Dream Chaser is nearly ready to fly

Dream Chaser performs a captive carry flight above Edwards AFB in California on Thursday, suspended under a helicopter. (credit: NASA/Carla Thomas)

On Thursday, Sierra Nevada Corporation’s (SNC’s) Dream Chaser spacecraft performed a “captive carry” flight at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at California’s Edwards Air Force Base. During the two-hour test, the Dream Chaser […]

Mars One updates figures, but actual number of applicants still unclear

The window for applying to Mars One to be one of its first one-way astronauts closes at the end of this month. On Wednesday, the organization issued a release with updated figures on the level of interest this has attracted. “With ten days left before the end of its online application program, Mars One has […]

Virgin Galactic “gearing up” for second powered SpaceShipTwo flight

Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides speaking Friday at the DC-X 20th anniversary event at Spaceport America in New Mexico. (credit: J. Foust)

After a hiatus of more than three and a half months that has raised questions by some industry observers, Virgin Galactic is making preparations for a second powered test flight of its […]

Grasshopper demonstrates its lateral moves

While everyone, it seems, has been chatting about Elon Musk’s “hyperloop” concept this week, one of his companies, SpaceX, has been showing off some actual hardware. On Tuesday, SpaceX flew Grasshopper to an altitude of 250 meters, this time including a 100 meter lateral maneuver in the process, before returning the reusable launch vehicle […]

NASA seeks to buy a dedicated nanosatellite launch

After abandoning plans for a prize competition to develop a nanosatellite launch vehicle, NASA is making another attempt to stimulate development of such a launch system by offering to buy a launch—just one—from such a system.

NASA issued a request for proposals (RFP) on Wednesday, August 7, for the NASA Launch Services (NLS) Enabling eXploration […]

Can CubeSats do quality science? For one group, yes

While interest in CubeSats—spacecraft as small as ten centimeters on a side and weighing one kilogram—has grown in recent years, one challenge facing the community of CubeSat developers is whether such spacecraft can perform useful missions, beyond education (many satellites are built by student groups) and technology development and demonstration. For one group at the […]

A “space startups” list with problems in more ways than one

Making the rounds on Twitter yesterday was an article titled “Top 10 Startups who are the most promising participants in the “Space-Race” today”. The list, which doesn’t carry a byline and is published by a site called “Startups FM” (“a whole new community where startups will be helping startups”), goes through ten companies it believes […]

Bill Gates is not returning to the space industry any time soon

Once upon a time, space enthusiasts had a fixation on Bill Gates. If the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft would just devote some of his massive wealth to space businesses, people argued back in the 1990s at the height of Microsoft’s dominance of the computer industry, startup companies would have all the funding they would need […]

Spanish GLXP team pushes back launch to 2015

Barcelona Moon Team’s planned rover. (credit: BCM)

One of the few Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP) competitors that has an announced launch contract—one of the key milestones in demonstrating the ability to carry out the mission—has pushed back that planned launch until mid-2015.

Barcelona Moon Team announced Wednesday that it has reset the date […]

Carmack: Armadillo Aerospace in “hibernation mode”

John Carmack speaking at the QuakeCon conference in Dallas on August 1. Screenshot from the webcast of his speech.

Armadillo Aerospace, the suborbital vehicle company founded and funded by video game designer John Carmack, has kept a low profile in recent months. The company did not participate in the recent Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference […]