Next Soyuz tourist: Richard Garriott

Space Adventures announced this morning that Richard Garriott will be the company’s next customer to fly to the ISS on a Soyuz mission. Garriott’s flight is scheduled for October 2008, the next scheduled taxi flight with an open seat. Garriott is billed as the first “second generation” astronaut: his father, Owen Garriott, was a NASA [...]

Going Dutch in space

A lucky Dutch radio listener will win a suborbital spaceflight, according to a report by Radio Netherlands. The Dutch station “Q-music” is giving away the suborbital flight, provided by Space Adventures; the winner will be announced Saturday during an event at an aviation and space museum in Lelystad. The article is a bit skeptical about [...]

NM spaceport office needs more money

A little-noticed article from last week: the New Mexico Spaceport Authority, which is overseeing development of Spaceport America, needs additional state funding for its office. The money is not for the spaceport development itself, but to build up the office’s staff. The office has a budget this year of $365,000, but needs $1.5 million next [...]

Pictures from the X Prize event

A few photos from the X Prize event in LA today:

From left: Bob Weiss of the X Prize Foundation, Larry Page of Google, Peter Diamandis of the X Prize Foundation, and Buzz Aldrin answer questions after the press conference.

While Diamandis talked, a small robotic rover (built by the Univ. of Oklahoma) rolled out [...]

Google Lunar X Prize update

I just got out of some press events associated with the Google Lunar X Prize announcement this morning here in LA (where I discovered I created a little heartburn among the X Prize folks by linking to the HuffPo piece earlier this morning.) I’ll have more later, but some highlights from the announcement:

This is [...]

Next X Prize will be a real lunar lander challenge

Later today the X Prize Foundation is scheduled to announce its next major prize competition, which has been billed as “the largest international prize in history” with a Fortune 500 sponsor. However, there is already one credible report about the prize. According to a blog post by Esther Wojcicki on The Huffington Post, today’s announcement [...]

What SpaceShipTwo might look like

The public right now has only a right idea of what SpaceShipTwo and its carrier aircraft, White Knight Two, will look like, based primarily on the promotional animations and images released by Virgin Galactic. Flightglobal.com took the interesting step of using those images and modifying them based on comments on the design made by Burt [...]

When it rains, it pours

Yesterday came word that NASA has given Rocketplane Kistler notice of plans to terminate its COTS award because of RpK’s inability to raise $500 million in private funding despite several deadline extensions. The notice is not in and of itself the termination of the award, but instead provides 30 days’ notice of NASA’s termination plans, [...]

The emissions myth returns

An article in an English-language section of the web site of German magazine Der Spiegel briefly discusses the New Mexico spaceport plans announced last week. But—and you knew there had to be a “but” here—the article weighs that against the “enormous” carbon footprint the suborbital spaceflight from there will generate. The key (and final) sentence [...]

Who will be the next orbital space tourist?

Who will be the next commercial passenger to take a ride to the ISS on a Soyuz spacecraft in late 2008? Most of the recent speculation has focused on a Russian, after the head of the Russian space agency Roskosmos, Anatoly Perminov, said last week that a “prominent Russian businessman-turned-politician” (as described in an article [...]