, XCOR CEO. "XCOR will focus on what we do best, which is build and operate rocket powered vehicles, while our payload integration specialists will do what they do best, which is work closely with scientists and researchers and use their collective expertise to prepare payload missions to do real work in space."

Dr. Alan Stern, Associate Vice President at SwRI, the former NASA Associate Administrator for Science and the Chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation's Suborbital Researchers Group, noted "We are extremely excited about the capabilities that Lynx will bring to our many research clients at SwRI, so much so that we've already procured six flights for our own pathfinder and discovery missions to better understand how we can best serve our clients. As a trained researcher and test engineer, I can't wait to fly with my experiments on Lynx and ring out the processes and procedures that will help our clients succeed, and help our Institute stay at the forefront of the 21st century."

Each of the announced entities has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or contractual relationship with XCOR Aerospace creating a robust initial network of sales and payload integration specialist firms for the science, engineering, and education missions that will be flown on XCOR's Lynx suborbital reusable launch vehicle. Some see Lynx as a strong compliment to their existing business models or as a tool to develop critical national science and education capabilities or inspire new ways of thinking and execution of space based research.

Jeff Manber, a seasoned space executive who runs NanoRacks, LLC, already has research platforms on the International Space Station (ISS) being used for commercial and educational research in the CubeSat form factor. Jeff noted "Having over 50 payloads from multiple nations already booked for the U.S. National Lab, we expect XCOR's platform to be a solid first step for many of our customers to validate experiments that will go on to the Space Station. The ability to fly, test, learn, then adjust payloads on the ground and re-fly is extremely useful when perfecting a payload. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to understand XCOR's value proposition."

Brad Inggs, Founder and President of the African Space Institute noted "In South Africa, we are constantly on the lookout for innovative ways to build up the emerging commercial space industry and provide related educational opportunities to our community, so being a payload integrator for the XCOR Lynx platform not only offers a leap forward allowing affordable access to space for African payloads but also allows us to further generate local skills and jobs in the region."

Garrett Smith, Founder and President of Cosmica Spacelines of Toulouse, France equates the partnership with XCOR as a cornerstone for greater ventures into space and touches on the enabling aspects of XCOR's Lynx. He notes, "Through building a strong community of not only individual enthusiasts but corporate futurists, Cosmica Visionaries will lead Europe and the world towards a progressive future. XCOR will provide us with the capability to offer safe, reliable travel to the edge of space and beyond for the good of humanity."

The XCOR payload integration specialist firms will support a variety of scientific, educational and engineering objectives including: atmospheric science, physics, microgravity research, planetary science, earth observation, life sciences, education and public outreach, and many others. Some firms such as NanoRacks already have capabilities on orbit at the ISS and will use Lynx as a qualification platform, others are teamed with launch services providers who have other on orbit resources like new commercial cargo and crew systems who will be using Lynx for pre-cursor missions.

Jason Andrews, President of Andrews Space and Spaceflight Services commented, "We are working with experimenters and scientists who will be using the SpaceX unpressurized Dragon Lab capsule for standalone on-orbit research and transport of experiments to the ISS, so having the ability to test in the vacuum of space with XCOR's Lynx platform prior to sending something up on a Falcon 9 is a very powerful tool for our customers."

General Ben Droste (retired) is the former Chief of Staff for the Netherlands Air Force, lead the pre-curser to the Netherlands Space Office (the NASA equivalent), and is the current Chief Executive Officer of Netherlands-based Space Experience Curacao. General Droste noted, "The Netherlands has a long history of pioneering ventures in general and in particular with micro-gravity research and atmospheric studies, so as we prepare to take on our own wet lease of a Lynx vehicle for flights in Curacao, we will also be laying the groundwork and seeding the market for future suborbital research funded by private industry, government and groups like the European Space Agency (ESA)."

