SpaceShot’s free version

Today is the official release of, a free version of the online skill game launched last year by SpaceShot that awards free spaceflights to winners of its weather prediction game. The free version is funded through advertising, such as Google AdSense ads, and offers a wide range of prizes, from a zero-g flight and […]

Starchaser wins ESA deal

UK-based Starchaser Ltd. announced Friday that it has won a study contract from ESA. The award, worth €150,000 (US$194,000), will be used to perform a detailed technical assessment of Starchaser’s Thunderstar/Starchaser 5A suborbital vehicle. Starchaser hopes to have the vehicle ready to begin commercial operations from Spaceport America in New Mexico “as early as” 2009, […]

Virgin Galactic and Spaceport Sweden

The Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) sent out a notice to the media earlier today inviting them to attend the “inauguration” of Spaceport Sweden in the Arctic city of Kiruna on January 26th, and the announcement of a partnership with Virgin Galactic. Kiruna is already home to the Esrange Space Center, used for sounding rocket flights, […]

Prizes, Hawking, and other news that’s not so new

You may have heard the news earlier this week that the grand prize for Vanishing Point, an online “puzzle challenge”, is a suborbital spaceflight provided by Rocketplane Kistler. (Microsoft, which is co-sponsoring the competition as a way to promote its new Vista operating system, cleverly calls the grand prize “a trip to see the ultimate […]

PlanetSpace and NASA: what’s the deal(s)?

Today’s issue of the Halifax (Nova Scotia) Daily News provides an update on PlanetSpace and its plans to establish a spaceport in the Cape Breton region of the province. A couple curious things come out of the article: it states that “the Chicago-based company has signed one contract with NASA and is said to be […]

New leadership for the PSF

The Personal Spaceflight Federation (which, despite the similarity in names, has no relationship to this blog) announced today that Brett Alexander is the new president of the industry organization. Alexander, who will keep his day job as vice president of t/Space, formerly worked at the Office of Science and Technology Policy. He replaces Mike Kelly, […]

Elon Musk, Virgin Galactic customer

On Wednesday night PBS aired a pilot of a new science show, Wired Science. (If you missed the show you can watch it online; the show is competing against two others to win a slot in the network’s lineup). One segment of the show featured an interview of Elon Musk, where host Brian Unger first […]

(Up with) People for Aerospace

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports this morning that commissioners from three counties in southern New Mexico—Doña Ana, Otero, and Sierra—are planning a joint hearing on January 15 to discuss plans fox taxes needed to help fund Spaceport America. (A proposal for such a hearing was discussed last week.) The hearing is designed to make sure […]

Blue Origin opens up

I was just sitting down to lunch when a coworker came up to me and asked, “Have you checked out Blue Origin’s web site recently?”

“Umm, no,” I responded.

“You should,” he responded. And I did, and you should, too: the company has provided a major new update on its web site, in the form […]