Russian aerospace enterprises: NPO Molniya and Myasishchev Design Bureau are developing aerospace systems intended for performing tourist suborbital flights and placing commercial satellites into orbit, said in the report of the enterprises, RIA Novosti reports.
Suborbital aerospace systems are being developed on the basis of subsonic carrier aircraft – high-altitude M-55 “Geophysica” and ZM-T tanker aircraft. ZM-T aircraft has already been used for air transportation of reusable Buran orbital spaceship and components of Energia carrier rocket.
According to the plan of the specialists, the winged spacecraft will be launched from the carrier aircraft. Then it will accelerate using solid rocket boosters and gain the flight altitude of 105-120 km.
"The space tourists will experience the weightless state for 3-5 minutes and they also will be able to see the Earth’s surface through the illuminators. After atmosphere entry the spacecraft will perform gliding descent and landing on the runway of the airfield", - said in the report.
Depending on the type of carrier aircraft the number of passengers may vary from 4 to 14 ones.
It is also planned to develop a version of air start intended for placing small commercial satellites into orbit. According to the specialists, one of the possible solutions is positioning the payload (the satellite with a small upper stage) inside the passenger cabin.