Each payload integration specialist firm will help facilitate and provision flight services on the Lynx by ensuring end users understand the packaging, environmental, safety, operational flight profile(s) and interface (physical, electrical and data) requirements of the Lynx for both automated experiments not requiring user intervention during flight, and those experiments when the scientist accompanies the payload to the edge of space. The integrators will provide a variety of additional value added services depending on their individual service offering and customer needs, including, but not limited to fabrication, test and qualification of experiments for the Lynx environment.

XCOR will be responsible for: (1) developing and periodically updating the Lynx interface control document, payload user's guide and other payload related processes and procedures in consultation with the payload integration specialists, end customers and regulators; (2) operating an annual Lynx payload user's group conference to solicit feedback and promulgate best practices across the payload integrators network and user community; (3) addressing any specific non-standard needs identified by payload integration specialists and their customers such as special flight trajectories or unique vehicle integration needs; (4) any special licensing or regulatory actions pertaining to the flight; and (5) with the integration specialist and customer, performing a final safety and pre-flight review meeting before the mission is flown and a de-briefing of the mission after flight.

Dr. Jae-Song Jo, Director of the Yecheon Astro Space Center noted, "We are impressed with the professionalism and excellent processes we've seen from XCOR and know that clients who demand precision and responsiveness will be well served. As we prepare for our own wet lease operations in the future, the early experience we gain by bringing South Korean and Asian science experiments to the US will only enhance that level of professionalism and establish us as a premier operator in Asia."

On flight day, XCOR will receive payloads from the integration specialist (and/or customer), place it into one of the four cargo carrying locations on the Lynx, fly the payload on the mutually agreed upon trajectory, and return the payload to the researcher or payload integrator (as directed) within minutes of touchdown. From temporary airport-side storage or labs all the way to space and back to a runway-side lab is projected take under 30 minutes on a nominal flight with Lynx - a step function improvement over any capability available today and a strong compliment to other available systems.

Ray Bainbridge, CEO of UK-based Space Chariots, noted the synergies he sees between Lynx and terrestrial reduced gravity (drop tower and aircraft parabolic flights) and sounding rocket research when he said, "we offer low cost design, manufacture and reduced gravity test facilities as well as sounding rocket launches for academic research and the emerging private space industry, so having the ability to use Lynx as our suborbital reusable vehicle platform provides us with a full range of solutions for our customer requirements."

Depending upon customer needs, the Lynx can carry as small as a 1kg (or smaller) payload as a "ride share" or "secondary payload", and up to a 650kg large "primary" mission payload. Payloads may be carried as ride share or primary payloads in the Lynx pressurized cabin or be exposed to the unpressurized and harsh conditions of space. In the future, small nanosatellites may also be launched from the Lynx vehicle using an expendable upper stage launcher of XCOR design allowing innovative low earth orbit satellite applications, constellations, and the testing of new and advanced technologies to be used on larger satellites and manned flight vehicles.

Andrew Nelson, XCOR's Chief Operating Officer added, "with the lowest cost of operations in the marketplace, ability to fly multiple times daily from sites around the world using our affordable 'wet lease' customer model, and our global reach with these trail blazing space entrepreneurs, Lynx is poised to become the de facto standard in suborbital reusable launch vehicle payloads for scientific, education and engineering purposes, and create high paying technical job clusters not only in the US, but everywhere Lynx operates."

XCOR Aerospace is a California corporation located in Mojave, California. The company is in the business of developing and producing safe, reliable and reusable rocket powered vehicles, propulsion systems, advanced non-flammable composites and other enabling technologies. XCOR is currently working with aerospace prime contractors and government customers on major propulsion systems, and concurrently building the Lynx, a piloted, two seat, fully reusable, liquid rocket powered vehicle that takes off and lands horizontally. The Lynx production models (designated Lynx Mark II) are designed to be robust, multi-commercial mission vehicles capable of flying to 100+ km in altitude up to four times per day and are being offered on a wet lease basis. Research, engineering, and educational communities interested in using the Lynx should contact Mike Massee or Andrew Nelson at XCOR directly regarding scientific, earth observation, materials science, upper-atmospheric weather research, micro-gravity experiments and other potential uses at and XCOR will connect you to your nearest payload integrator specialist firm serving the Lynx community, or contact them directly. These include:

African Space Institute -

Cosmica Spacelines -  

NanoRacks, LLC -  

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) -  

Space Chariots -  

Space Experience Curacao -  

Spaceflight Services -  

Yecheon Astro Space Center -  


24th National Space Symposium Unfolding in Colorado Springs April 7-10
(SCN Boca Raton, March 26th, 2008)

This years focus is “Our Expanding Universe – 50 Years of Space Exploration.”

