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Video: The Masten Guys Have A Bit of Fun


Caption: We’ve been very quiet lately as we are exceptionally busy with a new rocket vehicle. Here is the flame bucket/ water deluge/ 7hp bidet that we have been building to use in “hold down” testing. One of our interns, Nadir, is shown performing some data gathering of the flow characteristics.

PopSci’s Best List includes Xombie, Falcon 9, X-37B and Waverider


X-51 Waverider

Popular Science‘s “Best of What’s New 2010″ list includes four projects that we have been closely following here at Parabolic Arc:

Congratulations to all the winners!

Meanwhile, Over in Mojave….


With all the focus on festivities at Spaceport America, this video was overlooked. The Air Force’s Everyday Sci-Fi show visits Mojave where blogger Derek Nye gets a tour of XCOR Aerospace and watches Dave Masten launch a Xombie.

ISPCS Session: The Path Forward from DC-X/XA


ISPCS Panel: The Path Forward from DC-X/XA

Bill Gaubatz — President, SpaceAvailable
Jess Sponable – Technical Advisor Air Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory
Frederick Bachtel — Director of Strategic Planning & Initiatives, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne
David Masten — President and CEO, Masten Space Systems
Nino Polizzi – Vice President, Universal Space Network
James Ball – Senior Manager Flight Engineering, The Boeing Company
Yoshifumi Inatani – Institute of Space and Astronautical Science (ISAS), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency
Neil Milburn – Vice President Program Management, Armadillo Aerospace

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Masten Plans Extensive Commercial Flight Operations in 2011


The lower stage of Masten Space Systems' Brutus vehicle.


Masten Space Systems, a leader in vertical take off, vertical landing (VTVL) rocket vehicles, announced a contract today with NASA’s new Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research (CRuSR) program. The initial contract is for four flights of test payloads on Xaero, Masten’s next-generation vehicle currently in assembly.

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NASA Awards $475,000 to Armadillo and Masten for Suborbital Flights


Masten Space Systems' Xombie rocket.


NASA’s Commercial Reusable Suborbital Research Program (CRuSR) has awarded a total of approximately $475,000 to Armadillo Aerospace of Rockwall, Texas and Masten Space Systems of Mojave, Calif. The awards will allow the two companies to perform test flights of their experimental vehicles near the edge of space.

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Views From a Spaceport


Orbital Sciences Corporation's Stargazer aircraft at the Mojave Air and Space Port. The L-1011 is used to launch Pegasus rockets to space.

The dusty desert town of Mojave might not have very much to recommend it, but the town’s spaceport is definitely worth a visit. Some photos I took during the recent Plane Crazy Rockets R Us open house.

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Photos: Masten Space Systems’ Brutus Vehicle Under Construction


The lower section of Masten Space Systems' Brutus vehicle.

Masten Space Systems’ Ken Brown was kind enough to give me a tour of the company’s facility in Mojave on Saturday. Above is the first stage of the company’s Brutus vehicle, which will fly to an altitude of 100,000 feet beginning this Fall.

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Armadillo’s Carmack Snipes at Rivals, Threatens to Steal Their Engineers


Fresh off a cash infusion from new partner Space Adventures, Armadillo Aerospace CEO John Carmack spent some time this weekend sniping at rivals during the NSS International Space Development Conference in Chicago. Jeff Foust reports in The Space Review:

Carmack generated a little bit of controversy when he compared Armadillo’s efforts with those by competing suborbital developers. Virgin Galactic, he suggested, would not be able to fly as cheaply as Armadillo; Virgin currently charges $200,000 for a ticket while Space Adventures is asking for about half that, $102,000. “I think they have explicitly not chosen the most cost effective solution on this,” Carmack said. “I don’t think they will be able to compete on price, eventually, but some people will prefer their experience.”

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Dave Masten: Our Company is Doing Great


Masten Space Systems' 'Xoie' lunar lander.

Masten Space Systems founder Dave Masten gave an update on his company’s progress at ISDC yesterday. Jeff Foust (@jeff_foust) Tweeted the following:

  • Masten: we’re in really good financial shape, have a lot of cash in the bank. Our sales pipeline is full.
  • Dave Masten on #isdc entrepreneurial panel: excited about NASA’s new direction. We see a lot of opportunities for us.
  • Masten: working now on AeroXoie, their LLC Lvl 2 vehicle with reconfigured tanks and aeroshell.
  • Dave Masten on use of a trash can lid on Xoie: “we informed Rubbermaid that their product was now on the ITAR list.”