Garriott’s backup announced

Space Adventures announced today that Australian entrepreneur Nik Halik will be the backup to Richard Garriott on Garriott’s fall 2008 flight to the ISS. Halik is paying $3 million for the privilege of being the backup; that money can be used later towards the cost of his own orbital or other spaceflight. Halik, 38, is [...]

When royalty and space tourism promotion mix…

…hijinks ensue, the Daily Mail claims:

The gents toilets are the last place you’d expect to find a princess who’s fifth in line to the throne.

But that’s exactly what happened when feisty Princess Beatrice was caught following her beleaguered boyfriend into the toilet to give him a right royal tongue-lashing.

The 19-year-old lambasted her [...]

SS2: more interesting items

Many of the news reports about the SS2/WK2 design unveiling cover just the basics, repeating a lot of information that was already known about the effort. There are a few nuggets tucked away in the articles, though:

Perhaps the biggest questions are when SS2 will fly, and what the status of investigation into the July [...]

SS2/WK2 new design: first look

Here’s an artist’s impression of the new design of SpaceShipTwo and White Knight Two:

Perhaps the biggest change not previously hinted at is the dual cabin design of WK2; the number of engines on the aircraft as well as the changed wing location had been previously reported. Skimming through the press release (available, along with [...]

SpaceShipTwo design to be released today

Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites will be formally unveiling the design of SpaceShipTwo and its carrier aircraft, White Knight Two, at an event in New York today. Interesting, there hasn’t been much buzz leading up to this event: a preview in the UK newspaper The Telegraph yesterday is one of the few advance stories about [...]

Garriott begins training, but what about his backup?

Space Adventures announced Monday that its latest orbital spaceflight client, Richard Garriott, has started training for his October flight to the ISS. Garriott is in Star City, Russia, where his training, including Russian language lessons, have kicked into high gear, he tells SPACE.com. “This year is definitely where all my priorities and schedules have rotated [...]

Scaled fined for July accident

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (aka Cal/OSHA) has fined Scaled Composites for safety violations identified in the aftermath of the July accident that killed three employees at Mojave Airport. Cal/OSHA fined Scaled $25,780 for failing to properly train its employees about the dangers of nitrous oxide, the chemical that is used as [...]

Spaceport America road funding

Now that Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign has wound down, the New Mexico governor is focusing on state issues again. On Tuesday he delivered the annual “State of the State” address to legislators, in which he gave a brief shout-out to the state’s planned commercial spaceport: “Our investment into Spaceport America will open the heavens to [...]

Suborbital trip too dangerous for auction

The Fort Myers (Fla.) News-Press reported this week that organizers of a charity auction have removed a suborbital spaceflight trip out of concerns it was too dangerous. The auction, part of the Naples Winter Wine Festival, would have included a spaceflight on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo. However, in the wake of last July’s industrial accident at [...]

Herrington leaves Rocketplane

Rocketplane Global vice president and chief test pilot John Herrington has left the company, according to an Associated Press report, which refers to a press release issued by the Chickasaw Nation, of which Herrington is a member. Herrington left the company on December 21, although his departure was announced only this week. Herrington gave no [...]