According to the Space Foundation ( “more than 7,500 registrants, guests, speakers, exhibitors, and media from across the United States and many foreign countries are expected to attend the 24th National Space Symposium. Participants, who represent both the history and future of this $220 billion industry, include senior executive leadership from NASA, NOAA, and other civil space and government agencies; the commercial space and satellite broadcasting industry; the Department of Defense and military space commands; space entrepreneurs; universities and academia; and senior representatives from the global space industry.”

Space Cruise News plans to be there and will report of its experience. This is a great opportunity for all space enthusiasts to preview the phenomenal current growth and meet some of the responsible groups that make it all possible. Both government and private sectors are well represented.

Prominent speakers include Dr Neil deGrasse Tyson, Space Technology Hall of Fame, Dr George C Nield, Acting Associate Administrator for Commercial Space Transportation (FAA), Dean Cheng, China Specialist, Professor Hajime Inoue, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, Col Eileen M Collins, USAF (Retired), Lt. Gen. William L Shelton, USAF, Gen. C  Robert Kehler, USAF, Hon Michael W Wynne, Secretary of the Air Force, Lt Gen Michael A Hamel, USAF, Lt Gen Kevin T Campbell, Space and Missle Defense Command, US Army, Gen Victor E Renuart, Jr, USAF, Lt Gen Frank G Klotz, USAF,  James F Albaugh of Boeing, Eliot G Pulham, CEO of Space Foundation, Hon Wayne Allard and Mark Udall of the US Senate, Heather Wilson of the US House of Representatives and others as yet unannounced. This is an excellent opportunity to interact, make new contacts and network with others in the industry. The event will take place at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs April 7th through April 10th. 

Many noted space authors, like James Oberg who wrote “The New Race For Space” over 20 years ago was way ahead of his time. There will also be an opportunity to meet Anousheh Ansari, the world's first women astronaut and first female private space explorer, who experienced over a week at the International Space Station and flew on the Russian Soyuz TMA Spacecraft in September 2006. In her words“By reaching this dream I’ve had since childhood, I hope to tangibly demonstrate to young people all over the world that there is no limit to what they can accomplish.”

Contact: Mitchell J Schultz, Editor
Space Cruise News

TRUMP SPACE HOTELS-A Trip Worth Every Dollar!

(SCN  Boca Raton, March 11th, 2008)

Exclusive First from Space Cruse News>>>

Are Trump and Bigalow making a deal?........It may be TRUMP Space Hotels opening in early 2012. It is rumored that two more billionaires, Robert Bigalow, head of Bigalow Aerospace, developers of the world's first space habitat and Donald J Trump, Real Estate impresario, are close to a deal that will put the TRUMP name on Bigalow's Genesis I and II and perhaps III and more that will host the weary space traveler for the night. Bigalow launched two inflatable space habitats, the last one on June 28th, 2007, that are floating in orbit. With space Bingo and other unearthly things to do while aboard this human habitat, guests can observe the universe, dine, take a leak and play games at around $25,000 per night from upwards of 150 miles orbiting around the Earth. They can probably even spot some floating space debris from their window.

The deal, as we understand, would have Trump license Bigalow for an undisclosed amount of cash plus a percentage based on annual revenue. All travelers would indemnify Trump accepting all risks. Lots of details to be worked out but it sound pretty spacey to us!

