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More WhiteKnightTwo Details

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wk2wing

There was a panel discussion at the Oshkosh airshow last night that featured Scaled Composites Burt Rutan and Bob Morgan and Virgin Galactic’s Will Whitehorn. Some highlights:

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Spaceport America Gets Bonds to Begin Construction

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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)

Spaceport America Gets Bonds, Power
Las Cruces Bulletin

In the latter part of the coming week, Spaceport America should have $58 million for the first round of construction contracts to build the $198 million spaceport between Las Cruces and Truth or Consequences.

At a recent special meeting, the New Mexico Spaceport Authority board was given details of bids on this first series of bonds to begin construction. The bids were very favorable, spaceport officials told the board, amounting to an interest rate of less than 5 percent for an annual debt service of an estimated $4.37 million.

Read the full story.

British Government Slammed for Doing Little to Promote Space Tourism

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Artists conception of WhiteKnightTwo and the SpaceShipTwo space tourism vehicle. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Artists conception of WhiteKnightTwo and the SpaceShipTwo space tourism vehicle. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

At a space tourism conference last week in London, Virgin Galactic CEO Will Whitehorn said the UK needed to make regulatory changes before his company would consider basing space tourism flights out of RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.

The Times reports that the government was warned about this problem years ago but has taken no action: Continue reading ‘British Government Slammed for Doing Little to Promote Space Tourism’

WhiteKnightTwo Flight 10 Log

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WhiteKnightTwo

WhiteKnightTwo

Scaled Composites Flight Log

Flight: 10
Date:
19 June 09
Flight Time:
6 hours (planned)
Pilot:
Siebold
Copilot: Nichols
FTE: None

Objectives:

To evaluate performance, stability and control, and cold soak effects on 1st long cross country. Flyby at Spaceport America as able.

Results:

En route testing above 40,000 feet was uneventful. During the descent toward the Spaceport America groundbreaking we experienced a failure of a speedbrake actuator. Based on facilities available and logistics for our ground crew, the pilots elected to make a precautionary landing at Williams Gateway airport near Phoenix. Our ground crew is on site and we hope to return to Mojave either this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

South Korea Joins the Space Race with Russia’s Help

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Space Dreams
The Korea Times

South Korea has emerged as the world’s 13th country to operate a space center. The nation opened its first such center Thursday to place satellites in orbit and develop its own rocket technology. The opening has laid the ground for Korea’s joining in the space race with advanced countries such as the U.S., Russia and Japan.

Continue reading ‘South Korea Joins the Space Race with Russia’s Help’

Work Proceeds as Spaceport America Prepares for Official Groundbreaking

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An artist's conception of a Virgin Galactic flight above Spaceport America in New Mexico
An artist’s conception of a Virgin Galactic flight above Spaceport America in New Mexico

Birthplace of commercial space
The Las Cruces Bulletin

For those who worry about the spaceport depending so heavily on Virgin Galactic, Landeene said the company is still intent on spending between $250 million and $350 million on development of the spaceliner, which will first take tourists to suborbital space at $200,000 a flight.

Continue reading ‘Work Proceeds as Spaceport America Prepares for Official Groundbreaking’

Wisconsin Aims to Create Spaceport Sheboygan

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Organizers unveil Spaceport Sheboygan strategic plan
Sheboygan Press

A vision of Spaceport Sheboygan as the Midwest’s hub for aerospace development, education and — eventually — travel was unveiled Friday by the task force organized to pilot the ideas to touch down.

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Hawaii Legislature Approves Spaceport License Application to FAA

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rocketplane

A brief report on the Hawaii Legislature’s passing of the state’s budget notes this expenditure:

A $250,000 appropriation for Hawaii to apply for a spaceport license from the Federal Aviation Administration in hopes of establishing space tourism facilities in the islands.

The story is here. It primarily concerns other budget moves by the Legislature.

Virgin Galactic: We’ll Half Cost of Space Tourism in Five Years

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Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo with SpaceShipTwo (credit: Virgin Galactic)

Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo with SpaceShipTwo (credit: Virgin Galactic)

Attention earthlings: more spaceports coming soon
HotelierMiddleEast.com

Whitehorn said he envisaged the price of the ticket decreasing once the concept became more popular and more spacecraft had been built.

“In five years we will get the price halved [to $100,000],” he said. “If you look at it, when you get into more of a mass market, it’s actually very easy to expand things from there. By this time we will have done a lot of flights.”

“It’s not going to be as safe as travelling on a Boeing 747 because it’s space travel, but it’s so much safer than anything done in space before,” he said. “I would expect it to be on par with travelling in a light aircraft, which is pretty safe.”

Read the full story.

Spaceport Plan Advances in Hawaiian Legislature

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Thanks to the 62 Mile Club for spotting this video.

Wallops Island Facility Aims to Become Space Tourism Center

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Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia

Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport on Wallops Island, Virginia

NASA’s rich history on Virginia’s Eastern Shore includes bright future
WDBJ7.com

NASA has launched more than 16,000 rockets from Wallops Island over the last 60 years, but could space tourism also be part of its future?

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Will UAE Become New Center of Space Tourism

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Middle East supplement: UAE ready to enter the space age
Flight International

Spaceflight could be the next frontier for the United Arab Emirates’ burgeoning aerospace and aviation sector. The country is already building the world’s biggest airport. Now it could be home to one of the first spaceports from which suborbital trips will be launched early next decade.

Continue reading ‘Will UAE Become New Center of Space Tourism’

Roskosmos Signs Pact for New Spaceport

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Roskosmos signs contract for new rocket and space complex
ITAR-TASS

Russia’s Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos) has signed a contract for the creation of a new rocket and space complex at the Vostochny spaceport.

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Russia Opens New Space Exhibit Near Site of New Spaceport

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ROSKOSMOS PRESS RELEASE

Space Russia exhibition opened in Blagoveschensk regional local museum on April 11. The opening is timed to the Cosmonautics Day celebrated in Russia and all over the world on April 12. The exposition was organized by Konstantin Chmarov, Vostochny space port Construction Minister in the Government of the Amurskaya region.

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Mexico to Build Spaceport, Forges Ties With Russia

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Some interesting news coming out of Mexico about plans by the nation’s new space agency, Aexa, to build an equatorial satellite launch complex:

The facility will be located in the southern state of Quintana Roo on the border with Belize, said state planning minister Jose Alberto Alonso Ovando. The location was chosen after extensive studies in part because of its proximity to the Equator, he said in an interview.

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