Woomera delay

The Adelaide, Australia newspaper The Advertiser reports that Rocketplane Kistler has delayed plans to start work on spaceport facilities in Woomera. “Design changes” are blamed for the delay, although it’s not clear from the brief article whether the changes are in the design of the spaceport or in the K-1 vehicle that will fly from […]

ATK to work with RpK

Alliant Techsystems (ATK) announced today that it has reached an agreement with Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) to work together on the development of the K-1. ATK will become the lead contractor for the K-1 development effort, with responsibility for “Launch vehicle development, assembly, integration and test of the launch system, and will conduct launch and landing […]

The importance of “space sports”

So what good is space tourism, rocket racing, or other seemingly-trivial endeavors? They’re actually very important, Taylor Dinerman argues in this week’s edition of The Space Review. Such ventures can stimulate interest in the space industry among students, and a vibrant industry filled with small developers is as important to the overall space field as […]

RpK’s new COTS partner

Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) announced today that is has signed an agreement with Andrews Space, with the latter company taking over the role in RpK’s COTS program that had previously planned to go to Orbital. As you may recall, Orbital announced on Monday that it was backing out of plans to take on the role of […]

Setback for RpK?

On the same day that Taylor Dinerman wrote glowingly on the future prospects of Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) after the company won a COTS award from NASA last month to help finish development of the K-1, Space News reports that a key member of the RpK team, Orbital Sciences Corporation, has pulled out [subscription required]. Orbital […]

SpaceX, RpK win COTS awards

NASA announced this afternoon that, as many people suspected in the days leading up to this afternoon’s announcement, that SpaceX and Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) won Commercial Orbital Transportation Services (COTS) awards to develop cargo and crew transportation vehicles to serve the ISS. SpaceX proposed the Dragon capsule, launched atop a Falcon 9, as described in […]

Space tourism meets ecotourism

SPACE.com talks about the connection between space tourism and ecotourism. Much of that linkage is the desire to view the Earth from space, something that has awed virtually every person to fly in space to date. That also applies to suborbital space tourism: earlier this year Chuck Lauer said that the view of Earth—particularly of […]

Not a customer

Congressman Frank Lucas (R-OK), whose district includes the Oklahoma Spaceport, mentioned it at a town meeting in Enid, Oklahoma on Tuesday, according to an article in the Enid News and Eagle. Lucas described the activities at the spaceport, including plans by “Rocket Plane” [sic] to perform suborbital spaceflights from there. But would Lucas want to […]

Odds and ends

A roundup of a few space tourism-related items from the last several days:

Wyle Labs Inc. is creating a new business unit “focusing on providing human spaceflight services to the emerging commercial ‘space tourist’ industry”. The Commercial Human Spaceflight Services unit, led by Vernon McDonald, will offer a variety of medical, training, and operations support […]

Getting hitched in space

Many readers are already familiar with the “first honeymooners in space”, George Whitesides and Loretta Hidalgo, who are among Virgin Galactic’s founders. However, a couple plans to one-up them by getting married in space, The Times of Northwest Indiana reports. Cindy Cashman and Mitch Walling are planning to tie the knot on a Rocketplane XP […]