As space tourism plans are taking root with companies like Virgin Galactic, Benson Aerospace, RocketPlane, Blue Origin, Space Adventures, Space Access, PlanetSpace and others, where else would you feel comfortable and in style other than at a TRUMP Space Hotel. We're sure Hilton and maybe Holiday Inn or maybe Space INNS will soon be competing. What else is the 'DONALD' up to next? Maybe He'll soon plan to build on the moon? Where ever his name is the value of this real estate will surely go up!

We are told that Mr Trump has been a space enthusiast and supporter for quite some time and even plans to visit his space hotel and take his family along for a real out of this world vacation. At least the guy has guts, I guess if he goes so goes the world of adventure space travelers. With Richard Branson taking his family on Virgin Galactic, it won't be long before they all meet up at Trumps Space Hotel for dinner and a pow wow! Would you go into space, if you could afford a ticket, probably at a $1,000,000 per person or more? Orbital flights currently go for $30M with Space Adventures through the Russians and they are sold out at least until 2010. Only the space Shuttle could make the trip but NASA isn't up for charter. By 2012 several others as mentioned above should be able to make the flight to the hotel.


(March 3, 2008 - Boca Raton, Fl)

SPACE CRUISE PLANNED IN APRIL 2009... XTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES is bringing a few famous astronauts aboard the yacht Sea Dream to select several passengers for a future sub-orbital spaceflight. Participants will experience weightlessness on a Zero-G flight from the Kennedy Space Center and G forces during space training.

A Florida company is bringing several U S Hall of Fame Astronauts on the luxury yacht Sea Dream to select future sub-orbital space participants during their 'Space Cruise' week event in April 2009. According to Mitchell J Schultz, it's Director, “ninety-six possible participants from around the globe are expected to register and become a part of space history.”

As the opportunity for commercial human spaceflight approaches, XTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES will enable a number of their participants to be selected and take part in this newest advent of excitement and exploration for becoming a passenger on a future sub-orbital spaceflight.

Schultz further elaborates “with chances no greater than one out of sixteen and with a week full of stimulating space related events, participants will thrill to the experience of a lifetime as they schmooze with others of similar interests and mingle with U S Hall of Fame Astronauts that are all part of the festivities.”

In addition, XTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES will bring participants to Kennedy Space Center for a variety of special events including a chartered Zero-G flight, where each person will receive a personalized flight suit along with photos and a DVD of their experience. Participants will also receive a special two day space training program at NASTAR, near Philadelphia, where NASA has trained several Astronauts.

Ever since the dawn of early human spaceflight in the 1960's, mans desire to experience the awe of space, weightlessness and feel the power of  rockets and G  forces has excited many to wonder if and when will this opportunity be within reach. Now, it appears that the time is almost at hand with the successful flight of SpaceShipOne in October 2004 and entering the world into a  commercial sub-orbital space race.

With costs ranging from $98,000 to $250,000 for a seat, XTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES has put together a program for $35,000 that Schultz claims “will allow all our participants an opportunity to not only taste the flavors of a space trip, with their space training and weightless flight experience, but will also send up to six lucky participants on a future sub-orbital spaceflight with an authorized FAA licensed carrier or provide for a payment of $150,000 to each of the six if there are no scheduled flights or departures by April 30, 2012.”  

Mitchell J Schultz is an experienced adventurer, world traveler and avid space enthusiast. Traveling for over 40 years, he has visited over 50 countries and has founded XTRAORDINARY ADVENTURES, LLC to market the making of 'Dreams to Reality' for the true space adventurer. Discriminating travelers with the inclination and the budget to take the space cruise will participate in the world's most exhilarating week of space related events and activities culminating with sending participants on a future sub-orbital spaceflight that will forever become one of their most memorable experiences.

For more information visit

Contact: Mitchell J Schultz, Director
Tel: (561)455-4594
Email: \n This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

(SCN January 29th, 2008 – Boca Raton, Fl)

A number of highly enthusiastic supporters of Space Access attended their 'SpaceGateway Experience' event in Key Largo Florida which opened on January 6th, 2008 at the exclusive Ocean Reef Club community.

