Minnow company Shipinspace has launched a campaign for funding to advance its 'revolutionary' idea for a suborbital plane.
Using the crowd funding Indiegogo website, the little-known company proposes a spaceship that would be able to carry 48 passengers to the edge of space. Existing companies such as Xcor or Virgin Galactic are currently testing spacecraft of much smaller dimensions, accommodating one and six passengers respectively.
“Shipinspace will be the only company worldwide to permit this feature thanks to our decoupling structures technology,” said CEO Fabrizio Boer in an interview with the Space Safety Magazine.
Creating such a spacious interior will eventually enable the company to offer tickets for much more affordable prices than its competitors, Boer believes. Apart from shipping to space almost 50 people at once, the team hopes its design will offer exceptional level of safety.
The plane will be composed of spherical pods, each accommodating four passengers, assembled together in the fairing of four pods on three floors. The 5.5m diameter carbon fibre fairing will keep the pods well packaged in a state of pre-compression.
The company aims to reduce development cost by utilising a decoupled pre-compressed structure and shock absorbing materials to decrease the vibration of the system. According to Shipinspace, this technology could enable the vehicle to use equipment not qualified for space, which would further reduce the overall costs.
In case of emergency, the fairing will be pyrotechnically cut and the pods could be separated to permit a safe descent with parachutes. This escape capability is the revolutionary feature of the concept allowing the vehicle to carry such a high number of people. The vehicle will powered by a liquid rocket engine, fuelled with liquid oxygen and RP1.