ISDC has a strong NewSpace flavor this year

I’m at the airport waiting to catch a flight to Chicago for this year’s International Space Development Conference, the annual conference of the National Space Society. (I was already supposed to be there, but Untied, er, United, canceled my flight last night.) This year’s conference has a particular emphasis on NewSpace, more so than conventional […]

See WK2 and SS2 fly in New Mexico this October

Well, at least flyby overhead. The organizers of the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight (ISPCS) announced today that the two vehicles will put in an appearance in the skies over Spaceport America in New Mexico on October 22, the day after the two-day ISPCS. “This will be the first long distance test flight […]

A review of space tourism in Europe

I was on vacation last week in London, but that did not stop me from making a visit to the Royal Aeronautical Society last Tuesday for their “Space Tourism: A New Industry in the Making” conference. I’ve written up some highlights of the conference in The Space Review this week.

One of the bigger developments […]

Virgin Galactic announces engine tests

Virgin Galactic announced this morning that the company has successfully carried out its first full-scale engine tests for SpaceShipTwo. Virgin released a video featuring the tests along with a press release:

Neither the video nor the press release provide much in the way of technical details about the engine tests, other than the engine […]

LLC Day 2 images and wrapup

The X PRIZE Foundation issued a press release about the 2008 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge Saturday, highlighing Armadillo’s Level 1 victory, their attempt at Level 2, as well as TrueZer0’s Level 1 attempt.

Also, I’ve uploaded another set of photos to Flickr with the highlights of Saturday’s activities, including a look at launch pads […]

Armadillo scrubbing for the day

It appears that Pixel suffered enough damage that they will not be able to repair it in time to fly again today. Still waiting for official word, but all indications over the radio loop indicate that Armadillo will not try to fly again today. John Carmack said in a brief press conference that this problem […]

LLC Day 1 in pictures

I’ve created a Flickr set of images from yesterday’s activities at the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge. The picture above, though, probably best represents the mood of people here at the end of the day yesterday when Armadillo Aerospace won the $350,000 first prize for Level 1. They’ll be back at it again today, […]

Successful return flight

Armadillo completed a sucecssful return flight this afternoon, remaining in the air about 95 seconds before landing safely. All they need to do at this point is to return the vehicle to the staging area in time to claim the prize, and right now that doesn’t appear to be a problem. There are a lot […]

TrueZer0 flight attempt – failed

TrueZer0 has left the staging area and is setting up for their flight attempt, no earlier than 11:30 am MDT (when the FAA window opens). Stay tuned for updates.

Update 12:10 pm MDT: The vehicle took off and flew upwards for several seconds, then lost power and crashed. There was a small fire that […]

NGLLC Day 1 underway

I’m at Las Cruces International Airport, where the first day of the 2008 Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge is underway. Armadillo is up first to attempt Level 1 with its Mod-1 vehicle. TrueZer0 is scheduled for the midday slot for Level 1, then Armadillo will use Pixel this afternoon for Level 2, if all […]