Space Cruise News was there and was enlightened on Space Access' patented Ejector Ramjet technology, which they stated, has the ability to power their 'Skyhopper' reusable launch vehicles into space.

Steve Wurst, CEO reiterated that Space Access will carry passengers safely into sub orbital space and back for no more costly than taking an Ocean Cruise.”

Further, he said, they plan on accomplishing this by 2011 from their own Spaceport contained within a future  economically-friendly 'Space City' community' located on 25,000 acres by the Kennedy Ranch in Eastern Texas.

Space Cruise News will follow the progress of Space Access as it
progresses towards fulfilling its optimistic objectives. Although Space Access has quality experience and talent, can it secure the necessary resources to meet its deadlines and satisfy its goals? Watch for further updates on this story. For additional information on Space Access visit their site at and check out the following news reports:

Space Access: not just a space tourism company


SPACE ACCESS(R) Offers Major Expansion of Space Tourism Beginning January 2008 bin/

Space Access Plans Out-of-This-World Coastal Bend Theme Community

Updated: Dec 23, 2007 12:48 AM
Space Access Plans Out-of-This-World Theme Community

A company from Indiana plans to offer what it calls an "experience of a lifetime" vacation package that includes a bird's eye view of North America from space.

Space Access founder Steve Wurst said he worked with President Bush when he was governor and with and Gov. Rick Perry to make the dream of a space community a reality in Texas.

Wurst has been in talks with the Kennedy Memorial Foundation for about a decade to build a space port and city of the future on Kennedy Ranch.

Sate of the art developers would build an economically-friendly community on roughly 25,000 acres of land there something similar to Disney's celebration in Central Florida."But instead of amusement related to animated characters," Wurst said, "the main draw would be the space tourism theme."

Wurst said the community would help support a space port on Kennedy Ranch, where up to 15 sub-orbital flights would be offered daily starting in 2011.

Space tourists would board what is being called a hypersonic vehicle, built with wings and ejector ram jet, to fly you 600,000 feet over the Gulf Coast at a speed seven times the speed of sound. As the craft enters the atmosphere travelers experience weightlessness.

"You'd be able to look back on Central America," Wurst said, "and back toward the Rockies behind you, the mountains. And the East Coast and toward the Caribbean-- all during one flight."

Eight minutes of space travel later, Wurst said, travelers would fly over South Florida coast where Space Access looks to build another space port.
The company plans to offer one-way or round-trip packages back to Corpus Christi at a cost comparable to an ocean cruise. The space port project on Kennedy Ranch is being unveiled during an expo in Key Largo, Fla., on Jan. 6.
Organizers want the public's input on the project.
Logon to to book a trip.

Q- Who will start commercial passenger sub-orbital flights and when?

A- Although there are a number of companies developing their vehicles, our pick is Scaled Composite's new SpaceShipTwo Cruiser known as “ENTERPRISE” to begin the experience in late 2009. RocketPlane Global's RocketPlane XP has yet to prove it's concept and make the trip as well as XCOR's Xerus, PlanetSpace's Silver Dart, SpaceX's Flacon, Blue Origin's Goddard (from the New Shepard Program), SpaceDev's Dream Chaser, Starchaser's Thunderstar, or the Russian's Explorer from Space Adventures. It looks as if there are quite a few vying to capture the new sub orbital space adventure frontier!

Q- What will it cost?

A- Space Adventures has been offering the experience for $102,000, however, with whom? It's unproven Explorer? RocketPlane XP which has not yet flown and demonstrated its proof of concept, through Incredible Adventures or Space Travellers is accepting 50 founder reservations at $250,000 each. Hopefully flying in 2010. Abercrombie and Kent (A & K Travel) had also been accepting bookings at similar costs but their deal has melted! Planet Space's Silver Dart, also untested, will soon be accepting reservations for $250,000. Virgin Galactic's $200,000 fare has received hundreds of reservations. Soon Xtraordinary Adventures will offer a $35,000 space experience package with some lucky picks going into sub orbital space! What next?

