Point-to-Point Travel

From a recent presentation by Fast Forward (ad-hoc study group)

Fast Forward Group

FastForwardis an ad-hoc study group consisting of major aerospace
contractors, emerging new space companies, spaceports, key federal government
agencies, and academic representatives
– All-volunteer effort formed in October 2008
– 20 organizations represented (by invitation)
– Hosted by SpaceWorks Commercial (Atlanta, GA USA)
• Our focus is on pre-competitive analysis and assessment of future global high
speed point-to-point passenger and cargo services .
• Our group produces technical papers and white papers on topics of PTP
transportation for use by our members and the community at-large .
• Members meet regularly by telecon, supports a range of conference and panels,
and use virtual collaboration tools to conduct business and exchange ideas .

Our focus is on pre-competitive analysis and assessment of future
global high-speed point-to-point passenger and cargo services.

1. Market assessment and characterization of future high speed point-to-
point service for passengers and cargo, including economic drivers
2. Identification of key regulatory and policy issues
3. Evaluation of candidate flight vehicle options and technology needs
4. Identification of challenges for emerging Aerospaceports in the U.S. and
5. Identification of synergies with ongoing government investments in
advanced flight programs

Primary Study Goals

Our goal is to better define the suborbital market and explore preferred options
for providing services(in a generic way –i.e. flight frequencies, market size and
price elasticity, preferred takeoff and landing destinations, required cargo
capacity per flight, special handling requirements/limits)
This type of information is a necessary pre-competitive part of everyone’s future
business plan.

Collaborative subgroups of members are performing preliminary technical and
economic analyses that will benefit all members.

All members contribute reference documents, background material, and knowledge that
is openly shared with the rest of the study group.

Outside experts and guest speakers provide information to all group members (e.g.
shippers, regulatory officials, etc.).

Participation includes access to the study’s collaborative web site, email
discussions, telecons, in-person meetings, etc.,

Google group (for discussion and file sharing, access by invitation only):


Teleconference: hour long, every one to two months (hosted by SpaceWorks

  • Semi-annual face-to-face team meetings
  • 04 February 2009: Washington, D.C. (half-day workshop)
  • 20 October 2009: Las Cruces, NM (half-day workshop)

Sarah Meyers, guerilla blogger, scores exclusive interview with Richard Branson at the unveiling of the WhiteKnightTwo!?

Airship Ventures LLC is completely full of hot air (sorry).  That’s a good thing this time, because they need that hot air to get their dirigibles off the ground.  What a great idea.  Critics will scoff at it — but I bet seeing the tops of skyscrapers at a slower pace, up close, and without the noise of loud propellers or jet engines, is pretty frickin’ cool.  Check out this pic below (and more pics at Airship Ventures website) for some amazing views…

Golden Gate Bridge unlike anything before...


Could Point-to-Point Space Tourism Be in Hawaii’s Future? (Source: KHON)

KHON reports: “Having a flight from Hawaii to California maybe take 1 hour or 90 minutes, and a flight from Hawaii to Japan could take less than an hour,” said Sen. Will Espero of Hawaii. Right now, the trips pencil out at about $200,000 a piece including a week of flight training in Hawaii. But five to seven years down the road, companies say their space planes will hold 30 to 100 passengers at once bringing prices as low as $5,000. “I know that’s still a little pricey, but to be able to experience space in the process is just tremendous and we think there will be a fairly significant market for this,” said Crisafulli.

Great marketing but I’m not sure we want to send the message that point-to-point launches from LA to Hawaii will be happening anytime soon…although I wish it were true!


Rob Coppinger of Hyperbola has the latest on the SUSTAIN project.  Coppingers tells us the DOD has posted the following wanted AD:

“Can individual vehicle capabilities be man-rated to enable the insertion of a squad-sized,combat-equipped team into any global contingency? If so, describe a notional spiralevolution to the future capability?

“Hurgh!?”  You are probably saying.  Translation: Can you get me from San Francisco to Hong Kong in an hour?  If so, please forward all your ideas to me.

This reminds me of a fun fact: Did you know the Wright Brothers, staunch pacifists, invented the airplane because they believed it would make war obsolete?  As incredible as that sounds, they believed that if both sides could run reconnaissance with planes and know exactly where there opponent was positioned, there would be no point to fighting.