the Space Operations, Inc (SOI) is a private company, Founded in January of 2011
who want to rebuild the Gemini as Eclipse Spacecraft for
New Space Station Construction/Resupply
The Eclipse Spacecraft use fourth Module for Payloads
and as adaptor to Delta IV, Atlas V or Falcon 9 Booster
landing will use paraglider & skids on land
SOI plans a test launch on February 20, 2012, with a regular flight schedule beginning in late 2012 or early 2013.
This is really interesting. Gemini was a hell of a spacecraft, but it seems to me it would be difficult to adapt it for the needs of space turists, expecially if the idea is to use it for long duration flights.
The king of the problems (for a turist of course): where to place the toilet in such a small spacecraft? I thinl the “glove” solution is not suitable.
Another issue is the “safety factor”: Gemini was the only vehicle, along with the space shuttle, without a real crew safety device. Forget the ejectable seats…
The trick to use existing projects (and therefore tested) is not new in aviation. It seems to me an excellent idea. However, I wonder how much it might cost to reopen the production line … should build numerous ships. Also today we are moving towards reusable cargo … the Gemini was disposable!
In addition, the astronauts on the Gemini, Apollo and Space Shuttle as those were “real” astronauts. I spoke to one of them … about Apollo of training and was very critical on behalf the astronauts-tourists like Dennis Tito. According to them are not astronauts and a medium like Gemini required considerable experience of piloting.