pm: Learn how to build a SpaceShipOne ...
Here's a chance to participate in building a copy of the SS1: Incredible
Opportunity!! Students and Young Professionals Wanted for the Chance
of a Lifetime - Space Race News! - Dec.30.04
am: Being there...
I'll soon be making regular trips to the National
Air & Space Museum with our nieces and nephews (and later
their kids) so that I can point to a strange and beautiful little
spaceship hanging up there in the center
gallery and can tell them, "I was there when it flew to
space for the last time": SpaceShipOne's
final trip - MSNBC - Dec.28.04
pm: News briefs...
More about Branson and rockets: Rocket
Man: Richard Branson conquered the world. Now he wants to fly you
to space. - Wired - Jan.05 issue
am: SS2 news and some speculation... The
BBC reports on more details revealed about the SpaceShipTwo design:
soars towards new frontier - BBC - Dec.27.04.
the SS2 will carry up to 8 passengers plus a pilot. In addition:
- It will have
"the same diameter crew cabin as a Gulfstream V business
jet" (1.9m by 2.2m).
- They are
"aiming for a top altitude of between 84 and 87 miles (135-140
km)" to provide additional time to experience weightlessness
of shoulder harnesses and tight seatbelts we want this roller
coaster-type bar that you fold out of the way and you can float
around,' Rutan said."
- There will
be the "option of landing in a different place from where
they took off." For example, they could "launch not
far from Las Vegas and land in Mojave"
pm: News briefs... More
about the space bill history from Alan Boyle: Private-spaceflight
bill signed into law: After long struggle, law opens way for tourism
- MSNBC - Dec.24.04. (Via Space
recognizes Mike Melvill and the SS1 project: Audience
Journeys into Space with Mike Melvill at EAA Wright Dinner - EAA
News - Dec.18.04 * Mike
Melvill Tours EAA - EAA Headquarters - Dec.17.04 (links via
pm: News briefs ...
Maybe in a decade or so we will see a bump in the number of majors
in aerospace engineering as students inspired as kids by SpaceShipOne
reach college age: Rediscovering
the final frontier: A new exhibit at Tampa's Museum of Science and
Industry lets visitors explore space without leaving the ground.
- St. Petersburg Times - Dec.23.04
pm: News briefs ... Burt
Rutan is awarded Entrepreneur
of the Year - Inc.com - Jan.05. The article provides an extensive
profile of Burt.
am: SpaceShipOne and Two news...
In this interview - SpaceShipOne
designer talks about flight’s future - thedesertsun.com - Dec.20.04
(reprint at Space
Race News) - Burt Rutan says:
- SS1 will
not fly again. Paul Allen doesn't want to risk damaging it. Instead
it is headed for the main gallery area in the Air & Space
Museum in DC.
- SS2 will
carry 9 people. Previous statements had indicated 5.
- " It
would also fly higher, and further down range. So this is going
to be a craft that could do sustainable business for a long time,
flying thousands of people."
am: News briefs...
The SS1 continues to impress the press around the country: For
aviation pioneer, high risk is routine: Mike Melvill flew SpaceShipOne
into outer space - Post-Crescent (Wisconsin) - Dec.18.04 (via
pm: Some space transport news
comes in this article from the Economist about space tourism: One
small step for space tourism... - Economist - Dec.16.04.
- As announced
Galactic plans to spend up to $100m and so far has committed
$20M for licensing of the SS1 technology.
- A mock-up
of the interior is under construction.
- A construction
contract for the 5-passenger SS2 will be signed in early 2005
work will then begin
- Star Trek
names will be assigned to the vehicles - VSS Enterprise and VSS
Voyager for the first two.
- There will
be a new mother ship instead of the White Knight
- Testing of
the first vehicle will occur "some time during 2007"
- The $200K
for the ticket will buy a 3-day experience that includes "medical
checks" and a custom molded flat foam seat so that riders
"will barely notice a G-force that might cause them to pass
out if they were sitting upright".
will remain tethered to their seats by "rubber bungees that
allow them to float about a bit, but will reel them in for descent
after four or five minutes of weightlessness".
