Another take on the “space tourist” debate

There has been a lot of discussion about whether commercial passengers like Anousheh Ansari should be called “space tourists” or some other title. In an extensive analysis in this week’s issue of The Space Review, Michael Turner argues that it doesn’t really matter. Calling upon varying expertise in everything from language to marketing, he notes [...]

Charles is charged up

Space Adventures formally announced yesterday that former Microsoft executive Charles Simonyi will be the next space tourist, er, commercial spaceflight participant (or whatever) to visit the ISS, in spring 2007. The announcement was made at a press conference in Seattle, and comes a week after Russia media reports announced he would fly on the Soyuz [...]

GAO on FAA/AST and space tourism regulations

[Note: this entry is also posted on Space Politics.]

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report yesterday titled “Commercial Space Launches: FAA Needs Continued Planning and Monitoring to Oversee the Safety of the Emerging Space Tourism Industry”. The report is a review of how the FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (AST) oversees the [...]

Spaceport tax moves forward

County commissioners in Doña Ana County, New Mexico (home to Las Cruces) have approved a plan to have county residents vote on a sales tax increase intended to support development of Spaceport America. Commissioners approved by a 4-1 vote a plan to draft a measure to increase sales taxes by a quarter-cent. After another vote [...]

No, Google hasn’t bought SpaceShipOne

While most of the NewSpace world was focused this past weekend on the X Prize Cup in New Mexico, there was a report on the Web business blog TechCrunch claiming that Google had bought SpaceShipOne and was installing it in its Silicon Valley headquarters, the Googleplex. That report, of course, was nonsense, since SS1 had [...]

Summarizing the X Prize Cup

For this week’s issue of The Space Review I provide a summary of the just-completed X Prize Cup, with a particular emphasis on Armadillo’s attempt to win the Lunar Lander Challenge. If you’ve been reading this blog then you’re familar with most of the details in this article. However, I do try to put the [...]

Video: Pixel flight

Here’s a video from Armadillo Aerospace’s Saturday morning flight of Pixel at the X Prize Cup, when they landed partially off the pad. The video is a little crude and jumpy, but you can see most of the flight until Pixel disappears behind a tent shortly before landing.

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Space Elevator Games go into extra innings

The Space Elevator Games, comprised of the tether and beamed power competitions, was scheduled to end Saturday afternoon as the X Prize Cup wound down. However, because of scheduling and logistical issues, the event has been extended. The tether competition took place Saturday night at the county fairgrounds, where the climber qualifications took place earlier [...]

More photos from day 2 of the X Prize Cup

I’ve posted on Flickr a set of images from day 2 of the X Prize Cup. Some of the photos have been featured in previous posts, while others illustrate the assortment of other events and activities at the Cup. Not to mention a giant space panda.

And that’s a wrap

The 2006 Wirefly X Prize Cup is now history (or officially will be in 15 minutes although there are no more events planned.) Armadillo carted their vehicle back to the staging area around 3 pm MDT. The leg that broke off was covered with frozen dirt (from the chill of the LOX tank that the [...]