April 26, 2004

An inflatable toy that I can get excited about!

Michael Mealing of RocketForge blogged from the Space Access '04 conference, held in Phoenix, Arizona (Helen, tell 'em I said to remove their head comma ass). Among the many interesting things announced - like a second commercial launch license granted to a private company - was this little bit that really caught my imagination.

John Powell of JP Aerospace is giving an update on what JP Aerospace has been up to and is finally talking about their total vision for balloon based aerospace. It's basically three 'vehicles'. A 'launcher' that gets you to 100K feet, a 'station' that is huge that permanently sits at 100K feet, and an orbital (yes, orbital!) balloon that is almost 6000 feet long and can attain orbit using lift from the upper atmosphere. Its an amazing amount of work that is generating short term ROI now.

He's also got pictures from the JP Aerospace handout to see just what these guys are doing. The link leads to a page of photos from the conference, scroll down about halfway to see them (look for the blue book with "ATO - Airship to Orbit" on the cover).

I assume the return on investment (ROI) is the licensing fees for some cutting-edge balloon technology they've developed. This is so cool! Balloons to orbit!!!

Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites aren't the only ones getting close to making space a commercially viable business, they're just the best known to the average person.

Posted by Ted at April 26, 2004 06:35 AM | TrackBack

Wow, that rocks!

Posted by: Spacemonkey at April 26, 2004 12:34 PM

Thanks, Ted. I'll tell them a man with a rocket has my back :)

Posted by: Helen at April 26, 2004 05:04 PM
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