- About 13K
people have registered to pay a deposit. Virgin needs 5K customers
over 5 years to make a profit.
do not intend to fly unless they can make their spacecraft as
safe as a private jet."
There are also
some rumors about Blue
- The Blue
Origin vehicle will fly 7 passengers
- It will be
a single-stage, liquid-fueled, Vertical-Takeoff-Vertical-Landing
BTW: I heard
that a couple of Blue Origin reps came to the recent COMSTAC
meeting held by the AST. However, they were apparently there just
to listen and did not give a presentation.
am: News briefs...
The idea of selling space memorabilia that has actually flown
in space gets a boost from this auction: "SpaceShip-flown
rocket to be auctioned" - collectSPACE - Dec.13.04. The
for example, has been offering fledgling suborbital companies money
to fly collectibles to 100Km ...
More comments from Mike Melvill on his flights: Space
travel ideas soar with civilian astronaut - Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
- Dec.13.04 (via spacetoday.net.)
pm: Space bill briefs...
This week's Space Review includes an article by Sam Dinkin on the
space bill: Getting
into the act - The Space Review - Dec.13.04. (See also Nathan
Horsley's earlier analysis
of the bill.)...
Robert Zimmerman returns for a special program on the Space
Show this Thursday at 7:30PM - 8:30 pm (PST) to "examine
the pending Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act of 2004 legislation
waiting for the President's signature."
pm: No halting the SS1...
I've been informed that the official UPI version of Robert Zimmerman's
article on the space bill no longer includes the paragraph that
says if the bill had been in effect at the time, the spinning on
the first SS1 X PRIZE flight "would have forced AST to halt
the second flight".
in that paragraph was due to the editor's "editing, not Bob's
reporting or analysis." [Dec.15: See update.]
pm: Space in your Christmas list...
During your holiday shopping this year be sure to drop in at the
gift shops sponsored by various companies and organizations involved
in commercial space transport development.
highlighted in this article - SpaceShipOne
souvenirs hot items for charities - Antelope Valley Press - Dec.8.0,
offers lots of SS1 memorabilia. Other shops include:
(Sorry if I
left your space transport company's shop off the list. Glad to add
it if you let me know.)
am: News briefs... An
essay in today's Wall Street Journal talks about the regulatory
hurdles faced by the nascent commercial space tourist business and
argues that Congress has not helped the situation by blocking the
commercial space bill: The
'Final Frontier' May Be a Senate Waste Basket By Holman W. Jenkins
- WSJ.com - Dec.8.04. (This is a subscription link. I'll check
later to see if they they move it to the free Opinion
Journal section.) Rand Simberg discusses
The article - Last
rocketeers set sights on Mars - USATODAY.com - Dec.8.04 - reports
on the remaining members of von Braun's rocket team in Huntsville
and makes the point that today's rocket entrepreneurs are taking
over where they left off. ...
They may have to put in extra seats for the first commercial SS2
flight as demand continues to rise: Car
chief plans to be first Irishman in space - Belfast Telegraph -
Dec.6.04 (via spacetoday.net
am: News briefs...
Alan Boyle talks about the status of the suborbital space tourism
the Sky: Marketing efforts take aim at the suborbital frontier -
CosmicLog/MSNBC - Dec.7.04...
More Kudos for the SS1 team: Knight,
new craft receive awards: State authority honors late senator, SpaceShipOne
- L.A. Daily News - Dec.6.04...
