At ISDC today, Space Adventures CEO Eric Anderson and Armadillo Aerospace’s John Carmack outlined the two companies’ collaboration on developing a suborbital vehicle to take humans and experiments into space. Jeff Foust and Donnie Lowther covered the talk via Twitter:
@DKLowther Space Adventures has paid Armadillo to start developing suborbital vehicle–ducks in a row–going to ramp things up.
@jefffoust Anderson is showing an animation now: features a cone-shaped vehicle atop four spherical propellant tanks and a central engine, VTVL.
@jefffoust Carmack: no one vehicle concept yet for suborbital, will test a variety of ideas. Armadillo focusing more on suborbital, hiring now.
@jefffoust Carmack: expect in a year to fly science payloads above 100K feet. A year after that, fly payloads above 100 km.
@jefffoust Anderson: won’t say when the first flight will be. Have customers already, including a half-dozen former astronauts.
@DKLowther In ramping things up, Armadillo expects to operate at a loss for the next 2 years.
@DKLowther Armadillo is looking to steal talented people from their competitors. Their vehicle will be remote controlled.
@jefffoust Carmack acknowledges that there’s competition, but doesn’t think Virgin can compete on price, wonders if others are fully funded.
@jefffoust Anderson chose to partner with Armadillo because they have best shot at lowering the cost of spaceflight.