XCOR Announces Lynx Trip Winner

Jennifer Brisco, winner of XCOR's suborbital flight giveaway poses in the full size Lynx cockpit model at the Spacecraft Technology Expo in Los Angeles. (Credit: XCOR)

Mojave CA, May 16, 2012 (XCOR PR): XCOR Aerospace today announced the grand prize winner of a trip aboard the Lynx Mark I suborbital launch vehicle. XCOR Chief Operating Officer Andrew Nelson made the announcement at the Spacecraft Technology Expo (STE) in Los Angeles, CA.

“About two months ago, we were at an event called the Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference, where together with the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) we gave away a suborbital flight,” said XCOR Chief Operating Officer Andrew Nelson. “We had a winner, and we had a backup.   Unfortunately our main winner was unable to accept the prize.   Our backup winner, Jennifer Brisco, is now the official recipient of the suborbital flight.”

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Rocketplane Global Out of Bankruptcy, Seeks Funding for Space Plane

The Rocketplane has been revived.

Rocketplane Global, which went under two years ago, is out of bankruptcy and searching for about $100 million in investment to build its six-passenger suborbital space vehicle.

Speaking at the Next-generation Suborbital Researchers Conference in Palo Alto, Calif., Vice President of Business Development Chuck Lauer said the firm came out of bankruptcy last  year under a new Wisconsin-based holding company called Space Assets, LLC. Original backer George French is involved in the new venture.

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Will Space Tourism Sizzle or Fizzle?

SpaceShipTwo glides downward on its first test flight. (Photo: Mark Greenberg)

A new quarterly, New Space Magazine , has launched. It includes an article from Philip A. Janquart titled, “Space Tourism: Will it go far or fizzle out?” in which I’m quoted extensively. Some excerpts:

“Virgin has a lot of money and prestige behind it,” Messier told NewSpace Magazine. “They are, kind of, the Goliath of the industry right now. They just completed another test flight. It’ll be interesting to see how fast they can move with the aggressive schedule they have. One question is their engine: they still need to do a lot of testing.”

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CSF Clarifies Assumptions in Scientific Paper About Space Tourism Pollution

CSF PRESS RELEASE AND FACT SHEET

The Commercial Spaceflight Federation and its member organizations, including five providers of commercial reusable suborbital spaceflight services, supports the kind of scientific inquiry that led to the recent Ross et al. Geophysical Research Letters paper titled, “Potential Climate Impact of Black Carbon Emitted by Rockets.” The commercial spaceflight sector aspires to good environmental stewardship.

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European Conference to Explore Suborbital Flight Regulations

Conference: The Regulation of Suborbital Flights in the European Context
Thursday 16 September 2010

International Institute of Air & Space Law
University of Leiden
Netherlands

The symposium, which be held on 16 September 2010 in Leiden, will focus on the legal issues arising from this new era of human spaceflight by analyzing the perspectives of various stakeholders, and will attempt to formulate some recommendations for its efficient and adequate regulation.

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As Shuttle Era Ends, Private Commercial Spaceflight Begins

Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo with Burt Rutan and Richard Branson
Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo with Burt Rutan and Richard Branson

All will get taste of oasis for space: Desert launches will benefit KSC
Florida Today

Florida’s Space Coast will lament the end of the shuttle program and the loss of thousands of great jobs. But 2010 could mark the start of one of the most exciting periods in the history of human spaceflight. Gigantic leaps forward in our ability to fly people in space are coming, and they’re coming fast.

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Residents on Cecil Field Spaceport: We’re Jiggy With It

cecilfield_img

JAA said Thursday’s meeting was another step in the process of bringing commercial space flights to Cecil Field. Officials were able to get input from the public, much of which was opposed plans to bring the Navy back to Cecil Field a few years ago.

However, residents who live nearby showed up at the meeting with a different perspective on Cecil Field becoming a spaceport.

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Space Tourism Promises Spectacular View of Hawaiian Islands

The Big Island of Hawaii
The Big Island of Hawaii

Fly Me to the Moon
Honolulu Weekly

“Ever since I was a child, I’ve thought space travel was fascinating,” said Rep. Gene Ward in support of House Bill 994, which would promote space tourism ventures on Oahu.

“We have a lot of space cadets around here,” he laughed. “Think of weightlessness–what a fantastic experience to be had. And without having to go to the moon!”

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Do Virgin Galactic’s Environmental Claims Stand Up?

It's ain't easy being green!
It's ain't easy being green!

The Guardian’s Leo Hickman raises some interesting questions about Virgin Galactic’s environmental claims:

The company says that it has built a “clean spaceship” and that the “CO2 emissions per passenger on a spaceflight will be equivalent to approximately 60% of a per passenger return commercial London/New York flight”.

It’s hard to see how that calculation stacks up but Virgin has yet to break down these figures so we have no real way of knowing.

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Kiwis Waiting Patiently for Virgin Galactic Space Tourism Flights

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)

Commercial space travel: what it might feel like
Sunday Star Times

It’s a good thing Ron Stroeven is not worried about having to wait until SpaceShipTwo is pronounced fit to take paying guests to experience the trip into space just as the test pilots have. It could be 2010, when the flamboyant founder of Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson, will turn 60. But it will probably be 2011. The company expects to do up to 18 months of test flights before taking people into space. White Knight Two made its debut flight just before Christmas last year.

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

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.”

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Need a Job? Spaceport America is Hiring

Spaceport America
Spaceport America

Spaceport America Offers Jobs
KAOT-TV

Officials said they’re looking to employ about 475 people to build the project and they want to hire New Mexicans.

“There will be road contractors, fencing, electrical contractors — there will be 14 general contractors on the job site,” said construction manager John Roberts. A call for bids will be advertised next week. Contractors will then have 30 days to submit their bid for the work.

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