Based on this song,
I doubt Vim
will be getting a NASA
arts grant anytime soon. (Via Space
am: Rocket auction... One
of the rocket sculptures that flew on the SS1 X PRIZE flight is
on sale at ebay: eBay
item 3945035703 (Ends Dec-13-04 05:00:00 PST) - RETRO BRONZE MINI
ROCKET by Erik Lindbergh.
were designed and created by Erik Lindbergh, who is the grandson
of Charles Lindberg and is a Vice President and Trustee of the X
Prize Foundation. The proceeds from the auction will "benefit
A. and Anne Morrow Lindbergh Foundation, a public 501(c)(3)
non-profit organization dedicated to the mission of improving the
quality of life through balance between technology and the environment."
bid is $13,600.00.
pm: News briefs... Scaled
has recently updated its galleries of photos for X
PRIZE Flight #1and X
PRIZE Flight #2
tips for engineers: Space
pioneer Rutan offers down-to-earth engineering advice - EDN - Dec.1.04
am: News briefs...
Another innovative Scaled Composites vehicle will soon set off on
a record breaking flight: Around
the World, With 13 Fuel Tanks and a Single Seat - NY Times - Nov.30.04.
am: News briefs...
across another SS1 photo album: Pictures
of SpaceShipOne's space flights - June/September/October 2004 -
am: News briefs... I've been in Knoxville and saw this
article Sunday about a local company that built the audio system
for the SS1: Sound
Venture - Knoxville New Sentinel - Nov.28.04
am: News briefs... Alan Boyle notes a transition to a
new phase in commercial spaceflight development: Second
stage for the space race - Cosmic Log/MSNBC - Nov.22.40
am: News briefs... The SS1 gets some well deserved recognition:
named Time's 'Invention of the Year' - AP/Monterey Herald - Nov.21.04
The B-52 that carried the X-15 and the X-43A and a lot of other
experimental aircraft in between is finally heading off for retirement:
test plane flies final mission - The Washington Times - Nov.21.04
More about prize motivation: Grand
Prizes: Substantial cash awards have inspired inventors and advanced
technology throughout history - SanDiego Union-Tribune - Nov.21.04.
Burt Rutan communicates his vision of the future of spaceflight
to UCLA students: Space
cowboy envisions new frontier: Maverick aviator seeks to launch
travel, tourism into Earth orbit - Chicago Tribune - Nov.20.04...
Sigourney Weaver thinks a suborbital spaceflight ticket is worth
the price: Is
she pining for Alien? - The Sun Newspaper Online - Nov.19.04.
spaceflight safety... Rand Simberg responds to the Tabarrok
Unsafe At Any Speed - TCS: Tech Central Station - Nov.19.04.
Here also are
two discussions on Rand's blog: Not
Unsafe At Any Speed - Transterrestrial Musings - Nov. 18.04
At Any Speed? - Transterrestrial Musings - Nov.18.04
briefs... More on Mike Melvill's visit to Florida: Famed
pilot still looking up: America's first commercial astronaut visits
Brevard - Florida Today - Nov.17.0
wrong... If statistics were a child, Alexander Tabarrok
would be arrested for abuse: Is
Space Tourism Ready for Takeoff? Probably Not - TCS: Tech Central
Station - Nov.18.04.
can comment more knowledgeably on his analysis than I can but here
are some points to consider:
- He relies
on a lump of technology fallacy in which rocket vehicles
of all manner of designs and configurations and that were developed
and launched over many decades are all lumped together. From this
lump he draws conclusions on a new suborbital vehicle that uses
a design and a propulsion system quite different from what those
vehicles used. (Not that I believe conventional liquid fueled
engines are incapable of achieving high safety levels.)
- How can expendable
orbital rockets be compared to a reusable suborbital vehicles?
- How can the
massive, hyper-complex, hyper-fragile, first-of-a-kind shuttle
be compared to a small, Mach 3 suborbital?
- He cites
problems that occurred during the initial test flights of the
SS1 and implies that these prove the SS1's unreliability. This
is misleading in two ways:
problems is what a test phase is supposed to do. You gradually
push the envelope, find problems and fix them. That is HOW
you make a vehicle reliable. That is HOW you build in the
margins that lead to high reliability and safety.
the problems like the spin on the first X PRIZE flight, the
SS1 survived without any damage to the vehicle or pilot. This
would indicate that even at this early stage, the vehicle
has substantial margins and is remarkably robust considering
that it is a whole new type of vehicle.
