Fighting to get to space

The Register, a British publication that normally specializes in IT news, offers an interesting account of a talk at NASA Ames this week by SpaceDev founder Jim Benson:

SpaceDev founder James Benson had plowed through the majority of his presentation on space tourism opportunities when the cackling broke out. “Will you sit down. I can’t [...]

Superman (director) flies

Bryan Singer is best known these days as the director of the newly-released blockbuster Superman Returns. But he also has a secret identity that he revealed to a Malaysian newspaper: he is a Founder:

Given all the money in the world, what kind of film would you’d like to do?

I would like to shoot [...]

No aliens need apply

Eileen Borgeson, the artist who designed the giant trophy given to the Dennis Tito Award winners at the ORBIT Awards ceremony last month, announced this week that she has created an ORBIT Awards poster that is “Free to all Earth Citizens”. (Aliens, presumably, will have to pay some pricey interstellar shipping-and-handling charges.) We terrestrials can [...]

Extensive test flights de rigeur

A Flight International article reports that the Explorer suborbital vehicle being developed by Russia’s Myasishchev Design Bureau for Space Adventures will undergo a test regime of at least 100 flights, to be carried out from the Zhukovsky air base near Moscow. The exact schedule of test flights wasn’t revealed by Space Adventures’ Chris Faranetta, but [...]

Warning: architectural snobbery ahead!

This is actually an old article, but only discovered it recently. It appears that some architectural critics are less than enthused with the designs for spaceports in New Mexico and the UAE. Or, as the headline puts it, future space tourists “will be flying out of the most crap-ass ground-based aeronautical terminals ever conceived.” (One [...]

SpaceShipOne, Space Launch acquisition revisited

A couple of articles in this week’s issue of The Space Review touch upon space tourism:

I expanded my SpaceShipOne anniversary essay here into a full-length article about the state of the industry two years after SpaceShipOne’s historic flight. Things have taken longer than one might have thought a couple years ago because, in retrospect, [...]

Blue’s Origins

If you haven’t heard by now, some new details (or, rather, some details period) about the New Shepard RLV being developed by Blue Origin were released last week, tucked away in a 229-page environmental assessment of the company’s planned West Texas launch site (PDF, ~12 MB). Both MSNBC’s Cosmic Log and RLV and Space Transport [...]

Seed watches spaceports take root

Seed magazine (tagline: “Science is Culture”), has put online an article from its June/July print issue about the new, um, crop of spaceports springing up around the world. It’s a fairly straightforward, complimentary article about the emerging spaceport and space tourism industries, looking at both the emerging trends and challenges spaceport and vehicle operators are [...]

Dream Chaser followup

The Denver Post and the Longmont (Colo.) Daily Times-Call provide coverage of yesterday’s SpaceDev event at Centennial Airport outside Denver, where the company unveiled a full-sized model of its Dream Chaser vehicle. The event was apparently a prelude to a two-day presentation today and tomorrow for visiting NASA officials as part of the COTS source [...]

SpaceShipOne, two years later

Today is the second anniversary of the first flight into space by a piloted, privately-developed spacecraft: SpaceShipOne. That flight, as well as the two X Prize-winning flights that followed in September and October of 2004, were witnessed in person by thousands in Mojave and many more on television and online–many of whom were probably interested [...]