Q- Am I safe?

A- This is a risky business. Each carrier will have to demonstrate, over time, its ability to transport passengers, safely and bring them through an experience worth the risks and costs. Currently there is no insurance available until some history is established.

Q- Who is most likely to consider doing the experience?

A- Expect an experienced male entrepreneur over 55, probably married with children, in ok physical shape to be your most typical passenger although women should make up about 28% of the travelers. They will come worldwide but majority from the USA.

Q- I am interested in more information and options, where do I go?

A- There are lots of sources to get up to the minute information. Here is a selection of recommended resources:

Bigalow Aerodynamics (
Blue Origin (
Incredible Adventures (
PlanetSpace (

RocketPlane Global (
Space Adventures (
SpaceDev (
Space Exploration Technologies (
Space Travellers (
Starchaser (
Virgin Galactic (
Xcor Aerospace (

Each week SPACE CRUISE NEWS will attempt to answer your questions andclarify what is happening in the sub orbital space tourist market. As the interest of future adventurers continue to grow, what was science fiction a few decades ago now becomes almost a common place experience within the reach of millions.

If you have a question or want to learn more about a sub orbital space experience kindly email your requests to: SPACE CRUISE NEWS at and join our list of growing space enthusiasts and receive a FREE copy of The Weekly SPACE CRUISE NEWS Report.

Date Released: Thursday, January 3, 2008
Source: Purdue University

Purdue wind tunnel key for 'hypersonic vehicles,' future space planes
By using the only wind tunnel capable of running quietly at "hypersonic" speeds, Purdue University engineeve conducted experiments to yield critical data for designing an advanced aircraft called the X-51A, powered by engines called scramjets.
The X-51A test vehicle is expected to evolve into missiles capable of flying at Mach 6 - or six times the speed of sound - enabling them to hit mobile "time-critical" targets.
Scramjets also may propel future military and civilian space planes.

The quiet wind tunnel operation is critical for collecting data to show precisely how air flows over a vehicle's surface in flight. No other wind tunnel runs quietly while conducting experiments in airstreams traveling at Mach 6, said Steven Schneider, an aerospace engineer and professor in Purdue's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
"A quiet wind tunnel yields more accurate data because it more closely simulates flight," he said.

Specifically, engineers need detailed information about how airflow changes from "laminar," or smooth, to turbulent as it speeds over an aircraft's surfaces. The information is essential to properly design vehicles that fly at hypersonic speeds, or faster than Mach 5, nearly 4,000 mph, Schneider said.

The X-51 project is led by the Air Force Research Laboratory and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the vehicle is being built by Pratt & Whitney and the Boeing Co. Purdue engineers are part of a national team of researchers from government, academia and industry handling different aspects of the vehicle.
The Purdue research focuses on the forebody, or front portion of the craft, using a foot-long model for wind-tunnel testing. Research findings are providing information in two vital areas: maintaining the turbulent flow of air into the engine's combustor to keep the scramjet running properly, and increasing the amount of smooth airflow over the vehicle's upper surface to reduce friction and heat that could damage or destroy the vehicle. The higher the Mach number, the greater the friction and heat generated in flight.

Findings are detailed in a research paper to be presented on Jan. 8 during the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics' 46th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exhibit in Reno, Nev. The paper was written by Schneider and graduate research assistant Matthew P. Borg.

The X-51A is a wedge-shaped vehicle with a scooplike cowl on its underbelly, where air rushes into the inlet of the engine's combustor. It is critical for air entering the inlet to be turbulent at hypersonic speeds, or the engine could "unstart," causing it to crash, Schneider said.

For this reason, air has to be converted to a turbulent flow before entering the inlet. This conversion is accomplished using a raised strip of metal placed near the inlet to "trip" the air from smooth to turbulent. Wind tunnel tests are helping engineers better understand this "roughness-induced transition."
The research findings will enable engineers to determine precisely where to place the trips and how far they should be raised from the aircraft's skin, Schneider said.
Experiments under quiet conditions yielded more accurate findings compared with experiments under noisy conditions. The quiet data indicated the trips should be raised about twice as high.