- Burt Rutan
believes the SS2 can achieve the safety levels of the first generation
of airliners. He wants to follow a certification process similar
to what airplanes must follow. This will certainly mean a significant
number of test flights before paying passengers start flying.
From a large sample of flights, one can then make a reasonable
estimate of reliability.
the first space tourism vehicles to current airliner safety is
silly. Achieving current safety levels took many decades and many
accidents to learn from.
- There's nothing
in his analysis that proves that there are fundamental reasons
the first generation of space tourism vehicles cannot provide
as good or better safety as that found with other common adventure
tourism activities such as parachuting, scuba diving, mountain
climbing, etc. These are carried out by many thousands of people
daily despite the occasional fatal accident.
are some stats
on mountain climbing risks provided by David Nishimura. Link via
briefs... Comments from Jeff Foust about the fate of
the commercial spaceflight bill: RIP
HR 3752. Or not? - Space Politics - Nov.17.04...
Melvill flies the Proteus
in Florda: Pioneer
commercial astronaut makes stop in Melbourne - Florida Today - Nov.17.04.
your 2005 SpaceShipOne calendar now available at Rocketboosters.org:
Licensed SpaceShipOne Mechandise - 2005 12 month Calendar.
SS1 and tests of a new radar system: Space
Ship One may help flight test - Hilltop Times - Nov.11.04 ...
2004: Burt Rutan, American Mojave Aerospace Ventures Team Leader,
accepts $10 million ANSARI X PRIZE check. From left to right -
Burt Rutan, American Mojave Aerospace Ventures Team Leader; Gregg
Maryniak, Executive Director, X PRIZE Foundation; Paul G. Allen,
Founder & Chair, Vulcan Inc.; Robert K. Weiss, Vice Chairman,
X PRIZE Foundation; Peter H. Diamandis, Founder & Chair, X PRIZE
Foundation. (Photo - X
briefs... This report - Winging
It: Black Sky - Astrobiology Magazine - Nov.8.04 - on comments
made by Burt Rutan while in Alabama includes this interesting factoid:
"I bought the engines for $65,000 each."
and the SS1 on 60 Minutes... The segment was really
terrific. They concentrated on Burt Rutan but with a strong emphasis
on the SS1 flights and the development of a private spaceflight
industry. See pictures and text at Next
Space Race Under Way - CBS News - Nov.7.04
60 Minutes is
one of the most watched programs on US TV. While many people saw
snippets of the flights on the daily news shows, this broadcast
will give a much bigger audience the story of what the flights were
really all about. Can't imagine the alt.space movement getting a
better publicity boost.
briefs... More on the X PRIZE awards ceremony: Winners
of X Prize get their reward - St. Louis Post Dispatch - Nov.7.04...
Bahamas is an elaborate resort and real estate development with
a space/scifi theme. It probably will never get off the ground but
such a resort would be a great place to base a ZERO
G type parabolic flight service and eventually a space tourism
company like Virgin
news... The SS1 team got their trophy and check yesterday:
Here is the
official press release:
PRIZE Foundation Awards $10 Million Check Today
to Historic Winners of the ANSARI X PRIZE
$10 million check given to American Mojave Aerospace Ventures
Team at the St. Louis Science Center for their successful suborbital
space flights Sept. 29 and Oct. 4
MO. (November 6, 2004) - Ten million dollars was awarded at 10:30
a.m. (CT) today to the American Mojave Aerospace Team, led by
research aircraft developer Burt Rutan, and financier Paul Allen,
for its successful completion of the history making ANSARI X PRIZE.
