We came to watch the launch of the spacecraft as part of the Ansari X-Prize competition. The X-Prize Foundation borrowed the idea of the competition from the last century - at the dawn of aviation, hundreds of such competitions stimulated the development of new technologies and aroused great public interest. The crowning glory of this race was Charles Lindbergh's flight across the Atlantic in 1927. Hotel tycoon Raymond Orteig paid Lindbergh a $ 25,000 bonus, and the number of aviators has quadrupled since then. The current competition is attended by 20 teams from seven countries. Among them - Russia, which is represented by the "Suborbital Corporation" from the city of Zhukovsky near Moscow under the leadership of Sergei Kostenko. The main condition is that the spacecraft must be built with private money. A $ 10 million prize has been promised to those who build and launch a reusable spacecraft that:
- will lift the crew of one pilot and the weight equivalent of two passengers to a height of 100 km above the Earth's surface;
- safely return to Earth;
- will make a second flight to the same altitude within two weeks after the first successful flight.
The tickets for the launch - or rather, the pass for the car - we ordered in advance via the Internet. It cost $ 35. A large yellow piece of paper that should have been hung on the windshield of the car was sent to us by mail. With a warning, come no later than an hour before the start.
The start is set at six o'clock. Two hours before this, the entrance to the "spaceport" was already packed with cars. In total darkness, volunteers in yellow T-shirts take turns directing them to the parking lot - a giant field where several hundred cars are already parked. People come out of them and take out lanterns and bags with lunches from their trunks.
Caps and T-shirts are sold a little further away in the spotlights - the sellers even have a card reader. Next door are pizza vans that have not yet been opened, and a hot coffee kiosk, where a queue has already lined up. Coldly. And ahead is a huge empty space. And a low mesh fence separating the runway from the audience. The fence has already formed a parterre - people are sitting on folding chairs, wrapping themselves in blankets, attaching cameras and movie cameras to tripods. They are filming the sunrise and a large hangar in the distance. There are pilots near it, but we are not allowed there.
Closer to seven, the loudspeaker finally announces that the ship is ready for launch. And we see a fantastic-looking plane slowly rolling along the runway. It accelerates and takes off - towards the sun.
Launch from the spaceport in Mojave is carried out by the Scaled Composites team, led by legendary aircraft designer Bert Rutan. In 1986, his Voyager aircraft made the world's first non-stop round-the-world flight.
President of the National Space Agency Alexander Rekuta
The National Space Agency is a non-state (commercial) company engaged in solving the problems of developing private astronautics in Russia. Even E. Iolkovsky dreamed of a grandiose project, a journey of earthlings to distant planets and the settlement of a near-earth orbit. He was right, cosmonautics is marching forward, and the hour is not far off when people will be able to freely ascend into space and his ideas of space exploration using orbital stations, hovercraft trains are already a reality. He believed that the development of life on one of the planets of the Universe will reach such power and perfection that it will allow to overcome the forces of gravity and spread life throughout the Universe. We are not abstractionists, and we do not paint fantasies. We are realistically looking at the current situation, and most likely realists, and we are following the path of progressive development of astronautics. We are teaching a new look at the future of cosmonautics and its development in the coming years. We have already been able to find in Russia and in the world elite like-minded people of our views and our plans for space exploration. We see the main future of cosmonautics - its commercialization and its development in a broad sense, only through private investment. We invite you and everyone who wants to conquer space with the NCA, follow the path of developing science and technology in the field of aviation and astronautics, implement the most inconceivable, grandiose, and even fantastic projects for the benefit of our earthly civilization!
The main goal of the Society is
1. Aeronautics and aviation (study and development of new flight technologies, development of new models of aviation and rocket technology, innovative technologies in this area applicable on Earth); 2. Manned missions (training of cosmonauts, projects of an orbital space station, development of technologies and equipment for long-distance space flights and the work of cosmonauts in open space and on various space objects); 3. Space tourism (training of space tourists, projects of orbital space stations, suborbital flights, flights and visits to other planets); 4. Science (study of the Earth, the solar system and the surrounding Universe, innovative developments).
The main task of the NSA is the development of private astronautics in Russia
As part of the activities of the NSA, it was decided to train and recruit, on a commercial basis, the first Russian cosmonaut-tourists under two programs: orbital and suborbital flights.
Preparations are planned to begin in March - April 2015. The planned composition of the first corps of cosmonauts-tourists is 50 people.
Under this program, it is planned to train astronauts-tourists under an accelerated program (6 months). Training program for the Soyuz PA (for this purpose, the issue is being worked out and negotiations are underway to sign an agreement with the URSC Roscosmos) In addition, it is planned to sign a contract with the PRC, in order to use the Chinese spacecraft Zhenzhou for piloting by astronauts - tourists.
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