Ascent

The Concept

The Ascent is a portable rocket pod designed as an entry level experience for potential space tourists. Skydivers could also use it to jump at 12 000 feet… Spaceports around the world could sell this as a thrilling ride to experience lift off and landings with rockets.

How it works

The Ascent has a curved cylindrical body, which measures approximately 10 ft in height. This provides enough room for clients to sit in comfortably during the ascent. The fuselage of the Ascent has a large glass door that allows the passenger to view the scenery on the way up. It’s also used as a large exit door when a skydiver reaches his desired ‘freefall’ altitude.

The base of the jet pod houses turbine jets which provide extremely high power to weight ratio and allow the appropriate thrust required to propel the Ascent over 150 km/h up to altitudes of 15 000 feet.

Once the pod has reached the desired altitude (Or when the skydiver has excited the craft) the Ascent will automatically initiate a landing protocol. The aircraft will fire its engine allowing for a controlled descent to the ground or directly on a custom-built trailer. The Ascent would also be connected via an app to the customer’s smartphone or tablet allowing them to watch or broadcast live feed and track the craft’s descent and data.

The Ascent is small, compact and very lightweight when it’s not fuelled. A custom trailer would be designed to manoeuver the vehicle in position and owners could transport it with a car. The Ascent would also be equipped with two parachutes and airbags in case of emergency landing.

What is it Used For?

The Ascent could be used by skydivers to provide a more thrilling method of reaching high altitudes compared to a plane. The small compact nature of the Ascent means that it can easily be transported all over the country to designated controlled airspace.

Most importantly it could be offered as an ‘entry level ride’ at spaceport facilities. Would be space tourists could purchase a ticket ride on the Ascent to experience a brief but exciting lift off and landing (500 feet to 3 000 feet) without having to exit the aircraft. Such ride could provide a revenue stream and introduce future clients to the world of suborbital space flights.

Acknowledgements

The Ascent concept was imagined in October 2018 by Charles Bombardier. It was designed by Ashish Thulkar, an Industrial Designer from Bengaluru, India. Ashish graduated with a master’s degree in design from the Indian Institute of Science in 2014. Ashish currently works as a freelance vehicle designer. Both of them also created the ArcAngel surveillance aircraft and the Aerochk airport security system.