Ten years after SpaceShipOne made history, still waiting for the future to arrive

Pilot Mike Melvill stands atop SpaceShipOne after flying the vehicle into space for the first time on June 21, 2004. (credit: J. Foust)

Ten years ago this morning, a small rocket-powered vehicle with a single test pilot aboard appeared to open a door into the future. SpaceShipOne, carried aloft by its carrier aircraft, White [...]

SpaceX, Orbital launches delayed

An Antares rocket lifts off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Wallops Island, Virginia, on January 9, 2014. The rocket placed a Cygnus cargo spacecraft into orbit on the first of eight such missions Orbital is under contract to perform for NASA. (credit: NASA/Bill Ingalls)

A continuing investigation into the failure of a [...]

SpaceX releases (garbled) video of its Falcon 9 ocean “landing”

A screen grab from a repaired version of a video released by SpaceX on April 29 shows the Falcon 9 first stage rocket descending to the ocean, its landing legs extended. (credit: SpaceX)

At Friday’s press conference in Washington, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said that the effort to “soft land” the Falcon 9′s first [...]

Shotwell on launch delay, reusability, and other issues

The Falcon 9 rocket that will launch the next Dragon spacecraft late Sunday evening is shown in its hangar in a photo released by SpaceX earlier this month. This is the first Falcon 9 to feature landing legs on its first stage. (credit: SpaceX)

In this week’s issue of The Space Review, I write [...]

Year in PReview: is 2014 finally the year suborbital space tourism lifts off?

SpaceShipTwo during its first powered test flight on April 29, 2013. (credit: Virgin Galactic/MarsScientific.com)

One decade ago, hopes were high for suborbital space tourism. Scaled Composites had performed the first powered test flight of SpaceShipOne in December of 2003, and other than a minor landing mishap, the company seemed to be on track for [...]

Skybox releases first images from its first satellite

An image of the Crown Perth entertainment complex in Perth, Australia, taken by the SkySat-1 spacecraft earlier this month. (credit: Skybox Imaging)

One of the more than 30 satellites launched on a Dnepr rocket from Russia last week was SkySat-1, the first satellite for Skybox Imaging, the Silicon Valley startup that plans a constellation [...]

Chris Hadfield: suborbital space tourism “not much of a space flight”

Chris Hadfield on the ISS in early 2013. In an interview, he wonders if some Virgin Galactic customers know about the limited spaceflight experience they’ll get. (credit: NASA)

Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, who gained fame earlier this year for his social media outreach while serving on the International Space Station, is doing some interviews [...]

Next SpaceShipTwo powered test flight coming “very soon”

SpaceShipTwo flies on its second powered test flight on September 5. (credit: MarsScientific.com and Clay Center Observatory)

The next powered test flight of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle is coming up “very soon,” a top company executive said at a conference Thursday, as some observers continue to speculate about the reasons for the extended [...]

Teasing a few clues out of Bezos and Blue Origin

Blue Origin’s PM2 suborbital experimental vehicle, shown here on a flight before being lost during a test flight in August 2011. (Credit: Blue Origin)

Blue Origin has developed a reputation over the years as a notoriously secretive company, only grudgingly releasing information about the company and its plans. While other companies hold high-profile events [...]

Falcon 9 launches

SpaceX Falcon 9 v1.1 lifts off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California at 12 noon EDT (1600 GMT) Sunday, September 29. (credit: SpaceX webcast)

As NASA was holding a press conference late this morning to discuss the successful berthing of the Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station, SpaceX was making its contribution [...]