Tag: virgin galactic

BBC Asks: Should the Poor Fund Space Travel on Virgin Galactic?


The dream of space tourism has captured the imagination of many, including the British billionaire Sir Richard Branson. He wants to to pioneer commercial space flight but his aspirations have run into trouble in the deserts of New Mexico. Politicians there aren’t happy that local taxpayers are helping to fund the space port and, so far, the job opportunities promised, have not materialised. Everything’s on hold while Virgin Galactic builds a new spaceship and as Matt Wells reports from the state capital Santa Fe, the debate is raging.

(Photo: A security guard mans the WhiteKnightTwo aircraft carrier outside the Spaceport American Spaceport America Terminal Hangar Facility in New Mexico. Credit: Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

TMRO Video With Will Pomerantz About LauncherOne


Video Caption:
  This week we bring on William Pomerantz of Virgin Galactic to talk about LauncherOne and what is happening with their small payload launching system.

In Space News we have:

* Atlas V Launches MMS Satellites
* QM-1 Solid Motor test firing
* Rosetta listening for Philae
* Curiosity rover back in action
* Lockheed’s CRS-2 Proposal
* Total Solar Eclipse on March 20th
* World Record Rocket

TMRO is a crowd funded show. If you like this episode consider contributing to help us to continue to improve. Head over to http://www.patreon.com/tmro for information, goals and reward levels.

Anderson Updates Dona Ana County Officials on Spaceport America

Spaceport America fly-in. (Credit: NMSA)

Spaceport America fly-in. (Credit: NMSA)

New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) Executive Director Christine Anderson briefed Dona Ana C0unty officials on the status of Spaceport America on Tuesday.

Anderson told commissioners that anchor tenant Virgin Galactic has talked about beginning flight tests on its second SpaceShipTwo vehicle this year, ” so “perhaps” the company will be able to begin commercial flights from Spaceport America in 2016.

Continue reading ‘Anderson Updates Dona Ana County Officials on Spaceport America’

New Book to Cover Virgin Galactic’s First Decade


virgin_galactic_10_years_bookErik Seedhouse has a new book coming out later this month about Virgin Galactic. A description from the book’s Amazon.com page:

Thirty years ago when Sir Richard Branson called up Boeing and asked if they had a spare 747, few would have predicted the brash entrepreneur would so radically transform the placid business of air travel. But today, Branson flies airlines on six continents, employs hundreds of jets and, in 2014, was predicting that his spaceship company – Virgin Galactic – would soon open the space frontier to commercial astronauts, payload specialists, scientists and space tourists. With more than 600 seats sold at $250,000 each, what started off as a dream to send people just for the excitement to look back and marvel at Earth, was on the cusp of finally being turned into a business.

Then, on October 21, 2014, tragedy struck. SpaceShipTwo was on its most ambitious test flight to date. Seconds after firing its engine, Virgin Galactic’s spaceship was breaking through the sound barrier. In just the three seconds that it took for the vehicle to climb from Mach 0.94 to Mach 1.02, co-pilot Mike Alsbury made what many close to the event believe was a fatal mistake that led to his death and the disintegration of SpaceShipTwo. Miraculously, the pilot, Peter Siebold, survived the 16-km fall back to Earth.

Soon after the event Branson vowed to continue his space tourism venture in spite of this. Already a second SpaceShipTwo is being built, and ticket-holders eagerly await the day when Virgin Galactic offers quick, routine and affordable access to the edge of space. This book explains the hurdles Virgin Galactic had and still has to overcome en route to developing suborbital space travel as a profitable economic entity, and describes the missions that will be flown on board SpaceShipTwo Mk II, including high-altitude science studies, astronomy, life sciences, and microgravity physics.

Virgin Galactic Holds Jobs Fair in Long Beach



Virtuoso Chief in Australia Promoting SpaceShipTwo Ticket Sales


Video Caption: Virtuoso CEO Matthew Upchurch appears on Australia’s Mornings to discuss the Virgin Galactic space tourism project – what to expect, when to expect it, and why removing yourself from your comfort zone is so important.

Virgin Galactic Jobs Fair is Saturday in Long Beach

Artist's conception of WhiteKnightTwo with LauncherOne (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Artist’s conception of WhiteKnightTwo with LauncherOne (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Virgin Galactic is holding a jobs fair on Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon in Long Beach, Calif.

Here’s the announcement:

Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company are hiring up to 100 full-time positions at our facilities in New Mexico, Mojave, and now Long Beach–the new home of our LauncherOne program.

Interested in joining us? Learn more about these opportunities at our Job Fair and Open House:

  • Date/Time: Saturday, March 7th
    • Ribbon Cutting from 8.30am – 9.00am
    • Job Fair from 9.00am – 12:00pm
  • Location: 4022 E. Conant St, Long Beach, CA, 90806 (in Douglas Park at the Long Beach Airport)
  • Parking: Lots of parking in our lot and adjacent lots
  • RSVP:  RSVPs are nice and helpful — but walk-ins are equally welcome!


Musk, Page, Bezos & Branson Lead List of Disruptive Innovators


SpaceX’s Elon Musk, Google’s Larry Page, Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos and Virgin Group Founder Richard Branson has been named the most effective CEO’s in achieving disruptive innovation among established companies in a new survey.

The poll was conducted by Big Think, where important people ponder big things, and the Singularity University, which puts the exponent in  exponential technology.  The poll was apparently taken in January and involved an unidentified number of Singularity University program participants.

The four men, who are heavily invested in various space projects,  beat out such business luminaries as Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and Jack Ma of Alibaba.

Number of Billionaires Investing in Space Projects Grows


Forbes has published its annual list of the planet’s billionaires. A small but growing number of them are either directly supporting major space projects or doing so through the companies that they run.

 15 Jeff Bezos 51  $34.8 Amazon.com Blue Origin
16 Mark Zuckerberg 30
 $33.4 Facebook Global satellite network
19 Larry Page 41 $29.7  Google SpaceX, Planetary Resources, Planetary Ventures, Google Lunar X Prize, Skybox
20 Sergey Brin  41  $29.2 Google SpaceX, Planetary Ventures, Google Lunar X Prize, Skybox
43 Charles Ergen 62 $19.8 DISH Network DISH Network
51 Paul Allen 62  $17.5  Microsoft, investments Stratolaunch Systems, SETI, Mojave Aerospace Ventures (SpaceShipOne)
100 Elon Musk 43 $12 PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, SolarCity SpaceX
137 Eric Schmidt 59 $9.1 Google SpaceX, Google Lunar X Prize, Planetary Ventures, Skybox
330 Richard Branson
64 $4.8 Virgin Group Virgin Galactic, Planetary Resources, OneWeb
1006 Kavitark Ram Shriram 58 $1.9 Google, venture capital Planetary Resources
1105 H. Ross Perot, Jr. 56 $1.8  Computer services, real estate Planetary Resources
1324 Charles Simonyi  67 $1.4 Microsoft Planetary Resources
1415 Peter Sperling 55 $1.3 University of Phoenix Ecliptic Enterprises

I’ve added Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook to the list this year. His company is reportedly working on a global broadband network that would involve satellites, although details of the plan have not been made public.

I’ve left off Cirque du Soleil’s Guy Laliberte, who came in at number 1006 with a net worth of $1.9 billion. Although he once took a trip to the International Space Station, he is not known to be funding any major space projects at the moment.

Update: I’ve added Charles Ergen and Peter Sperling to the list. Big shout out to Rex Ridenoure over at Ecliptic Enterprises.

Video New Report on Spaceport America


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