The first launch of SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft to the ISS has been delayed yet again. No new date has been set, but the SpaceX apparently feels its Dragon could benefit from further testing and will not be ready for its scheduled February 7 launch. "We are now working with NASA to establish a new target launch date, but note that we will continue to test and review data," a SpaceX spokeswoman said in a statement today.
When it's time to shuffle off your mortal coil and find a place to spend eternity, there are plenty of futurific ways to do it — from screwdriver-like vertical burial, to cryogenic preservation, to the Best of What's New winner the Cryomator. Although it's not exactly new, there's just something extra special about the notion of being shot into space, returning to the star stuff from whence you came. Now the Commonwealth of Virginia would like to help you achieve this goal.
NASA’s new budget, approved by a House and Senate conference committee and going before the full House today, will save the over-budget James Webb Space Telescope (JWST). But the allotment for commercial space taxis to ferry crews to and from the International Space Station has been cut in half.
NASA has gone to great lengths to seed and cultivate the commercial space industry over the past few years, but it may want to be careful that it doesn’t make the grass look too much greener on the commercial side. Mike Moses, NASA’s deputy space shuttle program manager and former flight director--the guy who oversaw all shuttle operations over the last three years of the program--is jumping ship, heading over to Virgin Galactic to oversee operations at the space tourism front-runner.
This is the best job perk we’ve seen in some time: Work for Boeing, go to space.
The aerospace firm is planning to send its own employees to the International Space Station on the first crewed mission of its CST-100 ship, the company said Friday. Apparently internal interviews are already ongoing, because Boeing wants its astronauts to help drive further development of the space capsule.
Besides amateur camera-balloons, it's pretty difficult to get a viable science experiment into space. You need to buy a launch vehicle, license it, find a place to launch from, protect your payload, and get permission to actually launch, for starters. In the past, you might have partnered with NASA to do this, but it's never been easy to win federal support for a rocket or space station excursion, and it's about to get even harder after the space shuttles retire this summer.
But the transition away from the shuttle is promising for experimenters, as a new generation of privately built and operated spacecraft is poised to take over. The commercial space tourism industry will transform the way scientists study microgravity, offering lower prices and greater convenience than anything the government can provide. Scientists will no longer need to apply to NASA to do their experiments. Even better, they won't have to join the astronaut corps to get to space in person, a paradigm shift that could make cutting-edge research much more widely accessible.
The commercial space industry has booked its first science expeditions, the Southwest Research Institute announced today. At least two researchers have tickets to fly on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, with another six seats on reserve, and the team also reserved six flights on an XCOR Lynx I rocket plane.
The trend toward commercialized space is reaching into military communications and even a human expedition to Mars. Advocates say such public-private partnerships could bring down mission costs and speed up the process.
Virgin Galactic’s space plane made its first manned glide flight on 10/10/10, proving the spaceship’s airworthiness and further paving the way for future space tourism trips.
The W-shaped VSS Enterprise separated from its mothership Sunday around 45,000 feet. Test pilot Pete Siebold and co-pilot Mike Alsbury safely glided to a landing at Mojave Air and Spaceport, Virgin Galactic said. Check out the video below.