The team prevailed over 25 additional teams from across the globe
in developing and flying a privately financed, manned spaceship
to an altitude above 100km. The criteria called for the spacecraft
to fly twice, within a two-week period, before the December 31
deadline, with a pilot and the weight equivalent of two additional
people. Ceremonies were held at the St. Louis Science Center,
a major supporter of the Foundation and St. Louis University High
School in St. Louis, Missouri.
“We are very excited to be able to celebrate this extraordinary
accomplishment here in St. Louis, the birth place of Charles Lindbergh's
flight and home of the X PRIZE Foundation,” said Gregg Maryniak,
Executive Director, X PRIZE Foundation. “The ANSARI X PRIZE was
the first step for people to realize their dream of space travel
and has since sparked a number of new creative endeavors including
the upcoming X PRIZE CUP in New Mexico.”
After the team's second successful sub orbital space flight October
4, Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Atlantic Airways Founder, announced
his plans to partner with the American Mojave Aerospace Ventures
Team to develop a fleet of five passenger space ships modeled
from Burt Rutan's White Knight & SpaceShipOne vehicles.
“There is no question that the ANSARI X PRIZE was instrumental
in helping to inspire a new space renaissance,” said Burt Rutan,
American Mojave Aerospace Ventures Team Leader. “The entire team
anticipates an exciting decade ahead, which will provide space
access for those for whom it was previously only a dream.”
In addition to receiving a $10 million check, the American Mojave
Aerospace Ventures Team also was awarded an impressive five-foot,
200 lb bronze trophy created by sculptor, James Todd of Troy,
Michigan. Francis G. Slay, Mayor, City of St. Louis, proclaimed
Nov. 6, 2004 “Space Flight Day” and designated the first week
in October as “Aviation History Week” to commemorate the second
flight of SpaceShipOne on October 4, 2004. With blue skies overhead,
the presentation ceremony was concluded as pilot and astronaut
Mike Melvill and pilot Robert Scherer flew overhead in the Beechcraft
Starship, one of the chase planes that accompanied SpaceShipOne
on its flights.
Dignitaries attending the event included Paul G. Allen, Founder
and Chair, Vulcan Inc.; Congressman Richard Gephardt, (D) Missouri;
Congressman Todd Akin, (R) Missouri; Francis G. Slay, Mayor of
St. Louis; William Readdy, NASA Associate Administrator, Space
Operations Mission Directorate; Byron Lichtenberg, PhD, X PRIZE
Board of Trustees and astronaut; John-David Bartoe, astronaut;
Richard Fleming, President and CEO, St. Louis Regional Chamber
and Growth Association; Erik Lindbergh, Director, Lindbergh Foundation;
Amir Ansari, Technology Entrepreneur; Dr. Peter H. Diamandis,
Founder and Chair, X PRIZE Foundation; Robert K. Weiss, Vice Chairman,
X PRIZE Foundation and Hollywood Producer, and Douglas R. King,
President, St. Louis Science Center. Additional attendees of the
ceremonies included many of the 26 competitors including: ARCA,
Da Vinci/Golden Palace, Pablo de Leon & Associates, Pioneer Rocketplane,
TGV Rockets, Inc., Vanguard Spacecraft, High Altitude Research
Corporation (HARC), and Suborbital Corporation.
DVDs with the Black Sky programs about the SpaceShipOne and
the X PRIZE, and shown recently on the Discovery Channel, are now
shipping from the Discovery Store. (Just got word that my set is
in the mail.) ...
Meanwhile, don't forget the 60 Minutes show tonight with a segment
about Burt Rutan.
Minutes profiles Burt Rutan on November 7th:
NEXT SPACE RACE - The private sector's race to space is being
led by maverick aeronautical engineer Burt Rutan, who foresees
thousands of people enjoying the view from space in the very near
future. Ed Bradley reports.
