A Florida spaceport (not on the Cape) moves forward

Think “space” and “Florida” and what immediately comes to mind? Almost certainly it’s Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. However, if in effort elsewhere in the state comes to fruition, the Space Coast won’t have a monopoly on spaceflight in the state. Earlier this week a public hearing was held in Jacksonville on plans [...]

What’s in it for space travel agents

Virgin Galactic has been signing up travel agents around the world to help it sell its suborbital spaceflights. So what’s in it for the travel agents, besides some publicity and a chance to be on the cutting edge of what could be an emerging market in the overall tourism industry? Money, as Australia’s The Daily [...]

NM spaceport tax update

The Las Cruces Sun-News reported Monday that a state legislator has asked the New Mexico attorney general’s office for a legal opinion on delaying a spaceport tax that voters on Doña Ana County approved earlier this year. While the tax is scheduled to take effect on January 1, the money collected can’t be spent until [...]

Psychics can’t foretell future of space tourism

The newspaper Irish Independent has a profile of businessman Tom Higgins, best known for making millions with a psychic hotline. At the end of the piece Higgins discusses his other major claim to fame: being one of the first two Irishmen to sign up for a suborbital spaceflight for space tourism. It looks like, though, [...]

Garriott’s backup selected? Not quite yet

News reports out of Melbourne, Australia over the weekend indicated that Space Adventures had selected an Australian-born millionaire to be the backup to Richard Garriott on his trip to the ISS next October. “Self-described ‘thrillionaire’ Nik Halik has been named as the back-up crewman for next year’s October commercial flight to the International Space Station,” [...]

Bezos: “My passion is for space”

Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos appeared on The Charlie Rose Show Monday night, primarily to talk about the new electronic book reader that Amazon unveiled earlier in the day. However, at the very end of the show Rose did ask Bezos some questions about Blue Origin, Bezos’s spaceflight venture. A lot of the interview covered familiar [...]

Looking back at two would-be space tourists

In this week’s issue of The Space Review I have an article about Lori Garver and Lance Bass, who tried to be orbital space tourists in 2002. Most people in the space industry are familiar with Garver, and her talk at the ISPS last month in New Mexico didn’t have much in the way of [...]

For $3 million, be an understudy

Space Adventures announced today that, for the first time, it is selling the opportunity to be the backup crew member for one of its Soyuz space tourists. For $3 million, that person would go through the same six-month training program in Russia as Richard Garriott, the company’s next orbital customer; they are particularly interested in [...]

An unlikely list of customers

An article in The West Australian reports that a Virgin Galactic seat will be auctioned off Saturday night during the Chinese Chamber of Commerce annual ball in Perth. Curiously, the article claims that “Bill Gates, Warren Buffet [sic], Oprah Winfrey, Sir Richard Branson and Donald Trump have already signed up for a space flight”. Branson, [...]

Another company enters the terrestrial space tourism market

For a number of years companies like Space Adventures and Incredible Adventures have offered terrestrial analogues to spaceflight, including zero-g airplane flights, high-altitude jet flights, and cosmonaut training. Now another company, G.A.P Adventures, is entering the market, offering a similar suite of experiences. The company, which already offers a wide range of adventure tourism, sees [...]