Carrier craft for SpaceShipTwo makes its debut in Mojave California
By Michael BelfiorePosted 07.28.2008 at 7:11 pm 6 Comments
Virgin Group head Sir Richard Branson unveiled the latest addition to his air- and spaceline fleet at the Mojave Airport in California today, accompanied by the craft's chief designer, Burt Rutan.
The White Knight 2 is a four-engine jet that will carry an 8-seat spaceship called SpaceShipTwo to an altitude of 48,000 feet so that the spaceship can drop off and fire its rocket engine for a brief run to suborbital space. Branson's Virgin Galactic hopes to begin regularly scheduled passenger service to space in 2010.
It's official—the company that brokered the first tourist flights to the International Space Station is now a major world player in manned spaceflight
By Michael BelfiorePosted 06.11.2008 at 1:04 pm 1 Comment
Space Adventures, the broker of the first tourist flights to space celebrated its ten-year anniversary today here at the Explorer's Club in New York with the announcement that it had scored a deal with the Russian Federal Space Agency, or RKA, to buy an entire flight to the International Space Station.
With debate raging on whether biofuels are robbing the world's hungry of food, scientists and engineers at the first annual BioMass conference in Minneapolis say it ain't so
By Michael BelfiorePosted 04.16.2008 at 4:00 pm 16 Comments
The first annual BioMass conference, attended by biofuels researchers, manufacturers, equipment suppliers, and farmers, is underway here at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
Prime on the agenda in the opening session this morning was a question lately blaring from headlines, for instance in a story in today's New York Times: can we grow crops for converting into fuel without catastrophically upsetting the world's food supply?
A maverick group of engineers and scientists at the University of North Dakota's Energy & Environmental Research Center looks beyond corn and other food crops for biofuel production
By Michael BelfiorePosted 04.15.2008 at 7:39 pm 6 Comments
Today's New York Times has a front-page story about how biofuels are driving up food prices around the world and how they therefore may not be a such a great idea after all. That could be true if the only feedstocks available for producing biofuels were food crops, as the article implies, but that's far from the truth.
The Pentagon agency that gave us the Internet throws a birthday party in Washington
By Michael BelfiorePosted 04.11.2008 at 8:58 am 2 Comments
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, celebrated its golden anniversary last night in typically low-key style with a banquet here at the Washington Hilton.
The 1,600 tuxedoed attendees included nine former DARPA directors, program managers past and present, and scientists and engineers from DARPA's contractors in the private sector and academia.
Introducing the Lynx, a two-seat rocket built for space tourism
By Michael BelfiorePosted 03.26.2008 at 12:30 pm 5 Comments
Today in Los Angeles, a private space company unveiled the latest entrant in the race to send paying passengers into suborbital space.
The Lynx, in development by XCOR Aerospace, is envisioned as a two-seat vehicle that will allow a paying passenger to ride up front with the pilot to experience weightlessness and see the Earth from space.
With NASAâ€™s New Orleans fuel-tank factory out of commission, shuttle repairs could suffer serious delays
By Michael BelfiorePosted 09.12.2005 at 2:00 am 0 Comments
When Hurricane Katrina roared through the U.S. Gulf Coast on August 29, devastating New Orleans, it shut down a major NASA facility, bringing the space agency's seemingly endless struggle to resume shuttle flights to a swift halt. The Michoud Assembly Facility, located about 15 miles east of the French Quarter, manufactures and repairs the space shuttle's giant external fuel tank-the same tank whose shedding insulation led to the destruction of Columbia in February 2003 and grounded the shuttle fleet last July.