How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, An Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight by Julian Guthrie Penguin Press, 2016 Hardcover, 448 pages ISBN 978-1-59420-672-6 US $28/Canada $37
Reviewed by Douglas Messier
On Sept. 8, I arrived home at about half past noon to find a package sitting on my doorstep. It was a review copy of a new book by Julian Guthrie about the Ansari XPrize and SpaceShipOne titled, How to Make a Spaceship: A Band of Renegades, An Epic Race, and the Birth of Private Spaceflight.
I laughed. The timing was perfect. Ken Brown and I had just spent five hours in the desert — most of them in the rising heat of a late summer day — waiting for WhiteKnightTwo to take off carrying SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity on its first captive carry test flight.
It was the first flight in nearly two years of a SpaceShipTwo vehicle since Unity’s sister ship, VSS Enterprise, had broken up during a Halloween test flight, killing co-pilot Mike Alsbury. Ken and I had been there on that day, too.
One Year Ago, the Ansari X Prize Turned 10 It Was an Uncomfortable Birthday
By Douglas Messier Managing Editor
The planes kept coming and coming. One after another, they swooped out of a blue desert sky and touched down on the runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port. By mid-morning there were at least a dozen private jets stretched along the flight line running east from the Voyager restaurant toward the control tower. And even more were on their way.
And to what did Mojave owe this ostentatious display of wealth by the 1 percenters? They had come to the sun-splashed spaceport last Oct. 4 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Ansari X Prize. A decade earlier, Burt Rutan and his Paul Allen-funded team had won $10 million for sending the first privately-built manned vehicle into space twice within a two-week period.
KIRUNA, Sweden (STA PR) — Space Travel Alliance (STA) is a new Swedish venture aiming to make the dream of space discovery a reality to mankind with the vision to become the premier European space travel company. Operating from Spaceport Sweden, STA will offer commercial suborbital spaceflights for tourism, research, development and education, astronaut training and space adventures.
“We are at the dawn of a new space era and with Space Travel Alliance we seek to leverage Sweden’s rich space heritage and launch not only spaceships but also new careers and contribute to regional development”, says Karin Nilsdotter, CEO of Space Travel Alliance.
The Space Frontier Foundation (SFF) will sponsor the first TEDxMidTownNY event to discuss the continued importance of exploration with X-Prize Cofounder Anousheh Ansari and Deputy Administrator of NASA Lori Garver. TEDxMidTownNY is a local, independently organized event to be held on September 14th, 2010 at 7 PM at the Explorers Club in New York, NY.
A diverse group of scientists, artists, entrepreneurs, adventurers, investors, teachers, and students will share their perspective and leave the event inspired to improve the collective future of humanity through space exploration. Tickets are available now through the Explorers’ Club website.
Space Tourists — Film Review The Hollywood Reporter
Even us Baby Boomers who got advanced math shoved down our throats in the wake of Yuri Gagarin’s trek aboard Sputnik, and couldn’t care less about outer space, will be entertained by this spry, melancholy glimpse into the last half-century’s race to space. “Space Tourists’ ” informative and engaging trajectory should land it on cable somewhere: History and Discovery come to mind as orbit platforms….
With its nicely languid story loopings, including a team of scrap metal scavengers who retrieve the re-entry detritus for its precious titanium, “Space Tourists” is a multi-dimensional glimpse into dreams and obsessions. Filmmaker Frei smartly interweaves the pride that many felt because of the space program’s accomplishments while visualizing its down-to-earth, economic failings.
Space Tourists is one of 12 documentaries that will screen at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The film follows millionaut Anousheh Ansari on her journey to the International Space Station. The film was directed by Christian Frei, who was nominated for an Oscar for his documentary War Photographer.
Filmmaking, Sumo and Space Tourism Take Flight at IDFA indieWIRE
Swiss director Christian Frei also had huge bureaucratic hurdles to deal with for his look at the rising number of space tourists who pay millions for the chance to reach orbit via the Russian space agency. Frei takes his camera to remote Kazakhstan where the Soviet Union built its â€œStar City,â€ a secretive but once proud town that was the center of the USSRâ€™s thriving space program where the first satellite, Sputnik, launched the space race back in the â€˜50s.
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) today announced the winner of its first annual NCWIT Symons Innovator Award, Anousheh Ansari.
Ms. Ansari is Chair, CEO and Co-founder of Prodea Systems, a company addressing the challenges of complex digital home and small-business environments. Prior to founding Prodea Systems, Ms. Ansari served as Co-founder, Chair, and CEO of Telecom Technologies, Inc., which in 2001 successfully merged with Sonus Networks, Inc., in a deal worth approximately $750M.
Ms. Ansari also is the first woman private explorer in space and the first astronaut of Iranian descent. The Ansari family provided title sponsorship for the Ansari X Prize, a $10 million award to inspire the first non-governmental manned spacecraft, driving the commercialization of the space industry.
A federal judge has ruled that would-be Japanese millionaut Daisuke Enomoto can continue with a lawsuit against Space Adventures to recover $21 million he paid for an orbital flight he never went on. The Associated Press reports:
Space Adventures says Enomoto was medically disqualified in 2006 because of kidney stones. Enomoto says the kidney stones were a pretext to boot him off the mission because he refused demands from the company for more money.
Q: Mrs. Ansari! Two years passed since you made that historic travel to the spatial station as the first female space explorer; but on that specific time the mainstream media focused on you, not only for being a female voyager, but also for being an Iranian Muslim. Whatâ€™s your conception of being a Muslim born in Iran? Are you restraining to announce or approve it publicly?
“A federal judge heard arguments Friday in [Daisuke] Enomoto’s lawsuit against Virginia-based Space Adventures, a firm that made its name brokering deals with the Russian space agency to put half a dozen “space tourists” in orbit for fees of $20 million or more….
“Space Adventures wants the lawsuit thrown out, saying that Enomoto was disqualified because of a chronic kidney-stone condition. They say his money is nonrefundable. Enomoto claims the kidney stones were an excuse and that he was not allowed to launch in part because he refused Space Adventures’ demands for more money….He was replaced by Anousheh Ansari, who became the world’s first female space tourist (pictured at right).