Tourist Schmourist

Congratulations to Anousheh Ansari, who has just realised her lifelong dream of travel into space. She has worked hard, trained hard, accepted real risk, and conducted herself professionally to get there. And in the mainstream media, she’s the first ‘female space tourist’. Anousheh is no more a ‘space tourist’ than … Continue reading

Atlantis ready for Space Station docking, no damage to heat shield

Atlantis continues its orbital journey toward the International Space Station, and is scheduled to dock there at 10:46 GMT Monday (05:46 CDT at the control center in Houston). Flight day two inspections have revealed no damage of concern to the orbiter’s heat shield. According to shuttle program manager Wayne Hale: … Continue reading

New SpaceX update available

(via Clark at HobbySpace RLV and Space Transport News) Elon Musk has posted a new update at the SpaceX website. There’s plenty to read, including some information about the company’s recent COTS win, pictures of the Falcon-9 with a Dragon crew capsule – showing, for the first time, a launch … Continue reading

Spectacular liftoff heralds resumption of ISS assembly

Space shuttle Atlantis roared away from the launch pad today in an apparently flawless launch, having endured many days of technical and weather-related delays, and a three-year mission postponement brought about by the disastrous loss of her sister ship, Columbia. Eight and a half minutes after liftoff, Atlantis and her … Continue reading

Anousheh Ansari to replace Daisuke Enomoto as next space tourist to ISS

It looks like X-Prize sponsor Anousheh Ansari is poised to become the first paying female space tourist. (We shouldn’t forget Helen Sharman, though – she almost qualifies). Ansari was the backup crewmember for Japanese businessman Daisuke Enomoto, who was recently disqualified from the next Soyuz flight to the International Space … Continue reading

It’s (semi) official: CEV to be named “Orion”

Jeff Williams made a slight faux pas on the international space station today, accidentally broadcasting a recording he was in the process of making over the air-to-ground communications loop. The recording was the announcement of the official name for the Crew Exploration Vehicle. It’s been an open secret for a … Continue reading

NASA picks SpaceX and Rocketplane Kistler for COTS

Congratulations to SpaceX and Rocketplane Kistler for successfully winning funded Space Act Agreement contracts with NASA for the demonstration of cargo delivery to the International Space Station. Under the agreements announced at a NASA press conference late on Friday afternoon, Rocketplane Kistler could receive up to $207 million, and SpaceX … Continue reading

NASA to announce COTS winners on Friday

NASA will hold a press conference on Friday to announce the winners of the Commercial Orbital Transportation Systems contracts. The conference will be held at 4pm EDT on Friday the 18th, and will be broadcast live on NASA TV. The six finalist companies are SpaceHab, Andrews Space, Space Exploration Technologies … Continue reading

The Space Frontier Foundation has issues with Project Orion (updated)

According to this report from Leonard David at, the Space Frontier Foundation has just released a fairly comprehensive white paper about NASA’s efforts to implement the vision for space exploration (now named – still unofficially at this point – Project Orion). They’re not too happy with it.

Space Adventures now offering a “Space Walk” option

On July 21st, Space Adventures Ltd., announced a feature to its line of services. These are the folks who have arranged for three tourists to visit the international space station, and now you can add a space walk to your tourist package. The current duration of a Space Adventures’ orbital … Continue reading

Space shuttle’s happy return

Congratulations to the STS-121 crew for a very successful mission and a safe return. In NASA’s launch schedule August 28th is the date set for the next shuttle launch. Flying Space Shuttle Atlantis, STS-115 crew will deliver a truss and other key components during the Space Shuttle Program’s 19th mission … Continue reading

Science versus human exploration

Taylor Dinerman has a piece in this week’s Space Review that is well worth a read. He compares the science-vs-human-exploration situation brewing now with what was going on in the early seventies. History’s warning is simple: if we choose to underfund the Vision for Space Exploration the way we underfunded … Continue reading

STS-121 gains “Fourth of July” launch date

The Fourth of July in the United States, is always a time for picnics, parades and fireworks. Now we can add shuttle launches to that mix. Sunday’s scheduled launch of STS-121 was scrubbed for the second time in as many days. The next launch attempt for Discovery’s STS-121 mission to … Continue reading

This week at The Space Review

The latest batch of articles is out at the Space Review, and once again Jeff Foust has assembled a fine collection of thoughtful commentary. Before we get to that, I have to add my voice to the others who have marvelled recently at the one-man space publishing phenomenon that is … Continue reading

News “private citizen” astronaut announced

In a press release yesterday Space Adventures announced; Space Adventures, Ltd., the world’s leading space-experiences company, announced today that Charles Simonyi, Ph.D. has signed a contract for a future orbital spaceflight. This is the same company that brought about the visits to the International Space Station (ISS) by private citizens, … Continue reading

Space access topic of the day on The Space Show

Our friend David Livingston will be hosting a round-table discussion which will include the topics of rockets, engineering, and cost effective space access on his Radio/Podcast program, The Space Show. The LIVE broadcast will take place Sunday, April 9. 2006, from noon-1:30PM PDT (yeah, that pesky daylight savings time has … Continue reading

New ISS crew rockets into orbit

A Russian Soyuz rocket soared skyward from Baikonur Cosmodrome yesterday, carrying the next long duration crew for the International Space Station and a Brazilian astronaut who will return home with the current station crew in early April. US astronaut Jeff Williams, Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov, and Brazilian Marcos Pontes are … Continue reading

Solar eclipse puts on a show across the African continent

Oh by the way, there was a Solar Eclipse today. Yeah, I missed the boat too. A view of the shadow passing as seen from the International Space Station. Credit: NASA NASA TV provided live coverage of the event. Yeah I missed that too. On their website they have video … Continue reading

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