Space Adventures: first circumlunar tourists signed by end of year

Space Adventures’ CEO Eric Anderson believes that his company will have signed up the first tourists for their proposed circumlunar mission by the end of this year. Anderson made the comments last week at the Flight School conference in Colorado, according to SPACE.com. That’s a bit later than what Anderson said a month ago at [...]

SpaceShipOne plus three years

Today (assuming you’re reading this in the next few hours) is the third anniversary of the first flight into space by SpaceShipOne. A couple people emailed me to ask if I was going to post on this, and while I thought about taking a deep big-picture view of the significance of the anniversary, but realized [...]

George Whitesides’ second job

Evidently being executive director of the National Space Society isn’t keeping George Whitesides busy enough (hard to believe, given all the energy he puts into NSS activities): he has signed on to be a “senior advisor” to Virgin Galactic, according to a report by Space News (subscription required). He’ll work with Virgin on government and [...]

Spaceport America on schedule

Spaceport America, the new commercial spaceport being developed in New Mexico, remains on schedule even though construction won’t begin until next year, state spaceport authority officials said Tuesday. Construction of the spaceport will begin in April of 2008, shortly after the state anticipates receiving a spaceport license from the FAA. The state is currently working [...]

Rutan and the future of spaceflight

Tomorrow marks the third anniversary of the first flight into space by SpaceShipOne. As a reminder of that event, and the potential for the future, here’s a video I stumbled across recently, featuring a talk by Burt Rutan at the TED conference last year. He talks about the stagnation he sees in the aerospace industry [...]

More on EADS’ suborbital vehicle plans

Some reaction (and clarification) on the EADS Astrium announcement this week about its plans to develop a suborbital vehicle for space tourism markets:

Burt Rutan, contacted by SPACE.com, doesn’t think much of the plan. He thinks it, and other rocket-powered aircraft that take off from a runway under rocket or jet power, will be more [...]

RpK’s missed milestone

The online edition of Space News reported late Wednesday that Rocketplane Kistler missed its May milestone in NASA’s COTS program (subscription required). That milestone required RpK to have completed a second round of private financing by the end of the month; it has yet to complete that round, according to a NASA spokesperson contacted by [...]

EADS reinvents Rocketplane

Yesterday the European aerospace company EADS Astrium announced its proposal to develop a suborbital vehicle to serve the space tourism market. While this is a new design, the concept of operations is almost identical to what Rocketplane Global has been developing for several years: a vehicle the size of a business jet that takes [...]

Alexander joins X Prize Foundation

The X Prize Foundation announced yesterday that Brett Alexander has joined the organization as its executive director for space prizes and the X Prize Cup. In that position, according to the press release, he will “work to secure financing, create rules, recruit teams, develop rollout and media plans and investigate international partnerships for all future [...]

A contrarian view of NewSpace

Given all the hype and hoopla surrounding many new commercial space ventures these days, it’s easy to overlook the fact that there are people out there not convinced that these companies, or the industry in general, are that real. A case in point: on the web site for Earth & Sky, a science radio show, [...]