Category Archives: Space

Not NASA’s Space Program

Here’s a UPI story about alt-space. The writer, Irene Mona Klotz (of whom I hadn’t previously heard), seems to get it. It’s great to see this kind of coverage in the mainstream press.

What’s even better is that it’s the first in a series on the emerging suborbital industry.

Not NASA’s Space Program

Here’s a UPI story about alt-space. The writer, Irene Mona Klotz (of whom I hadn’t previously heard), seems to get it. It’s great to see this kind of coverage in the mainstream press.

What’s even better is that it’s the first in a series on the emerging suborbital industry.

Not NASA’s Space Program

Here’s a UPI story about alt-space. The writer, Irene Mona Klotz (of whom I hadn’t previously heard), seems to get it. It’s great to see this kind of coverage in the mainstream press.

What’s even better is that it’s the first in a series on the emerging suborbital industry.

Hope Springs Eternal

Yes, Andrew, it’s just for one day, unfortunately.

And I assume that this means that the NASA briefing in response to the Aldridge report, which was supposed to occur on that day, will be postponed until Monday?

[Update]

A couple commenters aren’t reading my post carefully. I’m not referring to the Aldridge Report release, which is scheduled for Thursday. I’m referring to the NASA response to it, which was scheduled for Friday. Follow the link.

[Update late afternoon]

As another commenter points out, the whole thing has been delayed until next week.

Aldridge Results

The commission’s report will be released next Thursday, a little less than five months after the president’s announcement of the new policy and the formation of the commission. NASA will have a briefing on it the next day, a week from today.

What Was Tito, Chopped Liver?

Via Clark Lindsey, here’s an article on the upcoming SpaceShipOne flight that’s more than just a regurgitation of Scaled’s press release. It helped that the author interviewed Jeff Foust about it. I only found one problem with it.

The pilot, who will become the first nongovernmental astronaut in history, then will fly the craft back to Earth after it reconfigures from rocket to glider plane.

Emphasis mine. Apparently he’s never heard of Charlie Walker, the Japanese news agency guy, Helen Sharman, Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth…

It would have been correct to say that he was the first astronaut to fly on a non-government-developed vehicle, which is the real significance (particularly when one looks at the relative cost).

I also found this part interesting, because I hadn’t previously seen much of a hint about Paul Allen’s motives:

Crediting Rutan and the Scaled Composites team with accomplishing “amazing things” without government backing, Allen said SpaceShipOne proves that a privately funded space industry is possible.
“Every time SpaceShipOne flies we demonstrate that relatively modest amounts of private funding can significantly increase the boundaries of commercial space technology,” Allen said in a statement.

Foust said “modest” might be in the eye of the beholder, but Allen’s funding had shown that a relatively small amount of money — on the order of a few tens of millions — can fund development of a manned, reusable, suborbital spacecraft that could open new markets, such as space tourism.

It’s not clear if he has a business plan for follow-on developments, but it is clear that he’s been thinking about it. If he starts to compete with fellow Seattleite (Seattleinian?–are either of those correct, or even words?) and dotcom entrepreneur Jeff Bezos, things could get very interesting very quickly.

Private Space Discussion

An emailer points out a local NPR show airing at 1 PM Pacific today in Seattle, with Charlie Vick and Gregg Maryniak (of the X-Prize Foundation).

Here’s the promo:

The Conversation

Guy Nelson, in for Ross Reynolds

1 pm Pacific KUOW 94.9 fm

Listen to past shows in The Conversation archive

Call-in numbers 206 543 5869, toll free long distance 1-800-289-5869

The first space launch by a private investor will happen this month. The man behind the project: Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. His rocket, called SpaceShip One, is designed for short visits to space, and does not travel fast enough to be put into orbit. What do you think of space travel moving into the private sector? What can they accomplish that NASA can’t? What questions do you have for the designers of these new rockets? Would you like to travel to space on a vacation? On The Conversation today, we’ll discuss the future of space travel, the Ansari X prize competition and find out what Allen hopes to accomplish.

Join us at 1:00 on KUOW. Call in your thoughts before the show to The Conversation feedback line, 206 221 3663 or send e-mail to conversation@kuow.org.

Join us on the air by calling 206 543 KUOW or 1
800 289 KUOW.

GUESTS: (as of 12:00pm PACIFIC)

Dr. Charles Vick: Senior Fellow on Space Policy with GlobalSecurity.org with more than 40 years of experience

Gregg Maryniak: the executive director of Ansari X prize

The show should be available on the archive shortly after it ends, for those who aren’t local. I hope that this month’s event, and the eventual winning of the prize, causes a lot more public discussion of this topic.

Spreading the meme…

Over at RLV News Clark Lindsey writes:

Rand Simberg has been after to me to change the name of this page from RLV News to Space Transport News. Not quite ready to do that but I will promise to refer to the SS1 missions as “flights” rather than “launches”. I suggest that all you alt.spacers out there take the pledge as well. Time that we transition out of thinking of spaceflight as a series of one-offs and start thinking in terms of spaceship departures and arrivals instead.

Sounds good to me. Now that I’m done posting, I think I’ll shut down my reusable computation machine, get into my reusable wheeled transportation device, and head back to my reusable dwelling unit 🙂