Blue Origin flies

According to MSNBC and the AP, Blue Origin performed its first low-level flight test on Monday morning at about 7:30 am EST from its test site in West Texas. The company, not surprisingly, has released few details about the flight. FAA officials said that the flight lasted “one or two minutes”, but we don’t know […]

Virginia loves space tourism; Maryland, not so much

A front-page article in today’s Washington Post discusses the impending launch of a Minotaur rocket from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) at Wallops Island, Virginia. That launch will carry an experimental military satellite, TacSat 2, but spaceport officials would like to expand their operations to include suborbital or even orbital space tourism:

[Spaceport director Billie […]

Blue Origin tests impending

MSNBC’s Cosmic Log reports that Blue Origin plans to conduct flight tests in the next few days from its West Texas spaceport. A notice to airmen (NOTAM) issued by the FAA sets aside airspace over about 15 square kilometers centered on the launch site up to an altitude of about 3,000 meters, although the flight […]

Ansari at Stanford

Anousheh Ansari is scheduled to speak at Stanford University on Friday night. An op-ed in The Stanford Daily on Thursday from one of the organizers of the event makes a bid to lure otherwise-skeptical students to the event:

You might be thinking, “Yeah, I’m not an engineer. I don’t want to go to space. Next […]

Bezos speaks (a little) about Blue Origin

It’s rare that Jeff Bezos speaks about his suborbital RLV startup, Blue Origin, adding to the secretive environment that surrounds the company. So it was a bit of a surprise to see the topic come up in an InformationWeeb interview with Bezos. He doesn’t say much about Blue Origin, and there are no real insights […]

Carmack on space tourism

CNET, whose readers generally know John Carmack as the creator of the computer games Doom and Quake, interviews the Armadillo Aerospace founder about his space venture. Carmack talks about Armadillo’s participation in last month’s X Prize Cup, his idea for “vertical drag racing”, and future plans, with an eye in particular for going after […]

You can’t escape inflation in space

The cost of a ticket on a Soyuz taxi mission to the ISS will go up $1 million to $21 million, the head of RSC Energia said Thursday. Nikolai Sevastyanov blamed “growth in the cost of materials and components used in the construction of the Soyuz spacecraft” for the cost increase. If this sounds vaguely […]

ATK to work with RpK

Alliant Techsystems (ATK) announced today that it has reached an agreement with Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) to work together on the development of the K-1. ATK will become the lead contractor for the K-1 development effort, with responsibility for “Launch vehicle development, assembly, integration and test of the launch system, and will conduct launch and landing […]

Hey, that spaceport looks familiar

The Advertiser, a newspaper in Adelaide, Australia, reports in Saturday’s issue that Virgin Galactic will establish its second spaceport in Australia, most likely at Woomera, which will also be the home of Rocketplane Kistler’s K-1 orbital vehicle. Most of the details in the article aren’t that new, but what is interesting is the illustration that […]

Suborbital space advertising? Oh dear…

An all-too-brief article in ( “South Africa’s leading daily advertising, marketing and media news resource for the industry!”) reports that a South African advertising firm is contemplating advertising to SpaceShipTwo passengers—in flight. Details are sketchy, but apparently Net#work BBDO (yes, the “#” character is part of their name), which is Virgin’s ad agency in […]