Virgin's web traffic planning

Yesterday industry publication Web Host Industry Review reported that UK-based hosting company DediPower had been selected to host the Virgin Galactic web site. The announcement made it sound like Virgin was expecting a wave of traffic to come to the site in the future: it mentions that DediPower would provide a hosting solution “capable of [...]

Video tour of Spaceport America

KRQE-TV of Albuquerque published this week a three-minute video tour of Spaceport America from a recent tour of the spaceport, part of a new bus tour program being offered to allow the public to see the spaceport under construction. The video includes a number of aerial shots that shows the current progress on the spaceport’s [...]

Spaceport America developments

Will Spaceport America get a second paved access road? Right now the primary access is from the north, via the town of Truth or Consequences, on a road paved earlier this year to permit spaceport construction to begin. That results in a fairly roundabout trip for visitors coming from Las Cruces and points south: about [...]

XCOR wins a major customer

XCOR Aerospace announced this afternoon a major business development for the suborbital vehicle developer: a contract to provide suborbital space launch services for a South Korean organization. XOCR will provide and operate a Lynx Mark 2 vehicle to the Yecheon Astro Space Center under a “wet lease” model, pending export control approvals. The center will [...]

More about the Virgin rollout aftermath

More than a week after the truncated SpaceShipTwo rollout event at Mojave Air and Space Port, it’s increasingly clear that the decision to evacuate the event averted a disaster. Airport general manager Stu Witt described the evacuation to the Bakersfield Californian, saying he made the decision when he saw the wind lift up a corner [...]

Orion Propulsion acquired

Any entrepreneurial venture, space or otherwise, needs an exit strategy: how those who invested into the company get their money back (plus, hopefully, a healthy return on that investment). These days that means, primarily, an acquisition by a larger company, given the difficulties of going public. The emerging NewSpace field has only seen a few [...]

Space tourism as “the final undiscovered frontier”?

A survey released yesterday by World Travel Market, a UK-based travel industry event organization, offers a somewhat pessimistic take on the space tourism market. The study, based on a poll of 1,030 Britons who took a summer vacation in 2009, found that only 27% said they would be interested in traveling into space; 50% said [...]

So that’s why Aabar invested in Virgin?

At last week’s unveiling of SpaceShipTwo in Mojave, Virgin Galactic commercial director Stephen Attenborough said that it was the company’s relative strong performance during the current recession—a “substantial net increase” in customers—that attracted the attention of Aabar Investments, the Abu Dhabi fund that purchased a 32-percent stake in the company for $280 million.

But [...]

The Virgin party’s aftermath

At about 7:45 pm Monday night, with the Virgin Galactic post-rollout party in full swing in Mojave, the person who had been announcing routine bus departures to various hotels made a more urgent announcement: everyone was asked to “evacuate” the tents where the event took place because of a high wind warning, and to instead [...]

SpaceShipTwo slideshow

Some photos I took of the SS2 rollout and related events: