Saharnaz Safari, at left, and Sohrab Haghighat, right, of SpaceRyde
Imagine having the chance to vacation in space. You pack your bags, take off into the sky and find yourself floating in a sea of stars.
Now imagine that you have an unexpected allergic reaction. Suddenly you find yourself hundreds of miles above Earth, wheezing, itchy, puffy eyes.
Are you going to wait two months for SpaceX's next rocket delivers Benadryl to you? Saharnaz Safari asks. No, you need it now!
Ms. Safari and her husband, Sohrab Haghighat, of SpaceRyde, based in Vaughan, north of Toronto, presented their concept to CBC alongside the first Canadian astronaut to live on the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield. /p>
Their goal: to make history by becoming the first orbital rocket to be launched from a balloon – much like a hot air balloon or weather balloon. The concept would mean significant cost reductions compared to methods currently in use.
Ms. Safari and Mr. space by balloon, then release them, ignite a rocket, and use miniature computers to take the rocket to its destination in space.
SpaceRyde owners estimate that each shipment would cost $250,000. But Elon Musk's SpaceX is asking for more than $1.1 million for similar shipments, they say.
Mr. Hadfield explained that until now, getting to space requires using the raw power of massive amounts of fossil fuels.
Chris Hadfield was present at the press conference.
It's a physics problem, he said at Tuesday's press conference. To get into orbit, you have to go at eight kilometers per second.
According to him, the idea of SpaceRyde to rise in the air and then gain speed to stay up there is an elegant idea.
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 sending 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 being sent remotely.
According to Mr. Wood, SpaceRyde is part of a larger movement, where more in addition commercial players provide access to space. Some estimates put this industry at a trillion dollars a year by 2040, he says.
Ms. Safari and Mr. Haghighat expect their first launch in 2023.
The following year they will aim for the moon.
With information from CBC