An intriguing figure

A Space Adventures press release today marking the fifth anniversary of Dennis Tito’s flight to the ISS claims that the company’s “efforts in offering commercial seats to the public have resulted in $120 million (USD) worth of orbital spaceflight sales.” The company has so far flown or signed up five people—Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, Greg Olsen, [...]

Happy fifth anniversary, Dennis Tito!

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the launch of the “first” commercial space tourist, Dennis Tito, on a Soyuz taxi flight to the ISS. (There are other “tourists” who flew in space before Tito, ranging from Helen Sharman to the politicians who got rides on the shuttle; Tito, at least, is the first tourist who [...]

Look, up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Virgin Galactic!

An article in The Guardian confirms reports that Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic will have a cameo appearance in this summer’s Superman movie:

Branson, a postmodern business figurehead, has a cameo role in the Superman (alongside a Virgin Galactic spacecraft) and Bond movies to be released this year. “It’s fantastic promotion,” he says, finally getting [...]

From X to H

X Prize founder Peter Diamandis will be in Capitol Hill today, but he won’t be there primarily to talk about commercial spaceflight or space tourism. Instead, he will be one of the witnesses of a House Science Committee hearing this morning on “H-Prize Act of 2006″ (HR 5143), legislation recently introduced by Congressman Bob Inglis [...]

Saipan space tourism? Sorta.

An article in the Saipan Tribune reports that the FAA is considering a “proposed space tourism” project that would be based from the Pacific island’s airport. Is Saipan set to become the next commercial spaceport? Not exactly. According to this article as well as an earlier report by the same newspaper, a Japanese company called [...]

What’s in a name?

A brief piece by Lunar Enterprise Daily asks this question: “What Does Leading Suborbital Spaceflight Company Want to Be Called Now?” Before wondering if Virgin Galactic is planning a name change, the article is actually referring to Rocketplane Ltd.—or is it Rocketplane Kistler? Since the announcement earlier this year that Rocketplane and Kistler Aerospace would [...]

When a little skepticism can be a good thing

The Sunday Times of London offered a brief overview of Bigelow Aerospace and its plans for developing inflatable habitats that could be used for orbital space hotels. There are few, if any, new details about Bigelow’s effort in the article, although it will be gratifying to many that the Times played the story straight, without [...]

An odd definition of space tourism

A press release a few days ago by ZG Aerospace (not to be confused with Zero Gravity Corporation, operators of commercial weightless airplane flights) proclaimed “Three Months to First-Ever Consumer Space Tourism Launch”. Huh? Read on:

ZG Aerospace (formerly ZeroG Aerospace) today announced that payload space is still available for consumers to send small personal [...]

Virgin Galactic is looking for a few good pilots

It’s still a couple of years or so before SpaceShipTwo will be ready to fly, but Virgin Galactic’s pilots are busy, Flight International reports. Two of them are already flying SS2 in a simulator, while a third is working on the manual for the vehicle. Prospective pilots should note that Virgin may be hiring some [...]

SpaceShipOne as a “Kitty Hawk moment”

In an essay in this week’s issue of The Space Review, Bob Clarebrough called the 2004 flights of SpaceShipOne a “Kitty Hark moment”: “that instant when the impossible becomes a reality.” Clarebrough mentions this because suborbital passenger spaceflight has not yet won broad acceptance, pointing to some cynical commentary in both the American and British [...]