Today, Sept. 27, marks the 15th anniversary of Richard Branson announcing the launch of Virgin Galactic Airways. It’s been a long, winding road between that day and today, filled with many broken promises, missed deadlines, fatal accidents and a pair of spaceflights.
This year actually marks a double anniversary: it’s been 20 years since Branson registered the company and began searching for a vehicle the company could use to fly tourists into suborbital space.
Below is a timeline of the important events over that period.
They came to Mojave from near and far — from the dusty desert communities of Lancaster, Boron and Ridgecrest to the snow swept tundra of Sweden — to send Stu Witt off in style. One of the most powerful men in Washington, D.C. played hooky from Congress to wish his friend a happy retirement.
Hundreds of people gathered on Jan. 8 to mark the end of Witt’s nearly 14-year term as CEO and general manager of the Mojave Air and Space Port. The event featured a reception and a long parade of friends and colleagues singing his praises.
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (Spaceport Sweden PR) — On Friday, we launched ”Destination: Space” a national strategy for space tourism produced by 70+ partners from aerospace, tourism, academia and agencies. Sweden is well positioned to become a world leading space destination with world unique experiences, related services, training, research and technology transfer that can accelerate industries and activities on Earth.
KIRUNA, Sweden (Spaceport Sweden PR) — The Kiruna Lapland Award 2015 was awarded to Spaceport Sweden for the efforts to establish commercial human spaceflight in Kiruna in Swedish Lapland, with the view to not only launch space planes but also new experiences, products and careers.
Highlighting the ongoing work to bridge industry, academic and tourism acting as a catalyst for new experiences, products and services Kiruna Lapland underlined the courage, determination and resilience as well as the great impact the visionary project is already having on the region.
At Spaceport Sweden we thrilled and very proud to receive this award and it really belongs to all our partners and supporters from a local to international level, who like us, strive to realise the dream of space travel and opening up space for research, tourism, development and innovation for the benefit of humanity.
Video Caption: In the next 15 years, the market for commercial space-travel is predicted to double from $300 to $600 billion dollars. Karin Nilsdotter, CEO of the Swedish Spaceport, believes that the cosmos are the next big frontier in business. And while microgravity research, lunar real estate, and space tourism may still sound like sci-fi, Nilsdotter argues that the gravity currently grounding the space economy is about to dissolve.
Karin is Co-Founder and CEO of Space Travel Alliance and Managing Partner of Spaceport Sweden, two pioneering initiatives to realize the dream of commercial space travel, establishing Europe’s gateway to space in Swedish Lapland and a leading spaceline for tourism, research and education.
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (Saab PR) — Karin Nilsdotter, CEO of Spaceport Sweden, has been named the 2014 Technology Woman of the Year.
She has been awarded the prize in recognition for her activities in promoting Swedish technology and innovation by developing technology products and world class services in this area. The award is presented by defense and security company Saab as part of the Talent Excellence Awards, organized by the employer branding company Universum.
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.
Washington D.C. (CSF PR) – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation is pleased to announce the addition of six new member organizations. Bigelow Aerospace and Orbital Outfitters have joined as new Executive Members and Moon Express has moved up from Associate to Executive Membership. ASRC Federal, Spaceport Sweden, and World View Enterprises have joined as Associate Members.
“The CSF membership is representative of all facets of space exploration,” said CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria. “This diversity is indicative of a growing, thriving sector, with each company contributing to the overarching success of the commercial space exploration industry.”
Spaceport Sweden won the Innovator of the Year Award at the Grand Travel Awards, the Oscars of the travel industry, which took place at the Grand Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden on Thursday evening. Spaceport Sweden was recognized for the efforts developing space tourism in Sweden and positioning Kiruna as a world-leading destination offering adventures on the ground and in the air.
Video Caption: Spaceport Sweden is Europe’s gateway to space and space travel. Located in Kiruna, Swedish Lapland we offer launch infrastructure, space adventures under the Midnight Sun and an international astronaut program; Zero-G flights, Centrifuge training & Northern Light Flights.
Inaugurated in 2007, Spaceport Sweden is a pioneering initiative to establish commercial human spaceflight in Sweden and become Europe’s gateway to space, a center for excellence and cross-industry innovation.
Located in Kiruna, Swedish Lapland, Europe’s premier space city since 1957, Spaceport Sweden work together with selected partners to offer customers unique world-class space adventures and learning experiences, further supplying launch infrastructure, R&D facilities and high-tech expertise to commercial space operators. Already today Spaceport Sweden offer learning space adventures such as Northern Light Flights, Zero-G Flights and Spaceflight Preparation and Centrifuge Training.
KIRUNA, Sweden (Spaceport Sweden/IDEAS PR) — Spaceport Sweden, is proud to announce, together with Kiruna Lapland, the completion of a feasibility and concept study by IDEAS, a world leading media and experience-design studio, for the development of a Space Visitor & Science Center to further strengthen the development of Kiruna a leading space destination.
KIRUNA, Sweden (Spaceport Sweden PR) — We are very happy and proud to present Josefin Enström as our new crew member.
Josefin, who has a bachelor’s degree in professional experience production, from Luleå University of Technology in Piteå, has been awarded a 10-month trainee position as a part of the government led Sustainable Tourism Destination Development project further backed by Sparbanken Nord and Spaceport Sweden.
KIRUNA, Sweden (Spaceport Sweden PR) — Spaceport Sweden together with Kiruna in Swedish Lapland are proud to announce the partnering with IDEAS, a world leading innovation studio, for the project of develop a Space Visitor & Science Center in Kiruna, contributing to a world-class all year round destination.
KIRUNA, SWEDEN (Spaceport Sweden PR) — Spaceport Sweden, on behalf of Kiruna Lappland Ekonomisk Frening, is seeking proposals to support in the planning and development of a space visitors and science center at Kiruna Airport, the proposed site for Spaceport Sweden, in Kiruna, Swedish Lapland.