commercial space flight time has finally come. From Richard Branson to Elon Musk, they are of the greatest inventors in the world, has spent years studying in a new space shuttle, and a promise, not just in the future there will always be one day we all can have the chance to interstellar travel aboard the space shuttle.
Kevin Heath is the founder and chief executive of Waypoint 2 Space company, the Space flight training company in Houston Technology Center at NASA’s John doing business on the basis of Space Technology Center incubator. The company’s goal is to explore the potential of space travel tourists, and using the NASA astronaut similar training methods and techniques for their training. Waypoint guy in most people’s at NASA before training coach, they will not only teach students well in advance of weightlessness in space environment of psychological preparation, and will also teach them how to control their bodies in space and do the moon walk. Heath said: “we have here is not Disney World inside the space experience, this is not the space experience like play house, this is a really training, and can send people to space.”
Heath’s timing is right. Not long ago, NASA will two copies of the contract of the space shuttle and Boeing and complete signed capsules. In the future will be more than two companies develop and deploy the shuttle program, there will be a $6.8 billion capital injection into the shuttle’s core business. Although at present the space shuttle will only be used to deliver professional NASA astronauts from the international space station. But NASA administrator Charles Bolden said the cooperation can be in a certain extent brings us even more people from all over the world novel space flight experience.
but space travel is only a small portion of the huge potential market. Planetary Resources development project has appeared in the commercial space shuttle, Planetary Resources company hopes to develop the natural Resources on the moon first, plans to open the so-called like Virgin Galactic and Bigelow Aerospace space hotel, the hotel provide service for near future space tourists.
has invested in several startups related to space, and is one of the I2BF Global Ventures partners Mike Lousteau said, if we can keep and continuation of the past 30 years of development process, we will need a large number of people into space, and need someone to send them to space, however, before this will also be able to professional training and guidance to them. Both advanced telecommunications and earth observation technology, resources, exploration or imaging technology need to be trained to operate, maintain and update equipment. Because these and other factors to attract more people into space and the need to stay for a period of time in space, so the demand for this type of professional personnel training will increase.
Heath waiting for this moment has nearly ten years. At that time, he worked in SpaceDev commercial development department, SpaceDev is a subsidiary company of the Sierra Nevada, in 2004, he participated in the SpaceShipOne project, realize the private manned space for the first time in his life. From then on he was addicted to commercial space a broad market, and saw the Branson, Musk and Microsoft’s Paul Allen these billionaires put a large amount of wealth into the booming business in the field of aerospace industry.
but he also realized that while many companies have invested a lot of time and money in the research and development of equipment itself, but few people really think of how to cultivate a new generation of astronauts amateurs. Heath said, if you are not well trained, you basically after the space shuttle took off to spend a lot of time and money on a vomit bag. If the shuttle launch but inside the engine room are not well-prepared for this, it’s very clear they will go crazy, they not only enjoy the pleasure of less than the space, and the flight mission there may be a security risk.
Heath employs a once in a NASA training and assessment of astronauts air force veteran Dr. Kelly Soich, together with him to develop a special training course, this course has obtained the federal aviation administration for approval. The whole training program is divided into four categories, each category before the relative training degree category. Course, first of all, starting from a 7 days space foundation course, the course tuition is $45000, in the course fee includes all accommodation fees. After graduation, students can participate in the three-day sub-orbital flight training courses, or to attend since 2016 training courses for 8 to 12 weeks of orbit.
in the end, the Waypoint hope to cooperate with business customers to carry out professional training, the training of the target groups are willing to work for a period of time in space. Because the Waypoint near NASA headquarters, at the appointed time will also open their facilities to visit the space center of thousands of people visit every day.
however, still from the Waypoint original plans have a long distance, the company is still in its infancy stage, covers an area of about 1.5 square feet of the equipment have to wait until the next spring to open to the public, now Waypoint is still raising money for the company’s technical training. Just last week, Waypoint launched a financing activities, by the name of Kickstarter hope for a weightlessness technology raise $83000.
Waypoint outside capital has been raised part, mainly from an angel investor, in the near future may raise another $2.5 million in cash to complete construction equipment. But track training would be a more costly projects, need more money. This requires a lot of upfront costs, considering the commercial space travel plan has not been released, few people can afford the experience.
but according to Dr Soich puts it, this is a market, can give early adopters must return market, we must first cultivate a batch of people, and ideally, these training to the space shuttle will have before the equipment is ready to. In this way can let those who are qualified in his hand ready to blast off with money.