Virginia wants money, New Mexico wants laws

New Mexico and Virginia have been among the leading states in supporting entrepreneurial space efforts. New Mexico committed $200 million to develop Spaceport America and lure Virgin Galactic to their state; Virginia has supported the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS), bringing Orbital Sciences’ Taurus 2 rocket there as well as passing laws to support space activities […]

What can Florida, Indiana, and others learn from Oklahoma?

As we noted here last week, Florida’s Cecil Field has its spaceport license but is still in search of customers, thanks to the limited number of companies whose vehicles are qualified to use it and the current state of the industry. Cecil Field will have to compete against a number of other current and planned […]

Is “space tour guide” in your professional future?

Last week the British consultancy Fast Future released a government-commission report titled “The shape of jobs to come”. The purpose of the report was to identify potential new careers enabled by advances in science and technology. The report featured 20 such future careers (summarized in a separate fact sheet), ranging from “memory augmentation surgeon” to […]

Training begins for suborbital scientist-astronauts

An initial group of a dozen prospective scientist-astronauts will begin a two-day training program today at the NASTAR Center just outside Philadelphia in preparation for future flights on commercial suborbital vehicles. The training will include both classroom instruction and “altitude chamber training, multi-axes centrifuge training for launch and reentry accelerations, and several distraction factor exercises”, […]

Cecil Field gets spaceport license – but will anyone use it?

After years of effort, Florida’s Cecil Field got some good news Monday: they got their commercial spaceport license from the FAA. The former naval air station outside Jacksonville, currently used primarily for cargo and general aviation, will now be able to host horizontal launches of reusable launch vehicles for suborbital space tourism and potentially […]

Registration deadline approaching for suborbital science conference

In The Space Review last month I noted an emerging market for commercial suborbital vehicles: research and education. There’s growing interest among scientists in a variety of disciplines to take advantage of vehicles under development to serve the space tourism market to fly experiments at a fraction of the cost of sounding rockets and other […]

Additional notes about Olsen’s book

In this week’s issue of The Space Review I reviewed By Any Means Necessary!, a book by Greg Olsen in large part about his trip to the ISS as a private citizen in 2005. The book is broadly an autobiography, from his childhood to his post-flight activities, but it is largely centered around his efforts […]

Aviation Week honors the “Space Entrepreneur”

The efforts of the emerging NewSpace field to reshape the space industry have attracted the attention of a leading trade publication, Aviation Week & Space Technology, which named “The Space Entrepreneur” as its 2009 PErson of the Year in this week’s issue. “Collectively, they are in the vanguard of a new industry, poised to transform […]