Now imagine that you have an unexpected allergic reaction. Suddenly you find yourself hundreds of miles above the Earth, wheezing, itchy, puffy eyes.
Are you going to wait two months for the next SpaceX rocket to deliver Benadryl to you? Saharnaz Safari asks.
No, you need it now!
Safari and her husband, Sohrab Haghighat, of SpaceRyde, based in Vaughan, north of Toronto, pitched their concept to CBC alongside the first Canadian astronaut to live on the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield.
Their goal: to make history by becoming the first orbital rocket to be launched from a balloon – much like a hot air balloon or a weather balloon. The concept would mean significant cost reductions compared to currently used methods.
Ms. Safari and Mr. Haghighat plan to transport goods to the edge of space by balloon, then release them, ignite a rocket, and use miniature computers to get the rocket to its destination in the space.
SpaceRyde owners estimate that each shipment would cost $250,000. However, the company SpaceX, of Elon Musk, requests more than 1.1 million dollars for similar cargoes, they say.
Mr. Hadfield explained that until now, to get into space, you have to use the
gross power massive amounts of fossil fuels.
It’s a physics problemhe said at the press conference on Tuesday.
To get into orbit, you have to go at eight kilometers per second.
According to him, SpaceRyde’s idea of
rise in the air and then pick up speed to stay up there is a
According to Mr. Hadfield, this technology would not only be useful for space tourists who have forgotten something important on Earth. It could also facilitate the sending of satellites into low orbit to transmit valuable information about the health and temperature of the oceans and the planet as a whole.
Jason Wood, executive director of space exploration and space industry policy at the Canadian Space Agency, also imagines other uses.
Think about how this could be helpful in remote or northern communities here in Canada to provide sustainable food sources. Another example is healthcare, in terms of medicines sent remotely.
According to Mr. Wood, SpaceRyde is part of a larger movement, where more and more commercial players are providing access to space. Some estimates put this industry at a trillion dollars a year by 2040, he says.
Ms. Safari and Mr. Haghighat are planning their first launch in 2023.
The following year, they will aim for the moon.