A new chapter

I wanted to pass along some personal news: I’ve taken a position starting today with SpaceNews, as a senior writer there. I’ll be writing there on a lot about what you’ve seen here and elsewhere: space policy, commercial space, and related topics. It’s a great opportunity and I look forward to working with the excellent […]

iPhone, iPad, CCiCap?

Those who have closely followed NASA’s Commercial Crew Program may have noticed something a little unusual about the latest phase of the effort. Previous phases of the program were known as Commercial Crew Development, or CCDev, but this latest phase is called the Commercial Crew Integrated Capability. It’s known not as CCIC, or CCICap, but […]

Separating space tourism from ballooning

While the "bloon" from zero2infinity will take people to altitudes of up to 36 kilometers, it shouldn't be confused with space tourism. (credit: zero2infinity)

“Space tourism doesn’t have to be rocket science,” reads the subheading of a New Scientist article about a proposed high-altitude passenger balloon concept that would take people to the edge […]

A spaceflight raffle – with a change in rules

Last week a Florida nonprofit, the Aerospace Research and Engineering Systems (ARES) Institute, announced a competition titled “Win A Trip To Space!”. The idea was simple: buy a raffle ticket, and one lucky winner will get a ticket on a suborbital spaceflight. But the contest rules appear to have quietly changed since last week’s announcement, […]

A blast from the past: Rotary Rocket video

Robin Snelson recently posted on Ustream a video press release from the legendary Rocket Rocket Company, an entrepreneurial RLV developer from the late 1990s:

The 15-minute video from 1998 starts with an animation of the unique flight profile of the company’s Roton SSTO RLV: launch vertically into orbit, deploy its payload, then land vertically using […]

Space Tourists: a second look

Earlier this week I got to see the film Space Tourists during a screening as part of the AFI Silverdocs film festival in Silver Spring, Maryland. This film has been out for some time but has been limited to the film festival circuit; it first appeared in the US at Sundance earlier this year […]

A thrilling and terrifying time for NewSpace

Jeff Greason speaking at Space Access ’10 on Friday

“In some ways, the most dangerous thing that can happen to true believers is to give them everything that they’re asking for and watch them fail.” So said Jeff Greason, president of XCOR Aerospace, in his talk Friday at the Space Access ’10 conference in […]

Is “space tour guide” in your professional future?

Last week the British consultancy Fast Future released a government-commission report titled “The shape of jobs to come”. The purpose of the report was to identify potential new careers enabled by advances in science and technology. The report featured 20 such future careers (summarized in a separate fact sheet), ranging from “memory augmentation surgeon” to […]

Space tourism as “the final undiscovered frontier”?

A survey released yesterday by World Travel Market, a UK-based travel industry event organization, offers a somewhat pessimistic take on the space tourism market. The study, based on a poll of 1,030 Britons who took a summer vacation in 2009, found that only 27% said they would be interested in traveling into space; 50% said […]

Welcome to the NewSpace Journal

As you’ve noticed, Personal Spaceflight has undergone a dramatic redesign, including a new name. The new design was long overdue – the site has been using the same design since its inception in 2006 – but the focus of the site is changing slightly. Back in 2006 NewSpace was almost synonymous with space tourism (or […]