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Suborbital Payload Launch

Uncrewed suborbital vehicles, also called sounding rockets, come in diverse sizes and capabilities. They range from relatively small single-stage vehicles that carry payloads of a few dozen kilograms to altitudes of 160 kilometers (100 miles), to larger rockets that use up to four stages to lift...
Year: 2016
Country: India, United States
In May 2016, the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched a Reusable Launch Vehicle-Technology Demonstrator (RLV-TD)...
Year: 2015
The traditional suborbital launch vehicle, the sounding rocket, is uncrewed and launched in assorted configurations. From the very small to the extremely large, sounding rockets are used as an inexpensive and more accessible means for conducting experiments and observing space phenomena. During...
Year: 2014
Development of suborbital reusable launch vehicles and related technologies continued in 2014. The European Space Agency (ESA) conducted integration and qualification activities for all systems of its Intermediate eXperimental Vehicle (IXV), a re-entry vehicle that will demonstrate technologies and...
Year: 2013
Country: United States
One of the pioneers of commercial suborbital flights, Armadillo Aerospace, announced that it was suspending operations in early August 2013 due to funding issues. Founded by noted video game designer John Carmack, Armadillo Aerospace steadily developed and tested a series of ever-improving vertical...
Year: 2012
Country: United States
Virgin Galactic announced at the 2012 Farnborough Air Show that, in addition to providing a passenger service, it would be developing a low-cost satellite launcher using the WhiteKnightTwo carrier plane. By replacing SpaceShipTwo with a small two-stage rocket, called LauncherOne, the company...
Year: 2011
Country: United States
Blue Origin, a secretive company funded by Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos, revealed in September 2011 that in August it had suffered a failure of one of its New Shepard suborbital test vehicles. The company reported that it lost control of its PM 2 vehicle at an altitude of 13,700 meters (45,000...
Year: 2010
Several companies are developing reusable suborbital vehicles that are capable of both carrying payloads and safely returning them to Earth. While many of these vehicles were originally designed to serve the emerging personal spaceflight market, there is growing interest in using these vehicles for...
Year: 2009
Country: United States
There is growing interest in suborbital reusable launch vehicles to conduct experiments and research. Masten Space Systems of Mojave, California, is developing the Extreme Altitude series of unmanned suborbital vehicles to carry experimental payloads. The company is offering to launch payloads at a...
Year: 2005
Country: United States
Space Services Inc. of Houston, Texas, offers memorial spaceflights, launching a symbolic portion of a person’s cremated remains into space. These memorials are a small secondary payload on a commercial or scientific satellite launch. Space Services offers Earth return services, Earth orbit...

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