Spaceports in New Mexico, Sweden Compete and Cooperate in Space Tourism

The road to Spaceport America is now paved only with red dirt. Virgin Galactic and New Mexico hope it will soon be paved in gold. (Photo Credit: Lucinda Weisbach)
The road to Spaceport America is now paved only with red dirt. Virgin Galactic and New Mexico hope it will soon be paved in gold. (Photo Credit: Lucinda Weisbach)

Space industry arrives in New Mexico
Las Cruces Bulletin

A model for making the $198 million Spaceport America 45 miles north of Las Cruces a tourist destination can be found in the contingency from Spaceport Sweden. Although its spaceport launch facilities was developed from an existing operation, Sweden emphasizes other attractions than just launches, such as reindeer rides, the Northern Lights and a stay in a hotel made of ice.


FastForward Group Releases Study on Point-to-Point Transport

The FastForward Study Group, a broadly represented aerospace industry working group focused on the issues of future very high-speed, global point-to-point (PTP) travel for passengers and cargo, today announces the public release of its first white paper entitled “Getting Faster: A case for high-speed global point-to-point flight as a logical transition between suborbital space tourism and low-cost, reusable space access.”


NewSpace 09: Suborbital Point-to-Point Panel

X-51 Waverider
X-51 Waverider


Charles Lauer – Vice President of Business Development, Rocketplane, Inc.
Paul Damphousse – Chief of Advanced Concepts, National Security Space Office
Kelvin Coleman – Special Assistant for Programs and Planning, FAA
A.C. Charania – President, SpaceWorks Commercial
Randall Clague – Government Liaison, XCOR Aerospace


Group of Aerospace Heavyweights Examines Point-to-Point Hypersonic Travel

An informal organization called the Fast Forward Group has recently been formed to examine issues related to hypersonic travel, according to Derek Webber of Spaceport Associates.  The group includes major U.S. government agencies (NOAA, FAA),  large aerospace behemouths (Lockheed Martin, Boeing), and the leading companies in the emerging space tourism market (Virgin Galactic, XCOR). There is also one anonymous major cargo carrier.


Aerospace Giants Involved in Point-to-Point Work

Aerospace primes show suborbital military transport interest
Rob Coppinger
Flight International

Potential military applications for suborbital spaceflight are being studied by some of the biggest players in the US defence industry. Northrop Grumman, Pratt & Whitney and Alliant Techsystems (ATK) have all made suborbital transport proposals in closed sessions to the US government’s National Space Security Office (NSSO), Flight International can reveal.


UVA Center to Lead the Way in Developing Hypersonic Transports


A new center to develop the analytical tools needed to design the engines for a future hypersonic aircraft – one that could fly up to 12 times the speed of sound – is being established at the University of Virginia under a new $10 million grant from NASA and the U.S. Air Force.

As currently envisioned, the new aircraft would take off from a runway like an airplane, accelerate to Mach 12, soar to a maximum altitude of 100,000 feet, travel extreme distances and return to land on a runway. It would be operated remotely or, eventually, by on-board pilots.


NASA, Air Force Designate New Hypersonic Science Centers


NASA and the United States Air Force have designated three university and industry partners in California, Texas and Virginia as national hypersonic science centers.

The new centers will advance research in air-breathing propulsion, materials and structures, and boundary layer control for aircraft that can travel at Mach 5, or five times the speed of sound, and faster.