Shiloh spaceport study gets underway, but is it too late for SpaceX?

Map of the proposed Shiloh Launch Complex, featuring two pads (lower right), a business park (lower left) and an industrial site (top center). (credit: FAA)

This is a big week for those who both support and oppose plans to develop a commercial launch complex north of the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. On Tuesday [...]

What the media got right and wrong—and missed—about Virgin Galactic’s China problem (updated)

It’s not uncommon for the media to mangle space-related developments, either by getting the facts wrong or misinterpreting their importance, as they did recently reporting that Virgin Galactic did not yet have a license for its flights, even though it didn’t need a license now for its test flights and wasn’t even “late” in getting [...]

House hearing today about commercial suborbital spaceflight

The field of commercial suborbital spaceflight will get a rare moment in the Capitol Hill spotlight today when the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s space subcommittee will hold a hearing titled “The Emerging Commercial Suborbital Reusable Launch Vehicle Market” at 2 pm EDT; the hearing will be webcast. The hearing features representatives of three [...]

NASA plans to announce commercial crew awards next month

The administrator of NASA said Monday he expects the space agency to announce multiple awards for the next round of its commercial crew development effort by the middle of next month.

Speaking in a media telecon Monday morning, NASA administrator Charles Bolden said he expected the awards to be announced “no later than, say, mid-July [...]

New Mexico liability law dead for this year

An effort to update a law to extend liability indemnification to commercial spaceflight suppliers is dead for this year in New Mexico. The state legislature adjourned Thursday without taking up the proposed bill, which had stalled out in both the state House and Senate because of opposition from trial lawyers. A late push, including letters [...]

Governor joins fight for N.M. liability law

The governor of New Mexico is asking legislators to reconsider their opposition to an updated spaceflight liability bill, as time runs out in the current session. Earlier this week a Senate committee failed to advance the bill, which would update the state’s existing liability indemnification law for commercial spaceflight by extending the same protection to [...]

New Mexico liability law update stalled

An effort to update New Mexico’s commercial spaceflight liability indemnification law has run into a roadblock. As noted here last week, the New Mexico legislature is considering legislation to update its 2010 indemnification act, with the major provision being to extend the law’s immunity from lawsuits to suppliers of spaceflight operators. State officials have warned [...]

Colorado the latest state to consider spaceflight liability law

Colorado may become the next state to pass a law limiting the liability commercial spaceflight operators would be exposed to. The Denver Post reports that a committee of the Colorado Senate approved a liability indemnification bill on Monday. The legislation, Senate Bill 35, would offer companies that provide commercial human spaceflight services similar indemnification from [...]

Is Sierra Nevada Spaceport America’s next tenant?

The New Mexico legislature is currently considering updated legislation to provide spaceflight liability indemnification, similar to what exists in several other states, including Florida, Texas, and Virginia. Senate Bill 3 would require spaceflight operators to have participants sign waivers; the company is then protected except in the case of “an act or omission that constitutes [...]

NASA plans to fund only one CCDev company? Probably not.

As expected, NASA released on Monday a draft request for proposals (RFP) for the next phase of the Commercial Crew Development (CCDev) program, known as the Integrated Design Phase. With the shift to a contract based on Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR), with some elements of the Space Act Agreements used for the first two CCDev [...]