Year in PReview: is 2014 finally the year suborbital space tourism lifts off?

SpaceShipTwo during its first powered test flight on April 29, 2013. (credit: Virgin Galactic/

One decade ago, hopes were high for suborbital space tourism. Scaled Composites had performed the first powered test flight of SpaceShipOne in December of 2003, and other than a minor landing mishap, the company seemed to be on track for […]

Year in PReview: after achieving major milestones in 2013, commercial launch companies plan a fast start to 2014

A long exposure time photo of the Falcon 9 v1.1 launch of the SES-8 satellite from Cape Canaveral on December 3, 2013. (credit: SpaceX)

[Editor’s Note: this is the first in a series of articles that will both review major events in commercial spaceflight in 2013 and preview what to expect to 2014.]

The […]

Planet Labs raises $52 million

The 28 satellites of Flock 1, the first constellation of remote sensing satellites built by Planet Labs. The satellites will be launched on a Cygnus cargo spacecraft to the International Space Station in January. (credit: Planet Labs)

Less than six months after coming out of stealth mode, San Francisco-based remote sensing company Planet Labs […]

Weather scrubs SpaceShipTwo powered flight attempt

For the last couple of months, Virgin Galactic had promised that its next powered flight of SpaceShipTwo would take place soon. But, after all that time, Wednesday was still too soon, at least as far as Mother Nature was concerned. Virgin planned to carry out a powered test flight of SpaceShipTwo on Wednesday from Mojave, […]

Good news and no news from Sierra Nevada (updated)

SNC’s Dream Chaser engineering test article (ETA) moments before landing at Edwards Air Force Base on October 26. The image is a still from a video released by the company on October 29; the video cuts off before the actual landing but the missing left main gear is evident in the video. (credit: SNC)


As China lands on the Moon, is a GLXP team next?

Moon Express CEO Bob Richards shows off his company’s MX-1 lander during an event in Las Vegas on December 5. (credit: Moon Express)

On Saturday morning (US time), China’s Chang’e-3 spacecraft successfully landed on the surface of the Moon, making it the first spacecraft to soft-land on the Moon since Luna 24 in August […]

SpaceX wins the battle for LC-39A

A NASA illustration of a notional commercial rocket on the pad at Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center. NASA selected SpaceX to begin discussions on a lease to allow the company to launch Falcon rockets from the pad. (credit: NASA/KSC)

When NASA announced plans earlier this year to lease Kennedy Space Center’s […]

Skybox releases first images from its first satellite

An image of the Crown Perth entertainment complex in Perth, Australia, taken by the SkySat-1 spacecraft earlier this month. (credit: Skybox Imaging)

One of the more than 30 satellites launched on a Dnepr rocket from Russia last week was SkySat-1, the first satellite for Skybox Imaging, the Silicon Valley startup that plans a constellation […]

A shinier SpaceShipTwo takes to the skies, with a powered flight “soon”

SpaceShipTwo landing after a December 11, 2013 glide flight. The inboard surfaces of the vehicle’s vertical stabilizer are covered with Kapton to help regulate their temperature. (credit: Virgin Galactic)

Virgin Galactic announced yesterday that SpaceShipTwo (SS2) performed an unpowered test flight yesterday while stating again that it would soon perform another powered test flight. […]

Rocket Crafters may no longer be crafting rockets

An illustration of an unidentified Rocket Crafters spaceplane design hosted on the company’s website. (credit: Rocket Crafters, Inc.)

One of the lesser known, and more quixotic, companies in the NewSpace field in recent years has been Rocket Crafters. The Utah-based company entered the field a few years ago with plans to develop hybrid rocket […]