Please educate yourself before posting more. Only SpaceX who is in the proven business of satelite launches has made any money back.
Uh-huh... and how long did it take from them to go from start-up to profit? Do you seriously think businesses open the doors and instantly become profitable? This is a long term
business venture. No one involved is expecting to make money immediately.
All of the other independent private space ventures remain in powerpoint slides.
Untrue - SpaceX is also getting into manned space with the SpaceX Dragon, which has moved into the prototype and materials testing phase as of this year. Flight testing will be coming along a bit later.
Some of these darlings have already closed shop by now after failing to do business. Crafts like this and Spaceshipone are good as a personal hobby.And
for hanging in a place of honor in the Smithsonian...(He has four aircraft in the Smithsonian displays: a VariEze Voyager, Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer, and SpaceShipOne. Name one other person who has that many.)
Rutan - the guy at the front of Scaled Composites - has made a career of designing and building experimental aircraft. In his case, it's also good for business.
But they are fancy airplanes that cant go into space.
Yes they can
- they just can't go into orbit
It is very difficult to base an entire private space industry around flying rich people to 300000 feet above the ground.
That's not the entire private space industry - you already pointed out SpaceX successfully launches satellites.
That, and Rutan had plans to design and build and orbit-capable craft. He's using this as a stepping stone. And I news for you buddy - either the money comes from the rich or it doesn't happen at all. Seriously, where the fuck do you think the funding will come from? NASA sure as hell isn't getting into commercial spaceflight. They've had 50 years to do it and it's not happening. Well, where you are going to come up with the bucks for private spaceflight unless you get the interest of the filthy rich? And if they're happy with joyrides (at least for now) in return for funding a slice of the pie that's what they'll get. It's how the world works.
As pointed out, automobiles started as short-range toys for the rich.
Besides if rich people were that interested the Russians who let you fly backseat in MiG-25s for money would have their own Las Vegas somewhere in Siberia by now.
MiG-25's can't reach sub-orbital altitudes.
As for the X-15 - it could only carry one person. SpaceShipOne could carry 3 (but did not due to FAA rules on test-flying experimental aircraft. SpaceShipTwo will be able to carry 8 people.
True, the X-15 was a hell of a lot faster than Rutan's spaceships - but then the X-15 wasn't intended to be a spaceship, it was intended to test flight up to Mach 8. Rutan's spacecraft don't need to go that fast, so why burn the fuel to do so?
The X-15 cost, when adjusted for inflation, about $1.5 billion in post-2000 US dollars. SS1 cost $25 million. Even if you say Rutan "just" duplicated the altitude capability of the X-15 he managed to do it for 1/6 the cost which has got to be the biggest price reduction in the history of spaceflight, or high altitude flight, whichever way you want to look at it. I don't know what SS2 costs, and given it's still in development probably no one knows the final price, but both Rutan and Branson are hoping to turn a profit
with the tourist flights, one sufficient to fund the Tier 2 program which is the one that takes people to orbit. They're planning to charge $200,000 a seat. That sounds like a lot to most folks, but there are definitely some wealthy folks capable of dropping a cool two million, or close to it, to charter
something like that for their own private party. Such as the current space tourists dropping $25-35 USD on a flight to a space station. Or, for that matter, to go
somewhere because there's really no reason you couldn't use SS2 to travel somewhere else. It can, after all, land on a conventional runway at an ordinary airport.
In fact, the next in the series, SS3, will be intended for point-to-point sub-orbital travel. The example they like to give is a two-hour London, England to Sydney, Australia flight. Obviously a very niche market, but hey, if you want to get there fast
that would be the way to go. On top of that, if the current pattern is followed, SS3 would be able to launch or land at conventional airports without the sound problems of the Concorde.
Basically, yes, Rutan and Branson are soaking the rich in return for joyrides in order to get the capital to get into space as a private venture. Why do you have a problem with that? Where else
do you think the money is coming from?