Next steps for Spaceport America

On Tuesday night votes in Sierra County, New Mexico overwhelmingly approved a quarter-cent sales tax increase to help pay for Spaceport America. The vote was perceived as critical not so much for the money it would generate (only about $2.3 million over 20 years, barely one percent of the spaceport’s $198-million cost) as for clearing [...]

Carmack surveys the field

Speaking of Armadillo’s John Carmack, in his team’s latest update, he provides his own unvarnished assessment of the various companies in the suborbital spaceflight sector. The Scaled Composites/Virgin Galactic partnership “is the safest bet for success”, but cautions that Virgin may need the field to itself in order to make a profit on SpaceShipTwo: “If [...]

Followup on the excitement of rocket piloting

[Yup, still at the airport]

To follow up on a posting from during the Space Access ’08 conference, I have an article in this week’s issue of The Space Review examining what it will take to become a “rocket pilot”, and just how interesting an occupation that will be. As many of the speakers noted, [...]

New Mexico seeks federal support for spaceport

[Catching up on news items while waiting on a delayed flight]

An AP article last week reported that New Mexico governor Bill Richardson and spaceport authority executive director Steve Landeene made the rounds in Washington looking for additional federal support for Spaceport America. They met with, among others, NASA administrator Mike Griffin, who said he [...]

Requests for info

I was contacted by a reporter earlier this week looking for information about Sprague Astronautics, a company that made a splash a few years ago (under the name AeraSpaceTours) but has been quiet since. (Its last press release is dated June 28, 2005.) I haven’t heard anything about them for some time, and assume the [...]