In the shadow of the Great Cosmos
It is widely known that the launch of the first satellite by the Soviet Union was a big surprise for the whole world. And if in an orbit the person made by the person appeared for the first time, in space there were already different devices. Geophysical rockets did not receive the same fame as space rockets, but they prepared engineers and scientists for orbital launches. After October ? 1957 suborbital flights did not stop - geophysical rockets were launched in the shadow of orbital flights. And now in general we can say that we are witnessing a renaissance of geophysical rockets - private companies are making not only orbital, but suborbital missiles and quite successfully find commercial customers for launches.
Soviet geophysical rockets Р-2А and Р-5А
successfully flew American SARGE (company EXOS Airspace), Chinese SQX-1Z (i-Space) and OS-X1 (OneSpace). While unsuccessfully starts Japanese Momo (Interstellar Technologies).
The rocket for suborbital tourism New Shepard,
? is successfully undergoing tests. her neck breathes
suborbital spaceplane SpaceShipTwo. At the end of the year, the first launch of the British Skyrora is expected.
Suborbital launches of geophysical rockets perform several important tasks:
There are scientific experiments that take a few minutes of being in space and the weightlessness of a suborbital flight. This is the physics of microgravity, astronomy, the study of the atmosphere and others.
It is possible to practice technologies for space flights - instruments, engines, even Martian landing gear.
Suborbital missiles are noticeably simpler and cheaper than orbital missiles - they can be learned and made first, little money.
So it's no surprise that private companies find customers for suborbital launches. For all the seeming frivolity, this is a good, useful, profitable and important business, even if it remains in the shadow of orbital flights.
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