Tag: space tourism

Virgin Australia Offers Space Class for SpaceShipTwo Flight

Comments

virgin_australia_logoIn a world first for a frequent flyer program, Velocity is offering members the ultimate upgrade to ‘Space Class’. This is an exclusive seat on board SpaceShipTwo, the world’s first commercial spaceline with Virgin Galactic and certified astronaut status.

To be eligible*, simply register your Velocity membership number and tell us what you would do for an upgrade to Space Class between 14 April and 30 June 2014 (inclusive) and fly Virgin Australia between 1 May and 30 June (inclusive).

The eligible entrant with the most creative response to the question below will be awarded the Space Class Upgrade.

Virgin Galactic Forms Partnership With Land Rover

Comments
Credit: Land Rover

Credit: Land Rover

NEW YORK (Land Rover PR) — Land Rover, the British brand synonymous with adventure, has revealed a long-term global partnership with Richard Branson’s pioneering commercial spaceline, Virgin Galactic.

Demonstrating their shared vision of pioneering spirit, technological innovation and sense of adventure, the ground breaking partnership was announced against the backdrop of SpaceShipTwo, the world’s first commercial passenger carrying spacecraft, together with Land Rover’s new Discovery Vision Concept vehicle.  The announcement illustrates the commitment that both brands share to iconic design and engineering excellence and a desire to push the boundaries of travel for the next generation.

Continue reading ‘Virgin Galactic Forms Partnership With Land Rover’

Senate Committee Passes Spaceflight Licensing & Permitting Measure

Comments

Capitol Building
The Senate Commerce Committee approved a measure on Wednesday that would allow space companies to fly their reusable launch vehicles under experimental permits even after the Federal Aviation Administration issues launch license.

Currently, the experimental permit is superseded by launch license, making it more difficult to use the vehicle to test modifications later on.

Continue reading ‘Senate Committee Passes Spaceflight Licensing & Permitting Measure’

NASA, Partners Provide Updates on Commercial Crew

18 Comments

commercial_crew_earthDuring last week’s Space Tech Expo in Long Beach, Calif., a panel of NASA and private sector partners gathered to discuss their progress on returning U.S. crew launches to American soil.

Below is a summary of their comments that provides some insights into where each partner is in development and what lies ahead for the rest of the year.

NASA is expected to award the next round of commercial crew contracts later this year.

Continue reading ‘NASA, Partners Provide Updates on Commercial Crew’

XCOR Accepts Delivery of Lynx Mark I Cockpit

Comments
The XCOR Lynx Mark I cockpit in its shipping cradle; in the background the fuselage and liquid oxygen tank being prepped for integration and testing. (Credit: XCOR)

The XCOR Lynx Mark I cockpit in its shipping cradle; in the background the fuselage and liquid oxygen tank being prepped for integration and testing. (Credit: XCOR)

Mojave, CA, April 9, 2014 (XCOR PR) — XCOR Aerospace announced today that the XCOR® Lynx® Mark I cockpit has been delivered. AdamWorks engineers, along with XCOR engineers, performed several successful pressure tests before it was packed and shipped to XCOR .

The cockpit is the principle major subassembly XCOR needs to begin assembly of the Lynx suborbital spaceplane.

Continue reading ‘XCOR Accepts Delivery of Lynx Mark I Cockpit’

Virgin Galactic Mulling Deeper Partnership With Abu Dhabi Government

11 Comments

IMG_9540_550
Will the Abu Dhabi government become even more deeply involved in Virgin Galactic?

That’s the question this week as Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides revealed that Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism company is in talks with Mubadala Development Company about a possible supplier relationship.

Mubadala, which is a wholly-owned investment vehicle for Abu Dhabi’s government, owns Mubadala Aerospace, which manufactures and supplies parts for commercial jets built by Boeing and Airbus.

Asked if Mubadala could supply parts or build any part of Virgin Galactic’s commercial spacecraft fleet, Whitesides said, “We’ve had good conversations with Mubadala and other stakeholders in the UAE and we will see where those conversations go.”

However, he added that he “won’t get into the details of those discussions.”

The Abu Dhabi government has invested $390 million in Virgin Galactic through Aabar Investments, which it also owns. Aabar holds a 37.8% share in Virgin Galactic.

For all the latest space news,
please follow Parabolic Arc on Facebook and Twitter.