At the same time, air flowing over the top of the vehicle should be as smooth as possible to reduce friction and heating, which increases drag and necessitates a heavier thermal protection system for the vehicle's thin metal skin. Data from the experiments will be used to assess the performance of that portion of the vehicle.
"Laminar airflows can have eight times less heating than turbulent ones," Schneider said.

The researchers used a temperature-sensitive paint to measure how hot the skin of the model gets during testing. The paint was coated on a nylon strip inserted into the model. Shining a blue light onto the strip during testing generates a temperature-dependent red light from the paint. The intensity of the red light shows how hot the surface is.

"The results of our work can be used to help determine the heating and the skin friction of the vehicle, which is important for the design of the X-51A," Schneider said.
The vehicle is scheduled to fly in a series of tests by 2009. The project is part of an effort to build future missiles six times faster than today's cruise missiles. Scramjets, or supersonic combustion ramjets, could lead to the design of space planes that are far less expensive to operate than the current space shuttles, making it more affordable to haul payloads into orbit. The space planes would use a combination of scramjets and rockets. Because scramjets use air from the atmosphere as the "oxidizer" to combust fuel, they do not require the liquid oxygen needed for rockets. That means vehicles equipped with scramjets would carry less liquid oxygen  only enough needed to operate rockets at high altitude.

"And if you don't have to carry as much oxidizer, you can make the vehicle a lot lighter, or you could make the structure heavier and more robust," Schneider said.
The researchers are able to switch the wind tunnel back and forth from quiet to high-noise airflow, which allows them to compare the quality of data in the two modes.
To measure the airflow velocity and turbulence, the researchers use a heated wire about one-tenth the diameter of a human hair. The higher the speed of the airflow, the more the wire is cooled and the greater the electrical current needed to maintain the wire's hot temperature. Monitoring the changing current needed to maintain the wire's temperature reveals the changing air speed at fluctuations of up to 250,000 times per second.

"This enables us to see how it goes from laminar to turbulent," Schneider said.
The research paper details the first major findings from the quiet wind tunnel after about 18 years of research to perfect the facility, which will be used to analyze the performance of hypersonic vehicles.

"Purdue, the Air Force and private industry have invested about $1 million in this tunnel over that time, and it's finally working and getting results that are affecting the design of these vehicles," Schneider said. Scramjet vehicles could be in use by 2015.
To obtain quiet flow, the throat of the Mach 6 nozzle must be polished to a near-perfect mirror finish, eliminating roughness that will trip the flow near the wall from laminar to turbulent. Then, for the wind tunnel to remain quiet, it must be entirely free of particles. Even a single speck of sand could cause turbulence inside the wind tunnel, damaging the finish and ruining the quiet effect.

The wind tunnel is not the first of its kind. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration previously operated a wind tunnel capable of similar performance, but that wind tunnel is not currently in operation.

Purdue's wind tunnel, which has been funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, NASA, Sandia National Laboratories, the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and the Boeing Co., is named the Boeing/AFOSR Mach 6 Quiet Tunnel.
Writer: Emil Venere, (765) 494-4709,
Source: Steven Schneider, (765) 494-3343,
Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;
Note to Journalists: An electronic copy of the paper is available from Emil Venere at (765) 494-4709,, and can be downloaded at

Purdue doctoral student Matthew P. Borg holds a model of an advanced aircraft called the X-51A, which will be powered by engines called scramjets and capable of flying at Mach 6, or six times the speed of sound. Purdue engineers, using the only wind tunnel capable of running quietly at "hypersonic" speeds, have conducted experiments to yield data critical for the vehicle's design. The researchers, led by Steven Schneider, are reporting the first major findings from the quiet wind tunnel after about 18 years of research to perfect the facility, which will be used to analyze the performance of hypersonic vehicles. (Purdue News Service photo/David Umberger)

A publication-quality photograph is available at

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