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About ISA

ISA was formed in late 2004 after several technological and political advances made the formation of a private space agency a realistic proposition. With funding coming from several major companies the decision was made to go ahead and form the company to see what sort of interest could be raised from a private space agency. The response was overwhelmingly favourable and after a year it was obvious that renting facilities from NASA wouldn't be sufficient. ISA would need a real base.

After searching for a year the board of ISA made an agreement with the UK for the wholeslae purchase of Ascension island for an undisclosed sum.
Since that time and with backing from several large investors plus contracts from various Government agencies and commercial enterprises ISA has gone from strength to strength and now carries out launches for most of the worlds major satellite vendors.

Below are listed the main resources and facilities of the International Space Agency.


 

Ascension Island

The headquarters for the International Space Agency.

Purchased from the UK in 2006, it took two years of solid redevelopment work before the former airport was ready to accept it's new role as a spaceport.
Fresh development has continued since the initial work to enhance the facilities offered to both staff and customers and today Ascension Island boasts the only self contained commercial spaceport environment which is able to cater for any space requirement a customer might have.
Ascension Island is open for visitors and we especially welcome anyone wanting to do business with us. Flights depart most major airports once a week, more flights are added to support any space operation ISA undertakes for a client.

Ascension islands facilities include:

  • Three runways of 15,000ft each, complete with full NavAids
  • A fully featured VAB with four highbays
  • Testing equipment
  • Underground fuelling systems
  • Sounding rocket facilities
  • Heavy lift equipment
  • A fully serviced and managed airport including ATC and flight planning systems
  • A full harbor including two frigate class vessels and naval planning facilities
  • A deep space tracking and communications network
  • A fully furnished 5 star hotel plus entertainment venues

Ascension island is here to help you get your payloads to orbit. As such, we are able to cater to the needs of any payload and any client. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals.


 

Carl Sagan Space Center

The Carl Sagan Space Center  (CSSC) is a facility jointly owned and operated by ISA and LORTECH.
Whilst CSSC is not a primary site it nevertheless serves an important role to ISA. Amongst the facilities here are:

  • TX Servicing, upgrade and maintenance facility.
  • Deep space primary tracking and communications network
  • Heavy lift equipment
  • A fully serviced and managed airport including ATC and flight planning systems
  • A full harbor including two frigate class vessels and naval planning facilities
  • Hotel facilities


Easter Island

Easter island is a backup landing facility.

It does not support launching to orbit from this site and as such has minimal facilities.

Easter Island has been configured to be able to accept any vehicle in the ISA fleet for landing for returning spacecraft have been unable to land at Ascension due to weather or runway issues, etc.

Easter island is the primary backup landing site and whilst all efforts are focused on returning craft to Ascension island as this allows us the quickest turnaround times sometimes this is not possible and so Easter Island will be called up.

The island also supports the standard ISA radio antenna farm for tracking and communications with both LEO and deep space craft.

Easter Island is owned and operated by Woo Aerospace but used and supported by ISA. The island has an ISA sponsored communications and tracking facility, ISA Astronaunt facilities, a harbour although we have no vessels on permanent station there and no launch facilities. Visits to ISA's facilities on Easter are welcome but facilities for visitors are limited.


Jarvis Island

Jarvis Island is a recent acquisition for ISA and will be finished with it's outfitting in late 2009. Jarvis island is not only a backup landing strip but also an important communications relay station. Jarvis is also now the primary TDRSS and E-TDRSS communications site.


ISA-Dome, Antartica

This facility is an extreme environment training facility. It exists to train astronauts in a variety of survival and exploration scenarios. It is also used to test equipment for usage on the moon and beyond. There are no visitor facilities at the Dome. ISA does have emergency supplies and medical facilities at the Dome. We can and are happy to support Antartic missions


Woomera prohibited Range

The Woomera range is used on an as-needed basis by ISA with prior agreement of the Australian Government. It's used for returning samples and other equipment from probes. The Woomera agreement was put into practice on 20th June when a w


Delta-Glider

The Delta-Glider has been a mainstay of space exploration for some years now. When ISA was formed five Delta-Glider class vehicles were purchased from existing Government space programmes and relocated to Ascension Island where they were stripped down and rebuilt. The Delta-glider remains a main vehicle in use for ISA.


XR-2

A relatively new acquisition. Two XR-2's were purchased to replace some of the older DG-IV's and to provide a DG-IV like capability with increased passenger count. the XR-2 fills this role admirably.


XR-5

Originally two XR-5's were purchased from Altea when lunar expansion projects were announced. it was soon readily apparent that the XR-5 could easily fill a varitey of roles were a large transport capacity was required but it's size also comes at a cost of increased propellant and maintenance requirements. Two more XR-5's were purchased and it is likely at least one more will round off ISA's XR-5 fleet.


Arrow

Started off as a concept project in 2004 but has now been seen through to completion with the first Arrow interplanetary craft under going test runs between Earth and the Moon.



TX Hypersonic transport

The TX was originally built to be a crewed booster which would transport a delta-glider to Earth Orbit and then return to it's launch site. Unfortunately, increases in Delta-glider fuel resources and issues with the TX landing gear systems lead to the project being massively delayed and over-budget.
The TX01 only ever flew into space three times and the TX02 never made it into orbit.
Both of these vehicles have now been bought by ISA and converted into highly efficient very high altitude hypersonic transport aircraft.
With a top speed of Mach 6 they can fly between any two points on the globe in less than 5 hours and with a payload capacity of 70tons they are able to carry up to two delta-gliders or other payloads at nearly 40KM altitude in a safe, protected carrier mounted on the vehicle.

Changes to the design include a special nose cone for Sonic Boom dampening, upper hull strengthening for cargo/vehicle transportation duties.

TX aircraft are available for commercial cargo work but can only be flown by an ISA employed crew and must be operated out of larger airfields.


 

Class one Frigate

The class one Frigate is a reconditioned military frigate used at both Ascension Island and Overton Island for transport and recovery options as well as acting as a mobile observatory for certain celestial events. A recent test also confirmed the suitability of these vessels for launching sounding rockets. These vessels carry a crew of 18 and have facilities for another 18 guests (e.g. scientists) and can stay at sea for four months.

Class one Motor Recovery vessel

This short range vessel carries a crew of 12 and is designed to stay at sea for up to three weeks and recover spent rocket stages such as SRB's and Sounding Rocket Payloads.

Gulfstream

ISA operates three Gulfstream aircraft to teach Delta glider and XR-2 handling processes to astronaunts

T-38

The T-38 is a Mach 1.25 weather reconnaissance , training and proficiency aircraft. It is used by the astronaut teams on an almost daily basis.

Seaking

The Seaking helicopter is a true multi role helicopter within ISA. It has been used for astronaut recovery, supplies transfer, astronaut transport, equipment transport and many other things.

Skycrane

The Sikorsky Skycrane is a versatile workhose helicopter used to ferry components around Ascension Island and for some altitude 'drop tests' of space components.

Sounding Rockets

ISA operates sounding rockets from Ascension Island but provision can be made to launch them from Easter Island or Woomera if the customer requires.