Encyclopedia Astronautica
The Space Tourist

Space Tourist
American manned spaceplane. Study 2004. X-Prize suborbital flying saucer concept of Discraft Corporation of Portland, Oregon.

The Space Tourist was a concept of Discraft Corporation of Portland, Oregon, developed by a team led by John Bloomer. The flying saucer would takeoff and land horizontally from conventional runways. John Bloomer was an aerospace engineer with more than 60 patents on disc-platform aircraft. Bloomer's Ship utilized "Blastwave" Pulsejets. The X Prize design was a 30-m diameter, suborbital, hypersonic wave rider aerospace craft using all-flight-regime laminar flow through use of suction over the entire upper surface of the vehicle; massless 'jet-flap' controls achieved by blowing suction air through exhausts; and all flight regime, natural positive stability. Take-off would be at 100 kph with a 50 m ground roll, followed by climb with gradual air-breathing acceleration at fixed angles according to a fixed program, leading to exit of the atmosphere at Mach 10, followed by an unpowered ballistic arc to 120 km altitude. Return to earth was a simple reverse sequence of the take-off profile. The spacecraft would spend five minutes in weightlessness above 30 km altitude, covering 775 km distance in the process.

Span: 30.00 m (98.00 ft).

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See also
  • America's Space Prize Following the success of the Ansari X-Prize in motivating flight of the first commercial suborbital manned spacecraft, Robert Bigelow announced the 'America's Space Prize' - $ 50 million - to the first team to fly an orbital manned spacecraft that completes two missions safely and successfully by January 10, 2010. More...
  • X-Prize The X-Prize competition was an attempt to promote commercial civilian spaceflight in a manner similar to the prizes handed out in the early days of aviation. Ten million dollars was to go to the first team to fly a vehicle capable of launching three people into space (defined as an altitude of 100 km in a suborbital trajectory), twice in a two-week period. The vehicle had to be 90% reusable by dry mass. For purposes of the two flights, the competition accepted flight by one person and ballast equivalent to two others at 90 kg per passenger. More...

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