Armadillo’s upcoming STIG vehicles, suborbital (and orbital) plans

Armadillo Aerospace's Stig rocket lifts off from Spaceport America earlier this year on its ill-fated flight. (credit: Armadillo Aerospace)

For a decade now Armadillo Aerospace has been working a variety of designs for suborbital vehicles, initially in pursuit of the Ansari X PRIZE and more recently for commercial and government business: the company has […]

Armadillo close to launching their “Tube” rocket

It looks like Armadillo Aerospace is preparing to flying their “Tube” rocket as soon as this weekend. John Carmack announced on the aRocket mailing list that they’re planning a flight of the rocket to about 30 kilometers (100,000 feet) this weekend from Spaceport America in New Mexico. The rocket, a long, narrow vehicle powered by […]

NSRC Day 1 highlights: suborbital research customers, prizes, and vehicle developments

Monday was the first day of the the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC) at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. This conference, the second of its kind, is designed to bring together suborbital vehicle developers and the research community, an emerging market for commercial suborbital reusable vehicles. The conference has attracted more than 300 […]

Highlights from day 1 of ISPCS

Wednesday was the first of two days of the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight in Las Cruces, New Mexico. The conference, now in its sixth year, started as an opening act for the X PRIZE Cup, but has now not only continued after the end of the Cup, but has grown into one […]

CRuSR makes its first awards

Armadillo Aerospace’s Scorpius vehicle on a flight as part of the Lunar Lander Challenge in September 2009.

On Monday NASA announced that it has made $475,000 in awards to Armadillo Aerospace and Masten Space Systems for experimental flights of suborbital reusable vehicles. These are the first contracts for test flights under the agency’s Commercial […]

Engine restarts are all the rage now

Armadillo’s Mod vehicle descends under a drogue chute for several seconds before relighting its engine, in this screen capture from an Armadillo Aerospace video of Saturday’s flight.

First it was Masten Space Systems, who last month demonstrated an in-flight engine relight on their Xombie vehicle, and now it’s Armadillo Aerospace’s turn. On Saturday Armadillo […]

Space Adventures returns to suborbital spaceflight

Eric Anderson (left) and John Carmack talk about their suborbital partnership at ISDC on Thursday.

As expected, Space Adventures announced Thursday at the International Space Development Conference, (ISDC) in Chicago its partnership with Armadillo Aerospace to provide suborbital space tourism flights. Armadillo will develop a vertical takeoff, vertical landing (VTVL) suborbital vehicle carrying people […]

An evolving Armadillo

John Carmack speaking at Space Access ’10 in Phoenix.

Speaking at the Space Access ’10 conference in Phoenix yesterday, John Carmack noted that the evolution of Armadillo Aerospace from a group of hobbyists to a full-fledged business is nearly complete. “We’ve pretty much become the company we set out to be a number of […]

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the LLC race

In today’s issue of The Space Review I have a summary article about Saturday’s Level 2 flights by Armadillo, including video of both flights. While that was going on, though, other teams have been making progress on their flights. On Sunday, Masten Space Systems announced via Twitter that they made two 90+second test flightsdespite gusting […]

Armadillo Level 2 Flight 1

Here’s a video I shot of Armadillo’s first leg of the Level 2 flight on Saturday. This was shot from a distance of about 1,500 feet from the pads, the designated safety boundary. This is considerably closer than the distance the public and media witnessed similar LLC flights in past years.