Crewed Suborbital Vehicles - sense or nonsense

About the activities of Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin

 

1. Virgin Galactic

V.G. uses an airplane-like vehicle called "Space Ship Two" with a hybrid solid-fuel motor. After separating from its carrier aircraft, it climbs almost to the Karman line and then lands on a runway, steered.

The predecessor, "SpaceShip One", was a smaller experimental model, constructed by Scaled Composites, with only one pilot. It has made six flights with an active motor and won the Ansari X-Prize for reaching the altitude of 100 km.

VSS2 Unity VSS2 Enterprise VSS 1

Flights (powered)

Vehicle Engine Flight Date Altitude (km) Crew +  Pass.   Result

 VSS 2

Hybrid engine 3
V.G.

     Unity 22    11.07.2021  86.1  2 + 4   Inagurated full scaled launch, successful
  Unity 21   22.05.2021 89.2 2   Full test, successful
  Unity 20 (?)   12.12.2020 - 2   Abort prior ignition
  Unity VF-02   22.02.2019 90.0 2 + 1   Full test, successful
  Unity VF-01   13.12.2018 82.7 2  Full test, successful
  Unuty VP-03  26.07..2018

52.0

2   Third motor test in free flight
  Unuty VP-02  29.05.2018

34.9

2   Second motor test in free flight
  Unity VP-01  05.04.2018

25.7

2   First motor test in free flight

Hybrid engine 2
SpaceDev

 Enterprise PF04  31.10.2014

?

2  Crashed and shattered
Enterprise PF03  10.01.2014 22.0 2  Power Test successful
Enterprise PF02    05.09.2013 14.0 2  Power test successful
Enterprise PF01   29.04.2013 17.1 2  Power Test successful

  

VSS 1

Hybrid engine 1
SpaceDev

  04.10.2004 112.0 1  
  29.09.2004 102.9 1  
  21.06.2004 100.1 1  
  13.05.2004 64.4 1  
  08.04.2004 32.0 1  
  17.12.2003 20.7 1  

Propulsion

Vehicle

 Motor

Nozzle

Thrust / Isp

Propellant

VSS2  Unity

 V.O.

special

unknown

 Thermoplastic polyamide + Nitrous oxide


                                

Vehicle

 Motor

Nozzle

Thrust / Isp

Propellant

VSS2  Enterprise

 SpaceDev (2)

special

unknown

  HTPB + Nitrous oxide


     

Vehicle

 Motor

Nozzle

Thrust / Isp

Propellant

VSS1 S.C.

SpaceDev (1)

normal

unknown

  HTPB + Nitrous oxide

 

2.  Blue Origin


B.O. uses a liquid-fueled and vertical starting one-stage launcher called "New Shepard" with a capsule on top that has an escape motor. After separation, the capsule climbs without extra drive up to the Karman line and then lands by parachute. The launcher lands reusable by the engine.

     

Flights

Vehicle Flight Date Altitude (km) Passenger   Result

New Shepard 4
(PM-3 No.4)

21  04.06.2022    6  Fifth successful crewed launch
20  31.03.2022    6  Fourth successful crewed launch
19  11.12.2021    6  Third successful crewed launch
18  13.10.2021 106  4  Second successful crewed launch
17  26.08.2021 105.6 -  NASA eqipment test
16  20.07.2021 106 4  First successful crewed launch
15  14.04.2021 106.3 -  Successful tests
of the new crew capsule 2.0
14  14.01.2021 105.8 -

New Shepard 3
(PM-3 No.3)

13  13.10.2020 107.0 -
12  12.12.2019 104.5 -
11  02.05.2019  105.6 -
10   23.01.2019  106.9 -
9  18.07.2018  118.8 -
8  29.04.2018  105.9 -
7  12.12.2017   100.6 -

New Shepard 2
(PM-3 No.2)

6  05.10.2016 93.7 -  Test of the capsule-escape system
5  19.06. 2016  101.0 -   Tests of separation of booster and capsule
4  02.04.2016  103.4 -
3  22.01. 2016  101.7 -
2  23.11.2015  100.5 -

PM-3 No.1

1  29.04.2015  93.5 -  Rocket landing system defect; destroed

Propulsion

   

Vehicle

Engine

Thrust / Isp (s.l.)

Thrust / Isp vac

Propellant

New Shepard

BE-3 489.3 kN / 360 sec 550.5 kN / 405 sec

 LH2/LOX