Tag: space tourists

Video New Report on Spaceport America

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Midland to Build Engine Test Stand for XCOR

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The XCOR XR-5H25 engine was hot fired for the first time at the XCOR test site located on the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California. (Credit: XCOR)

The XCOR XR-5H25 engine was hot fired for the first time at the XCOR test site located on the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California. (Credit: XCOR)

NewsWest9.com reports the Midland City Council has approved the expenditure of up to $200,000 to build a rocket engine test stand for XCOR at the Midland International Air and Space Port. The money will come from the Midland Development Corporation.

XCOR has a lease to move its R&D facility to the west Texas city, which has put up incentives worth $10 million for the company. The move is planned for after XCOR begins flight tests of its Lynx suborbital spacecraft in Mojave, Calif.

Virgin Galactic’s Sales Numbers Don’t Add Up

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Richard Branson speaks to the press at the Mojave Air and Space Port about the crash off SpaceShipTwo. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Richard Branson speaks to the press at the Mojave Air and Space Port about the crash off SpaceShipTwo. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

I’ve been doing a bit of research into Virgin Galactic over the last few days.  I’ve come to a realization that the company’s ticket sales and cancellation numbers don’t add up in the wake of SpaceShipTwo’s crash.

Prior to the crash, Richard Branson was claiming the company had 800 ticket holders, or close to that number. He reiterated the figure three days after the crash in an interview on “CBS This Morning”. Continue reading ‘Virgin Galactic’s Sales Numbers Don’t Add Up’

Poll: Can’t Give Away Trips to Space

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A new poll shows that the majority of Americans would not take take a flight into space even if they won a ticket for free.

A Monmouth University Poll revealed that 69 percent of respondents would not take the trip while 28 percent would do so. Three percent of those polled said their decision would depend upon the circumstances, and another 1 percent said they did not know.
Continue reading ‘Poll: Can’t Give Away Trips to Space’

Learning Period Extension Could Depend on SpaceShipTwo Investigation Results

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SpaceShipTwo disintegrates as its two tail booms fall away. (Credit: Kenneth Brown)

SpaceShipTwo disintegrates as its two tail booms fall away. (Credit: Kenneth Brown)

During the FAA’s recent Commercial Space Transportation Conference in Washington, DC, there was a lot of talk about extending the learning period and regulatory “moratorium” on commercial human spaceflight that expires on Sept. 30.

Having failed to fly into space in the decade since the restrictions were put into place, industry naturally wants yet another extension so they can continue learning their lessons. In the meantime, voluntary standards will suffice. The FAA is of another mind, wanting to have the authority to write a basic set of safety standards and to react quickly to situations as they develop.

Continue reading ‘Learning Period Extension Could Depend on SpaceShipTwo Investigation Results’

Video Report on Spaceport America Fly-in

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A report on the recent fly-in at Spaceport America.

Will Virgin Galactic Suffer More Delays Due to Richard Branson’s Environmental Efforts?

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Richard Branson, GREY GOOSE creator and Maître de Chai François Thibault, and George Whitesides toast to a new partnership. (Credit: Grey Goose)

Richard Branson, GREY GOOSE creator and Maître de Chai François Thibault, and George Whitesides toast to a new partnership. (Credit: Grey Goose)

The B Team, a group of high-level business leaders co-founded by Virgin Galactic Founder Richard Branson that’s committed “People Planet Profit”, has issued a call for “world leaders to commit to a global goal of net-zero greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by 2050 – and urged business leaders to match this ambition by committing to bold long-term targets.”

In a Feb. 5 press release, Sir Richard said, “Taking bold action on climate change simply makes good business sense. It’s also the right thing to do for people and the planet. Setting a net-zero GHG emissions target by 2050 will drive innovation, grow jobs, build prosperity and secure a better world for what will soon be 9 billion people. Why would we wait any longer to do that? It’s time for all of us to join forces and drive the transition to a thriving net-zero GHG emissions economy by 2050.”

Bold words. But, I have to wonder what would happen to Virgin Galactic if Branson actually took action on them.

Continue reading ‘Will Virgin Galactic Suffer More Delays Due to Richard Branson’s Environmental Efforts?’

Battle Brewing Over Extending Commercial Spaceflight Learning Period

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Part of SpaceShipTwo's fuselage. (Credit: Kenneth Brown)

Part of SpaceShipTwo’s fuselage. (Credit: Kenneth Brown)

By Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

A battle is brewing over whether to extend the learning period for the commercial spaceflight industry, with Congress needing to make a decision before October on when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will be allowed to regulate an industry still struggling to get off the ground.

On one side are FAA officials, who believe they can begin to craft basic safety regulations based on more than 50 years of human spaceflight experience. Industry figures dispute this, saying they still don’t have enough experience with their varied vehicles to begin the process.

Continue reading ‘Battle Brewing Over Extending Commercial Spaceflight Learning Period’

Senior Citizens Being Pushed Aside for Spaceport America Visitors Center

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Oh God! As if Spaceport America needed more bad publicity.

Truth or Consequences has voted to rent out a large part of its senior citizens center for a welcome center where tourists will gather to be bused to Spaceport America.

So, let me see if I’ve got this straight:

New Mexico taxpayers spend nearly a quarter billion dollars on a spaceport built for billionaire Richard Branson so he can fly his fellow billionaires and millionaire on space joy rides with the promise of vast economic benefits to the local population. Branson fails to deliver on any of it despite 10 years of effort, leaving taxpayers subsidizing a largely empty spaceport used for occasional sounding rocket launches. And now senior citizens living on fixed incomes are being pushed aside to make way for tourists to go visit a spaceport with no spacecraft.

This is not good. The crown jewel of NewSpace is becoming a cosmic embarrassment.

Continue reading ‘Senior Citizens Being Pushed Aside for Spaceport America Visitors Center’

Awesome First Look into the Stratolaunch Hangar

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An excellent report from Mojave by KGET, with an overview of the testing going on there and the first ever look inside the Stratolaunch hangar.