(Via a HS
articles in the November
issue of Sports Aviation include this interesting behind the
scenes report by EAA President Tom Poberezny who visited Scaled
Composites the day before the Sept.29th launch: “SpaceShipOne
— Cleared to Land” by Tom Poberezny - EAA Sports Aviation - Nov.04
Though not available
online, the issue also includes the article: Inside SpaceShipOne:
Innovation-and a few dicey moments-highlight the first private space
program - Sport Aviation Magazine - Nov.04. (Item via HS
reader D. Hoerr.)
briefs ... The latest X PRIZE newsletter is now available:
NEWSLETTER : November 2, 2004...
More space tourism press: The
future of space tourism is looking up - Chicago Tribune - Nov.1.04...
Eli Kintisch reports on the upcoming X PRIZE awards
X Prize will be awarded Saturday in ceremony - St. Louis Post Dispatch
orbital spinoff... AvWeek reports that the SpaceShipOne
is having a positive impact on the RASCAL
Lessons Feeding Into RASCAL Aircraft - Aviation Week - Nov.1.04
and technology from Scaled Composites' SpaceShipOne are being
applied to the supersonic manned aircraft the company is developing
for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's (DARPA) RASCAL
program, according to Jacob Lopata, chief executive officer for
RASCAL prime contractor Space Launch Corp."
How can this
be? Numerous talking aero-heads have made categorical claims that
nothing significant can be learned from X PRIZE class suborbital
vehicles that will apply to orbital systems. But as we see here
(and also mentioned in this report),
if nothing else, suborbital vehicle technology can be applied to
the development of a robust, reliable, low cost first stage of a
two or three stage orbital system.
briefs... Burt Rutan is helping to inspire a new generation
of students on the excitement of space: Spaceship
designer boosts innovation: Speaker hopes to spark kids' interest
in space exploration - The Daily Texan - Nov.1.04.
adventure preparation ... In response to the progress
in the development of a space tourism industry, ETC
Space, a "world leader in aeromedical training for more
than 35 years", is starting a program that will offer similar
training to space adventurers: ETC's
EnTCo Announces Space Adventure Entertainment Product Line - ETC
Space - Oct.29.04.
will be able to experience "re-entry G exposure, the effects
of reduced atmospheric pressure, escape from a malfunctioning space
vehicle, weightlessness, and reentry vehicle recovery." I imagine
the "Ejection Seat Simulator (ESS)" would be especially
educational. (Via Space
Still difficult after the SS1 success for other companies to obtain
money for suborbital spaceflight projects: Space
Race Focuses on Money - Wired - Oct.29.04....
Regulatory problems also stand in the way: A
lot of ground to be covered before space tourism can fly - USATODAY.com
PRIZE award ceremony is open to the public:
X PRIZE to be awarded Nov. 6 to SpaceShipOne Team
St. Louis Science Center site for award ceremony and rally
MO. Oct. 29, 2004) The $10 million ANSARI X PRIZE will be awarded
to Scaled Composites, LLC, creators of SpaceShipOne, during a
special ceremony and public rally Sat., Nov. 6, 2004, 10-11:30
am, at St. Louis University High School's athletic field next
to the St. Louis Science Center, 5050 Oakland Ave., St. Louis,
MO. Burt Rutan, Scaled Composite's team leader, will accept the
check from Peter Diamandis, MD, chairman of the X PRIZE Foundation.
Visitors should begin arriving at 9:30 am for a rally to greet
the Scaled Composites' team. The entire team, from engineers and
builders to the pilots, will attend. Check presentation ceremony
is 10:30 am followed by a full day of activities at the Science
Center. From approximately 11 am-3:30 pm visitors can meet the
Scaled Composites team, including Burt Rutan and pilots Brian
Binnie and Mike Melvill, get their autographs, and take photos.
In addition to meeting the team members at the Science Center,
visitors can participate in numerous hands-on activities related
to space flight, sign a giant congratulations banner for the Scaled
Composites team, see demonstrations of rocket launches, and take
your photo alongside an image of SpaceShipOne.