Celebrity Fight Night to Auction Lynx Flight

Comments
Lynx cockpit view. (Credit: XCOR)

Lynx cockpit view. (Credit: XCOR)

The Celebrity Fight Night charity will auction off a flight aboard XCOR’s Lynx suborbital space plane during its annual fund-raising event on April 12. From the charity’s website:

John Corbett and Space Shuttle Commander Rick Searfoss invite you to the ultimate “Right Stuff” experience—at the edge of space! Join them for space flight training, a space suit fitting and an actual flight to the edge of space onboard the XCOR Lynx. Developed by XCOR Aerospace, Lynx is a two-seat spacecraft that departs right from the runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port north of Los Angeles, rocketing up to 200,000 feet in five minutes, and gently gliding back home to the Space Port thirty minutes later.

Well before the actual space flight, you will participate in Air Combat School in Fullerton, CA, where you will be fitted for your space suit; conduct a basic, pre-flight physical exam; and flight training, including a video of your training day, all accompanied by John Corbett and Commander Searfoss.

On the day before the space flight, you will visit the XCOR hangar and watch a Lynx flight for yourself, along with some Lynx training, a final health check, and a walk-through of the flight profile and final brief on details with John Corbett and Commander Searfoss. Then, you’re fully prepared for your flight to the edge of space the next day! This package includes two first class tickets to Los Angeles and deluxe hotel accommodations.

Celebrity Fight Night is a star-studded evening presented in honor of our featured guest, Muhammad Ali. Celebrities and professional athletes from all over the country participate in a night filled with incredible live auction items and live musical performances by many of today’s brightest stars. This power-packed night of excitement not only leaves our audience with unforgettable memories each year but, more importantly, provides significant dollars for charities. Throughout Celebrity Fight Night’s 19-year history $87 million has been raised with the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute as a significant beneficiary. Numerous other charities have benefited and countless lives have been changed thanks to the tremendous generosity of our supporters.

Parabolic Arc is on Facebook and Twitter.

For all the latest space news,
please follow Parabolic Arc on Facebook and Twitter.

SpaceShipTwo Back on the Ramp

10 Comments

mojave_tower_sunset_smBy Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

After a couple of months inside the hangar undergoing modifications, SpaceShipTwo is outside on the ramp today at the Mojave Air & Space Port in California.

Scaled Composites engineers are running the suborbital space plane through pressure tests on the cockpit, according to sources. The vehicle does not have an engine installed.

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo last flew under power on Jan. 10, completing a 20-second burn of its hybrid nitrous oxide-rubber engine and reached an altitude of 71,000 feet. The ship flew again in an un-powered glide flight one week later before going into the hangar for changes.

Continue reading ‘SpaceShipTwo Back on the Ramp’

Spaceport America’s Incredibly Shrinking Visitor’s Center Threatens Tourism Plans

Comments

spaceport_america_visitors_center

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Plans for a visitor’s center at Spaceport America have continued to shrink due to a lack of funding and revenues. And that could pose significant risks to New Mexico’s plans to boost the local economy by attracting more than 200,000 visitors to the remote facility where Virgin Galactic plans to launch tourists into space.

In fact, the New Mexico Spaceport Authority appears to be going down the very path that its own Strategic Business Plan warns will result in a poor visitor experience and fewer tourists paying money to see the high-tech spaceport.

Continue reading ‘Spaceport America’s Incredibly Shrinking Visitor’s Center Threatens Tourism Plans’

New Mexico Residents Wait for Godot — and Branson — to Show Up

Comments
IMG_3041

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez with Richard Branson at Spaceport America. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Over a BuzzFeed, writer Joshua Wheeler travels to the hardscrabble town of Truth or Consequences, N.M., whose residents are waiting for Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic to begin space tourism flights from nearby Spaceport America, possibly by the end of this year.

Wheeler asks whether the town is ready for the influx of high net worth individuals, and whether they will bring the benefits to Truth or Consequences and the rest of Southern New Mexico that were promised when state officials sold the $218 million taxpayer-funded project to residents.

The answer to the first question is a definite “No.” Truth or Consequences remains as dilapidated as ever, with few plans and little money to spruce itself up for Virgin Galactic’s millionaire clientele. This likely means it will lose out to the larger, more developed city of Las Cruces in terms of benefits.

As for the second question, Wheeler says that remains to be seen. He sees great irony that one of the poorest states in the country has spent nearly a quarter building dollars to finance the dream of a British billionaire who will be catering to fellow members of the 1 percent.