ESA RFI on research with commercial suborbital transports

Now ESA is considering research opportunities on commercial reusable suborbital space transports: The new “suborbital” frontier – ESA – Dec.7.10.

> ESA is looking for new ways to conduct interesting research in space, on Earth – and in between.

A number of commercial suborbital vehicles are being considered in Europe, and ESA is looking at the possibilities they might offer for microgravity research. If you think you could help, then we would be pleased to hear from you.

The notice then goes on to say:

> ESA is issuing this ‘Request for Information on Commercial Suborbital Human Flight Vehicles’ to gather information about craft in development in order to analyse the characteristics and possibilities of these emerging projects.

“It is the first time that Europe embarks in this kind of inquiry”, explains Simonetta Di Pippo, ESA Director of Human Spaceflight. “We see this as yet another valuable opportunity to expand the scientific endeavours in space and to promote future exploration missions”.

The requested information includes:

* what are their characteristics? * what capabilities and opportunities do they offer for microgravity science? * what requirements do they impose on the payloads? * what requirements do they adopt for the crew? * what are their schedules and costs?

The call is aimed at all European entities involved in the development or commercialisation of suborbital manned vehicles. Responses are requested by 15 February.


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