Paul Allen, chairman of Charter Communications and co-founder
of Microsoft, will attend the ceremonies along with Sir Richard
Branson, founder of the Virgin Group. Allen partnered with Rutan
to form Mojave Aerospace Ventures to fund the Scaled Composites
team. Branson's Virgin Galactic will sell sub-orbital space rides
for about $200,000 per person utilizing SpaceShipOne's technology.
Branson has pledged to reinvest any profits from Virgin Galactic
into developing other space tourism business.
In order to win the $10 million ANSARI X PRIZE, SpaceShipOne successfully
completed two manned flights, to a minimum of 100km (62.5 miles),
into space within a 14 day time period. SpaceShipOne completed
the first flight Wed., Sept. 29, and the second flight Mon., Oct.
4 to capture the prize.
The ANSARI X PRIZE was founded by the New Spirit of St. Louis
members who created the prize to further commercial space endeavors.
The Ansari family is the title sponsor of the prize. Sponsors
of the weekend ceremonies include: St. Louis Science Center, X
PRIZE Foundation, Champ Car World Series, 7-Up, M&Ms Chocolate
Candies, Enterprise Financial Services Corporation, and Regional
Chamber and Growth Association (RCGA). Media partners are St.
Louis Post-Dispatch and St. Louis Commerce Magazine.
A man on a 5 year mission... Burt Rutan plans to stop
working on aircraft and concentrate on spaceships: Space
Race 2: Flying High Beyond The Sky - UPI/SpaceDaily - Oct.27.04.
He says the space tourism vehicle for Virgin Galactic will differ
considerably from the SS1:
of the Branson venture, called Virgin Galactic, will be five ships,
each capable of flying at least five and more likely around eight
people at one time. SpaceShipTwo will not look anything like its
For one thing,
Rutan must fix a stability problem caused by SpaceShipOne's high
upswept wings. For another, Rutan and Branson plan a ship of luxury,
with service and amenities that at least match Virgin Atlantic's
upper-class travel service. And that, as any airline flier knows,
starts with leg room.
SpaceShipTwo will have about the same diameter crew cabin as a
Gulfstream V business jet, which measures slightly more than 6
feet in height and 7 feet in width (1.9 meters by 2.2 meters.)
Seats will fully recline so that even elderly passengers - Rutan
plans to fly his 88-year-old father - will be able to handle the
expected force of six times Earth's gravity upon descent.
are higher than what SpaceShipOne's pilot experienced, but that
is because Rutan is aiming for a top altitude of between 84 miles
and 87 miles (135 kilometers and 140 kilometers), rather than
the 62-mile, (100 kilometer) target required to win the Ansari
X Prize competition.
altitude will add about another 90 seconds of weightlessness for
passengers to enjoy. Travelers will be able to do more than watch
how candy flies around in space - they can fly themselves.
briefs ... Alan Boyle discusses the composition of the
exhaust of the SpaceShipOne hybrid engine and its possible environmental
do private spaceflights affect environment?: The greening of rocketry
- MSNBC/Cosmic Log - Oct.26.04....
von Braun's serious rocketry work actually began outside of
government and industry with his involvement in the amateur German
Verein fur Raumschifffahrt (Rocket Society). Though he came to symbolize
giant military and government rocket projects, I think he would
be extremely pleased to see the development of low budget, low cost
private spaceflight via the X PRIZE and the SS1: Burt
Rutan takes a V2-powered wander down memory lane - The Register
and its long term goals: Branson
aiming to build hotel in space - Scotsman - Oct.26.04 ...
briefs ... Even if you can't afford the tickets to the
PRIZE Award Gala, you can still see the ceremony where they
will give the $10M check and the trophy to the SpaceShipOne team:
Prize party for the public - Alan Boyle/Cosmic Log - Oct.25.04
months ahead three months into the schedule"... Burt
Rutan gave a lengthy informal talk at the recent Space Frontier
Foundation conference in which he spoke extensively about the SpaceShipOne
project as well as other topics such as his plans for new vehicles.
