Orbital Access was founded by Stuart McIntyre, an aeronautical engineer whose experience includes aero-engines, civil aircraft manufacturing, military aircraft sales, strategic international industrial development and military facilities management.
SKYROCKETING INNOVATION. WE’RE IN THE MIDST OF A NEW SPACE RACE. AROUND THE WORLD, DEMAND FOR INNOVATIVE SATELLITE APPLICATIONS IS SURGING, CREATING AN ENORMOUS APPETITE FOR SMALL PAYLOAD LAUNCH CAPABILITIES.
While taking position as a secondary payload on large vertical launch missions is a route into orbit, it’s also one fraught with commercial and logistic risks, as well as considerable inefficiencies.
Even the most modern small vertical launch systems still demand dedicated, remote and costly fixed infrastructure. Only horizontal launch systems and spaceports can offer the global small payload launch capacity necessary to meet current demand and fuel future growth.
Re-usable TSTO Spaceplane
The Orbital 500R
The Orbital 500R is an air-launched, two-stage to orbit system, designed to deliver payloads of 500kgs to a 600 km Sun Synchronous Orbit, whether polar or equatorial. The project aims to develop a wide-body carrier aircraft with a bespoke centre line hard point that will support and supply the launch vehicle before its release at altitude.
The launch vehicle is derived from proven technical designs from a leading rocket development agency, reconfigured in partnership with our principal UK design consortium for air launch.
The system will be deployable to whichever licensed horizontal take-off spaceport is best positioned to deliver payloads to their required orbit, or the spaceport closest to the customer’s payload manufacturing or integration facilities.
The wide-body carrier aircraft will be multi-purpose and will be used between launches for specialist transport services dedicated to the commercial space industry.
Microgravity and Human Spaceflight Conditioning Programme
BRINGING COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS TO THE MICROGRAVITY ENVIRONMENT
Routine access to low-earth orbit provides access to the resources of space: weightlessness (or microgravity as we tend to call it), vacuum and solar energy. Orbital Access intends to provide microgravity conditions on a fleet of vehicles ranging from small propeller aircraft to jet airliners to indeed the Orbital 500 itself and beyond.
Microgravity is a crucial precondition for research and development in the areas of:
medical applications (development of pharmacological agents, medical procedures)
basic physiological research (animal or human)
new materials and processes which profit from lack of gravity
space applications (in support of long-duration human spaceflight)
Research into proteins and the development of new types of glass for electronics and fibre optics are just two examples of activities proposed for our microgravity platforms.
In addition, as the industrialisation of space progresses and more tourists are flown on suborbital flights or low earth orbit, there will be a need for people to be prepared for the conditions of human spaceflight. For this purpose we will offer not only our own microgravity vehicles, but we intend to also cooperate with the providers of facilities such as neutral buoyancy tanks, centrifuges and pressure chambers.
Re-usable SSTO Spaceplane Roadmap
A FLEET OF COMMERCIAL DELIVERY VEHICLES BRINGING THE IN-ORBIT PLATFORM TO A COMMERICAL LEVEL
In order to meet the evolving market trends within the space industry, Orbital Access is actively building a network of partnerships and technologies. The spectrum of modern technologies is used in conjunction with a satellite payload forecast within our own Satellite Market Assessment to help define a vehicle roadmap; this will result in a dedicated fleet of launch vehicles that can successfully serve the commercial industry that will ultimately dominate the in-orbit platform. Technologies such as air-breathing propulsion systems will enable vehicles to operate at higher maximum altitudes which will help bring Single-Stage-To-Orbit spaceplanes to the commercial market; these launch systems will have the capability and capacity to deliver the diverse range of space applications to the in-orbit platform. The future vehicle roadmap can be segmented into a number of vehicles that, together, satisfy the commercial market; progressing from the design and technology ready Orbital 500R to air-breathing TSTO and SSTO spaceplanes. Orbital Access intends to have this fleet operational and suitable for the future while specialising in the economics and logistics to provide dedicated and affordable access to space.