Video: WhiteKnightTwo flight

Here’s about an excerpt of a video released by Virgin Galactic on Friday with clips of a WhiteKnightTwo flight:

WhiteKnightTwo flight highlights from Jeff Foust on Vimeo.

WK2 Flight 3 details and multimedia

Virgin Galactic issued a press release today about the third flight of the WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft, which took place on Wednesday. Some highlights:

The flight’s duration was over 2.5 hours. WK2 reached its fastest speed yet, 140 knots (259 km/h) The aircraft flew to an altitude of over 18,000 feet (5,490 feet) The flight [...]

Paul Allen, future space tourist?

Compared to the good ol’ days (2001), a space tourist flying to the ISS these days is a little, well, ho-hum. Back in 2001 there was all the drama associated with whether NASA would allow Dennis Tito to fly to the station on a Soyuz, and if so, what sort of reception he would get [...]

A more pessimistic take on space tourism and the economy

Space tourism companies (with the exception of Astrium, as previously noted) have remained optimistic about their prospects despite the current economic crisis. Virgin Galactic’s Will Whitehorn said last month that they continued to sign up customers and had nearly 300 at the time, with only a few asking for their deposits back. XCOR had also [...]

What does Astrium’s decision mean for suborbital spaceflight?

Rob Coppinger reported this week that Astrium has put on hold “indefinitely” its plans for a suborbital spaceplane. Astrium, a division of European aerospace giant EADS, announced plans for the “space jet” at the Paris Air Show in 2007, but there had been little visible progress in the vehicle’s development since then, beyond some propulsion [...]

Third WhiteKnightTwo flight Wednesday

WhiteKnightTwo, the carrier aircraft for SpaceShipTwo, took to the skies on Wednesday afternoon, according to several observers in Mojave. No word yet on the technical details associated with the flight, including flight time, altitude, etc. This was the first flight since February 5th and the third overall; the first was on December 21.

Musk on Falcon 9, COTS-D, and protests

Elon Musk was the luncheon speaker Tuesday at the Satellite 2009 conference in Washington. His speech was a general overview of what SpaceX is doing on both the Falcon launch vehicles and Dragon spacecraft, but he did offer a few new and interesting items:

Musk said that SpaceX has 19 Falcon 9 orders (12 of [...]

Bad news for would-be first Indian space tourists

India’s Express News Service reported last week that Santhosh George Kulangara is under investigation by India’s Income Tax Department for possible tax evasion. Kulangara, managing director of Labour India Group Publications, is also frequently identified as India’s first space tourist since he is one of Virgin Galactic’s first 100 customers, aka “Founders”. He was not [...]