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Welcome to HobbySpace. the site that will prove to you that everyone can participate in space exploration and development in one way or another.
Space for All Blog Space Art Spotlight

Some recent postings:




James Hervat

Saturn from Rhea - James Hervat (2010)
Saturn from Rhea (2010)

Daybreak at Rima Hadley  - James Hervat (2016)
Daybreak at Rima Hadley (2016)

Triton Landscape- James Hervat (2009)
Triton Lanscape (2009)

The Great September Comet of  1882- James Hervat (2010)
The Great September Comet of 1882 (2010)

Galactic Migration - James Hervat (2005)
Galactic Migration (2005)
More space art
Space Music Video of the Month


NASA Astronaut Drew Feustel Records Music Video from Space
Song by Gord Sinclair of Tragically Hip

It's a Whole New Outer Space Out There

Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic Fly Reusable Rockets to Suborbital Space

Jeff Bezo's Blue Origin company and Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic are in the final stretch of a race more than a decade long to be the first to provide routine rides to suborbital space on rocket powered vehicles.

Blue Origin has now test flown the reusable New Shepard vertical takeoff and landing vehicle several times. The flights have been uncrewed but each one has tested various key systems and improvements in the vehicle, which includes a liquid hydrogen/liquid oxygen powered booster and a crew capsule that separates from the booster after the engine shuts down and returns for soft landing via parachutes. Here is a video of highlights of a test flight on April 29, 2018 at Blue Origin’s West Texas facility:


And here is a replay of the entire live webcast of the test:


New Shepard reached 107 kilometers (351,000 feet or 66.5 miles) in altitude. The goal is to begin flying company employees by the end of 2018 and paying passengers in 2019. The company already is flying science and technology research payloads for paying customers.

Meanwhile, Virgin Galactic has been test flying VSS Unity, the second SpaceShipTwo vehicle built after the first one was destroyed in an accident in 2014. The WhiteKnightTwo aircraft carries Unity to about 15 kilometers (50,000 ft) and then releases it. Unity fires its hybrid rocket motor, powered with liquid nitrous oxide and solid fuel. After reaching apogee, the wings of the SS2 fold upwards putting the vehicle into a V configuration that allows for high stability during reentry into the atmosphere (designer Burt Rutan called this "feathering" after the feathers in a badmitton birdie). :

Here is a video of highlights of the second flight in which Unity's motor was fired. (Previous to the powered tests, Unity did a series of drop glide flights that tested various systems.) The vehicle with two pilots reached 34.9 km (114,500 feet) and a speed of Mach 1.9 before gliding back to the Mojave Air and Space Port for a safe landing.


And here Branson talks about the significance of the test and about preparation for riding himself on one of the early flights to space:


Branson talks of Unity reaching space (reportedly the company uses 80 km as the borderline to space rather than the more common 100 km) by the end of 2018. Commercial rides would begin in 2019. Virgin has over 700 customers who have put down deposits on the $250,000 price for tickets to ride on Unity. Two other SpaceShipTwo vehicles are under construction to provide for weekly flights from Spaceport America in New Mexico.


Follow the latest developments in this NewSpace era with a subscription to NewSpace Watch.

Satellite Tracking at HobbySpace
Satellite tracks
Satellite track display

3-D viewing option
Run the Satellite Tracking Tool from BINARY SPACE right here at HobbySpace in your browser. (Windows 10 users must instead get the SpaceTracker app here.) The program allows you to track a large set of satellites in both low earth and geostationary orbits. (Note: the program requires Microsoft Silverlight, Version 5 or higher, as well as the latest version of your browser. Currently the program works on the Microsoft® Windows® platform only.) The Satellite Observing section provides additional information and web resources about the hobby of satellite tracking and watching.
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Sun & Space Weather Data
Sun and Space Weather
Real time images, charts and data displays

Aurora, Meteors & Fireballs Data
Aurora, Meteors & Fireballs
Real time images, charts and data displays

See the archive of previous HobbySpace homepage Spotlight items ...

HobbySpace has been providing thousands of space links, news and information daily since

January 1999.

image map example QuickShot Trajectory Optimization Software SpaceWorks
MRO Supply
Optics & Lab
The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey
NewSpace Watch at NSG


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