GLXP team merger presages a new phase in the competition

Illustration of Moon Express's proposed lander. (credit: Moon Express)

On Wednesday, during a summit of the teams participating in the Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP) competition in Washington, Moon Express announced it was acquiring another team, Next Giant Leap (NGL). The acquisition will “leverage and carry forward the substantial work” done by NGL and [...]

Transitions for two space entrepreneurs

This week marks a transition for two long-time space entrepreneurs, who are stepping away from their current ventures to look for new opportunities. At the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in Washington on Friday, David Gump said he will be leaving his position as president of Astrobotic Technology, the Pittsburgh-based company competing [...]

Sierra Nevada begins Dream Chaser flight testing

Speaking at the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in Washington on Friday, Mark Sirangelo of Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC)( indicated that initial flight tests of his company’s Dream Chaser vehicle would begin soon. “We begin our flight tests probably next week,” he said in remarks largely overshadowed by the excitement at the [...]

Now the real test begins

When the SpaceX Falcon 9 successfully lifted off from Florida about 48 hours ago, placing the Dragon spacecraft into orbit, the celebratory remarks flowed. Members of Congress offered their best wishes, as did organizations representing both the emerging commercial spaceflight industry as well as the more traditional, mainstream aerospace industry. On Tuesday morning at the [...]

Putting the SpaceX (test) launch into perspective

In less than 24 hours, technology and meteorology permitting, a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket will lift off from Cape Canaveral carrying a Dragon cargo spacecraft on a test flight to the International Space Station. If all goes well, it will berth with the station early next week, demonstrating its ability to transport cargo to the [...]

ATK and Astrium unveil a full-fledged Liberty transportation system

Illustration of the ATK/EADS Astrium Liberty system, featuring the Liberty rocket and a crew capsule. (Credit: ATK)

Early last year Alliant Techsystems (ATK) and EADS Astrium unveiled a new launch vehicle called Liberty, using a five-segment solid rocket booster built by ATK for the lower stage and a modified Ariane 5 core stage built [...]

EZ-Rider

As a small, entrepreneurial space company, XCOR Aerospace has found innovative ways to test and demonstrate its technology. One of its best-known examples was the EZ-Rocket, a Long-EZ plane fitted with twin rocket engines built by XCOR. The company announced this week that it did something similar, using another mode of transportation to test [...]

SpaceX COTS launch slips to May 19 (updated)

The Falcon 9 rocket that will launch SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft on its upcoming test flight undergoes a hotfire test on April 30. (Credit: SpaceX)

Updated 7:45 pm: As expected, SpaceX announced late Friday that it’s slipping its next planned launch attempt to May 19, with a backup date of May 22. “SpaceX and NASA [...]

Another delay looming for SpaceX

It appears highly unlikely that SpaceX will be ready to launch its Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station (ISS) on Monday as previously planned. Word first came out Tuesday night that the launch was in danger of slipping to give the company more time to get the Dragon ready for its mission to the [...]

Virgin making news in the Middle East

While Planetary Resources and SpaceX have been getting all the attention in the last couple of weeks given the former’s announcement of its asteroid mining plans and the latter’s upcoming test flight to the ISS, Virgin Galactic has been active as well. Those announcements, interestingly, have been concentrated in the United Arab Emirates, the home [...]