Armadillo receives a launch license for STIG-B

Neil Milburn (left) of Armadillo Aerospace speaks at the NewSpace 2012 Conference on Thursday after receiving a launch license from George Nield (right), associate administrator for commercial space transportation at the FAA. (credit: J. Foust)

Armadillo Aerospace is one step closer to flying a rocket into space after receiving a launch license from the [...]

Virgin’s brief suborbital update

Most of Wednesday’s announcement by Virgin Galactic focused on its rejuvenated smallsat launch system, LauncherOne. The company, though, did offer a brief update on its suborbital spaceflight plans. According to the release, the company now has “confirmation that all major components of SpaceShipTwo’s rocket system have been qualified for powered flight, on track to begin [...]

Apollo astronauts give thanks to SpaceX

A photo of a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch, bearing the signatures and messages of nine Apollo astronauts collected by venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson. His colleague, Mohanjit Jolly, is kneeling next to the photo. (credit: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr)

There is a perception of a rift between the “old guard” of established aerospace companies, as well as [...]

Virgin Galactic relaunches its smallsat launch business

Illustration of Virgin Galactic’s LauncherOne igniting its first stage engine after being dropped from WhiteKnightTwo. (credit: Virgin Galactic)

On Wednesday at the Farnborough Airshow outside London, Virgin Galactic formally announced its smallsat launch vehicle concept, called LauncherOne. The system features a two-stage rocket carried aloft by Virgin’s WhiteKnightTwo aircraft and released, much like Orbital [...]

Wrapping up XCOR’s deal with Midland

Texas Gov. Rick Perry appears particularly excited to see a full-scale mockup of the XCOR Lynx suborbital spaceplane Monday in Midland, alongside XCOR chief test pilot Rick Searfoss. (credit: XCOR)

After all the news that came out from Friday through Sunday, the actual announcement of XCOR’s deal with the Midland Development Corporation (MDC) to [...]

More on the XCOR-Midland deal

Today’s Midland Reporter-Telegram has more details about the agreement between XCOR Aerospace and the Midland Development Corporation (MDC) that will be formally announced Monday. It confirms earlier reports that the deal will involve XCOR moving its corporate headquarters to Midland and establishing an R&D center there, while maintaining its facility in Mojave, California, as well [...]

XCOR may be taking off for Texas [updated]

XCOR and its Lynx suborbital vehicle (above) may soon be taking off for Midland, Texas, but a source says they won’t be leaving Mojave behind. (credit: XCOR Aerospace)

According to media reports, Mojave, California-based XCOR Aerospace plans to establish operations in Midland, Texas, with an agreement about a deal with Midland officials scheduled for [...]

ATK’s big Liberty push

An illustration of the cargo module capability for the ATK/EADS Astrium Liberty system announced earlier this week. (credit: ATK)

Some people noted earlier this week an article by Talking Points Memo (TPM) reporting that NASA plans to make selections in the next round of its commercial crew effort, the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability (CCiCap) [...]

Planetary Resources’s Star Wars roots

When Planetary Resources announced its plans in April to prospect near Earth asteroids and extract resources from them, it announced that it would develop a series of spacecraft under the name “Arkyd”. In fact, prior to its April announcement, the company operated in stealth mode under the name “Arkyd Astronautics”. So what kind of name [...]

Spaceport America unveils a more patriotic look on Independence Day

The previous design (left) of the Spaceport America website, as it appeared Tuesday morning, and the new design (right).

When New Mexico officials announced almost six years ago that what had previously been known as the Southwest Regional Spaceport would henceforth be called Spaceport America, the decision raised a few eyebrows. After all, it [...]