Between 50 and 100 miles high lies the domain of sub-orbital space vehicles, six times higher than the Concorde and only 100 miles below the International Space Station. Several significant market opportunities exist to reach sub-orbital space in a cost-effective manner.
In October 2002, the U.S. Department of Commerce's Office of Space Commercialization issued a study entitled Suborbital Reusable Launch Vehicles and Applicable Markets. This report confirmed the reality of the emerging sub-orbital market and defined it as the next step to the commercialization of space. It specifically mentions Rocketplane as one of the companies developing this market.
The three largest segments of the sub-orbital market are microgravity research, space tourism, and satellite launch services. Rocketplane is uniquely positioned to play a significant role in all three markets.