Apollo astronauts give thanks to SpaceX

A photo of a SpaceX Falcon 9 launch, bearing the signatures and messages of nine Apollo astronauts collected by venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson. His colleague, Mohanjit Jolly, is kneeling next to the photo. (credit: Steve Jurvetson/Flickr)

There is a perception of a rift between the “old guard” of established aerospace companies, as well as […]

Transitions for two space entrepreneurs

This week marks a transition for two long-time space entrepreneurs, who are stepping away from their current ventures to look for new opportunities. At the National Space Society’s International Space Development Conference (ISDC) in Washington on Friday, David Gump said he will be leaving his position as president of Astrobotic Technology, the Pittsburgh-based company competing […]

Could a contracting change jeopardize commercial crew?

NASA’s Commercial Crew Development, or CCDev, program has so far been using a relatively unusual contracting mechanism that has provided both the agency and participating companies with greater flexibility to make progress on those systems. However, NASA officials indicated Wednesday that in future CCDev rounds they may shift to a somewhat more traditional contract, a […]

Musk wins one prize, eyes a bigger one

Elon Musk gives a speech accepting the Heinlein Prize on June 29, 2011, in Washington, DC.

At a luncheon on Wednesday in Washington, the Heinlein Prize Trust awarded its second Heinlein Prize for accomplishments in commercial space activities to Elon Musk, the founder, CEO, and CTO of SpaceX. At the luncheon, which attracted an […]

SpaceShipOne details in Allen’s book

Paul Allen’s appearance on “Charlie Rose” this week wasn’t out of the blue: it was prompted by the release of his new memoir, Idea Man. The book covers the various interests in his life, and while much of the publicity about the book has centered on the passages about co-founding and working at Microsoft with […]

Paul Allen considering new commercial space projects

Paul Allen, the Microsoft co-founder who funded the development of the X Prize-winning SpaceShipOne, is considering new projects in commercial spaceflight, he said in an interview this week. Interviewed Monday night by Charlie Rose on his eponymous show, Allen tackles a wide range of questions, including, about 26 minutes into the interview, commercial spaceflight. “A […]

Homans to resign at Spaceport America director

The uncertainty about the future of Rick Homans as executive director of Spaceport America, as discussed here earlier this week, appears to be over. The Las Cruces Sun-News reports Wednesday that Homans has tendered his resignation, effective Friday. Homans, speaking at an emergency meeting of the spaceport’s board, said that he had been informed last […]

Virgin’s Will Whitehorn to retire

Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn speaks at the Spaceport America runway dedication in October 2010, with Sir Richard Branson looking on. (credit: J. Foust)

Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn will retire from the company next month and be replaced by current CEO George Whitesides, the company announced Thursday. Whitehorn, who has been working for […]

The rise and fall of Rocketplane

Sunday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has an extended account of George French and his involvement with Rocketplane, the company that, for a time, was developing both suborbital and orbital vehicles (the latter under a NASA COTS agreement) before running into financial problems and eventually going bankrupt. French had long been interested in space, but it was […]

Burt Rutan’s BigThink

The web site Big Think has posted an extended interview with Burt Rutan, who talks about space tourism, innovation in NASA and the private sector, and other topics. I haven’t watched the full one-hour interview in its entirety yet, but in the portions I’ve watched he covers some familiar ground about the utility of space […]