Branson sticks to aggressive Virgin Galactic schedule

Most people concluded that last month’s Scaled Composites accident would delay Virgin Galactic’s plans to begin suborbital space tourism services; even Burt Rutan admitted last weekend that the accident would delay plans for rocket-powered test flights (without saying exactly what that schedule was.) Richard Branson, though, doesn’t seem to have factored any delay into his [...]

More on Rutan’s speech in Alabama

I negelected yesterday to post a link to my article in The Space Review about Burt Rutan’s speech in Alabama and subsequent interview. The article speaks largely for itself: Rutan remains committed to the development of SpaceShipTwo, although the timeline, and even some of the technical details of the propulsion system, are uncertain at this [...]

Rutan: no explanation yet for explosion

I was able to make it down to Alabama this weekend to attend the symposium where Burt Rutan spoke this morning. His prepared remarks did not directly address recent events (either the accident last month or the acquisition of Scaled Composites by Northrop Grumman, which closed yesterday). However, I was able to talk with him [...]

Mixed messages about Rocketplane

Is Rocketplane Inc. in dire financial straits, or are they make progress on financing? Conflicting messages about the health of the company have been published this week. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) first reported Tuesday that the company had yet to close a $500-million financing round for the K-1 orbital vehicle that had been [...]

Rutan in Alabama

Burt Rutan is scheduled to be a keynote speaker tomorrow at the Blackburn Institute 2007 Academic Symposium at the University of Alabama, part of an event titled “Responsibility for the Future Exploration and Development of Space”. Ordinarily this wouldn’t be that newsworthy of an event, but it will be one of the fist public speaking [...]

The Onion tweaks space tourism

The satirical publication The Onion has its own take on space tourism today where friends of a space tourist ridicule him for taking a boring trip:

Despite having never visited outer space before in his life and being completely free from the everyday demands of work, family, and gravity, space tourist Dick Knowles spent his [...]

Extraordinary claims, but no extraordinary evidence

By know you’ve probably read about the venture, first reported Friday by Reuters, that is planning to develop a space hotel by 2012. I had held off on commenting about this development, in part because I’ve been on travel the last few days, but also because I’ve been trying to find out more about the [...]

Russian space tourist candidates

The Russian space agency Roskosmos is reviewing applications from several Russians reportedly interested in flying to the ISS as space tourists, the Russian publication Kommersant reported. Space Adventures has reserved the available seat on Soyuz taxi flights to the ISS in the fall of 2008 and spring of 2009, so it’s not clear from this [...]

Space dust? More like spaced out

It shouldn’t be surprising that an event like last week’s explosion in Mojave has resulted in its share of both good and bad reporting. However, an article in ArabianBusiness.com is a particularly egregious example of poor reporting on this topic. The article argues that Richard Branson’s “entire commercial space tourism dream is in tatters” because [...]

Spaceport America architects named

On Wednesday the New Mexico Spaceport Authority announced the design team for Spaceport America: URS Corporation, a San Francisco-based design and engineering firm, partnered with UK company Foster + Partners. The two firms won the design competition for the spaceport’s primary terminal and hangar facility, beating out 10 other firms, according to the Las Cruces [...]