Spacelinq suborbital spaceplane (from Rocketplane's ashes)


ACCESS: Top Secret
Mar 11, 2010
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While I’ve been out here at Space Access ’11, I was curious about the whereabouts of Chuck Lauer, late of the dearly departed Rocketplane Global and a fixture at these annual gatherings. This morning I found out: he’s 9 time zones away in Holland, announcing another suborbital spaceflight venture. The vehicle looks and sounds a lot like Rocketplane’s project and will fly from a new Dutch spaceport.

I’ve combined two press releases from the International Space Transportation Association describing SpaceLinq and plans for EU Spaceport Lelystad.

ISTA PR – AMSTERDAM REGION LELYSTAD, April 8, 2011 – Today, Dutch initiative SpaceLinq announces that it will operate as Europe’s first spaceflight operator from within Holland’s territory. Lelystad Airport is the proposed home base for the future EU Spaceport Lelystad, as long as all regulation and approval from the government and Airport partners will be granted. It also requires investigating planning, environmental and safety issues.

“Nonetheless, we are very excited about the opportunities to service the EU spaceflight market from Lelystad”, says Chuck Lauer, US co-founder of SpaceLinq. “We choose Lelystad for its location next to the sea and close proximity to the North Sea military reserve airspace. Besides, the open space and available land, plus the desire of the community to encourage new technology and industry are other reasons to choose Lelystad as SpaceLinq`s domicile. Also important to choose Holland is the fact that the European spaceflight market may be the largest in the world, and the Amsterdam region is already one of the greatest tourist destinations on the planet.”


The SpaceLinq spaceliner vehicle will seat one pilot plus five customers when flying space tourism flights. For research purposes the four rear seats are removed and replaced with experiment racks or other payloads, while leaving the front right seat in place for payload operators or researchers to fly and operate their experiments. The spaceplane will use turbojet engines for takeoff and landing and a liquid oxygen / kerosene main rocket engine to power the ascent to space and over three minutes of weightlessness as the vehicle coasts up to the 100 km+ peak altitude and back. Its technical development has brought the design to a level of maturity that reassures investor confidence to see the vehicle through, all the way to the final testing stage.

It's not clear there's any more funding in place for this new venture than Rocketplane ...


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