IOS PR — World-renowned skydiver/daredevil Olav Zipser has chosen Mojave rocket manufacturer Interorbital Systems as the launch provider for his attempt to break Joe Kittinger’s 1960 high-altitude jump record.
Zipser will forego the previous balloon-lift method used by the current record-holder, and instead will jump from an IOS SR 145 rocket. The launcher will propel Olav to an altitude of over 40 kilometers (about 25 miles)—higher than any manned balloon can possibly go—where he will eject from the launch vehicle and FreeFly back towards Earth in what he intends to be the longest, fastest, and highest skydive in history: his FreeFly Astronaut Project.
I ran into Randa Relich and Rod Milliron in Mountain View last night. Interorbital Systems’ CEO and President were in town for the Google Lunar X Prize Summit being held at the SETI Institute. The Mojave-based rocket company is part of the Synergy Moon Team.
Randa and Rod were in a happy mood, having just booked a batch of new payloads for their N30 launcher. The company has sold out payload space on its first orbital launch (see below) and is filling up the manifest for its second vehicle. The rockets will be launched off the California coast early next year.
They also told me that Red Bull Stratos and Rick Tumlinson’s SpaceDiver projects have some competition. World-renowned skydiver Olav Zipser plans to set a new altitude record by jumping off Interorbital’s SR 145 rocket. The current record of 102,800 feet is held by Joe Kittinger.
The manifest for Interorbital’s first N30 launch is after the break.
Matangi Tonga has an update on the latest efforts by Interobital Systems, the Mojave-based rocket company run by the Roderick Milliron and his wife Randa:
Pursuing a dream to develop a private space port in Tonga, a couple of space entrepreneurs have the blessing of Tonga’s king to build a small rocket launch site on the king’s estate on the southern tip of ‘Eua this year, with the aim of launching a rocket before the end of 2010. (more…)
H+ Magazine has a Q&A interview with Randa Milliron, CEO of Interorbital Systems:
h+: Let’s start with the basic question: What are you guys doing?
RANDA MILLIRON: We’re building a low-cost transportation system from Earth to Low Earth Orbit (LEO) and beyond, principally with the Moon as the next logical destination. Let me stress that this is actually a low-cost system — our rocket is not a rehash of a Delta or a kluge of leftover military missile hardware that the manufacturers say will be cheaper just because they want it to be. In reality, the other rockets are still the same intricate and expensive launchers that — by their very complex nature — will never be able to meet our price. We are building an entirely new launch vehicle — one that is the result of a philosophy of radical systems simplification. One that really is low-cost.
Interorbital Systems (IOS) announced today that it is developing a two-person orbital crew module as an addition to its orbital tourism operations. The companyâ€™s modular NEPTUNE 1000 rocket will loft the spacecraft to orbit.
California-based Interorbital Systems plans to launch its Neptune 1000 rocket from the island of ‘Eua at the southeast end of the Tonga island chain in the South Pacific.
“Over the past few days, I’ve been corresponding with our friend and fellow space enthusiast, King George V of Tonga, about our status of being quite near to beginning our flight test program. He has again stated that Interorbital has the Kingdom’s full support for setting up our private spaceport,” CEO Randa Milliron writes in a post on the Google Lunar X Prize website.
Interorbital is a member of Team Synergy Moon, which is one of 19 groups vying for a $30 million prize to land a rover on the moon.