Jeff Foust recorded the talk and has now posted text excerpts of
the presentation: Burt
Rutan, in his own words - The Space Review - Oct.25.04.
On the importance
of starting with suborbital spaceflight:
that if there was going to be space tourism so that we can all
fly that we have to make these vehicles extremely robust and safe
compared to any other manned spacecraft. Now certainly that enormous
step towards making them safe is to not go to orbit first but
to fly the Alan Shepard and Joe Walker flights. With suborbital
you get about the same view and you get the experience of weightlessness.
I tried to convince myself that this was good enough as a first
Where he wants
to end up:
out there that before I die I want to see affordable travel to
the Moon, that’s essentially where I’m going. What I mean by affordable
is not what Houston talks about affordable; I’m talking about
where a third of the people in this room can afford to go to the
Moon when I finally kick off. That’s my vision."
He also explains
why he thinks a vehicle certification process is crucial for commercial
suborbital space tourism and says it won't be as expensive as many
fear it will be....
Vanna Bonta writes about the "most precious payload" carried
by SpaceShipOne: Space:
what love's got to do with it - The Space Review - Oct.25.04
More about Rutan's visit to Huntsville: Rutan
meets his rocket heroes - BBC - Oct.25.04.
Scaled has posted some pictures
from the first X PRIZE flight.
briefs... More about the strong early signs that space
tourism is a real business: Branson's
space gamble pays off - The Guardian - Oct.22.04 ...
British reporter locates someone in Mojave who isn't impressed with
all this space stuff: Branson
plays space invaders in California desert - Independent - Oct.23.04...
Burt Rutan ventures into a NASA town to spread the word of a new
way to do space: X-Prize
winner says NASA needs another von Braun: Burt Rutan speaks at Space
Center, to talk at Moontown - Huntsville Times - Oct.23.04
(Links via spacetoday.net).
you bought your X PRIZE dinner ticket yet? Invitation
to attend $10M Ansari X PRIZE Award GALA November 6th, 2004 - X
PRIZE Space Race News! - Oct.21.04
Galactic omens... Encouraging
signs of strong enthusiasm for Virgin
Galactic 's suborbital space tourism flights:
more than $1.45 billion (£800 million) has been pledged -- years
before the Virgin Galactic spaceship is even built, Branson said."
how many of these 7000 astronaut hopefuls will really put down their
cash when rides are avalable but if only a thousand do that would
still provide a healthy ~$100M profit on a ~$100M investment.
(Links via spacetoday.net).
briefs ... Lompoc,
California, home to Vandenberg Air Force Base, wants some of the
suborbital space tourism action: The
stuff of big dreams - The Lompoc Record - Oct.20.04.
briefs... More SS1 articles:
Plus another space tourism article: Final
frontier: Space tourism - Boston Globe - Oct.18.04. This author
definitely understands the plan:
road from here to fully reusable orbital rockets, though, can
be accomplished entirely in the tried-and-true aviation tradition
of build a little, test a little, learning new lessons along the
way and applying them to the next test vehicle."
Space Show this evening will once again feature Jim Benson of
"will be discussing new projects and the SpaceDev participation
in the X-Prize flights with SpaceShipOne."
briefs ... Scaled
has updated the SpaceShipOne
/ White Knight flight log with entries for the September 29th
and October 4th X PRIZE flights. (Via a HS
have done quite well for local Mojave charities: Rocket
Boosters to share success - Antelope Valley Press/Space Race News
The latest issue of Aviation
Week includes the interesting article: Pilots Reflect on
SpaceShipOne Development. Unfortunately it's only available
by paid subscription so far. Some of the highlights include:
- Neither SpaceDev
nor eAc produced
motors with the thrust profiles that Scaled wanted for the SS1.
Scaled wanted a
ramp-up to give the pilot time to pull the nose to a vertical
ascent before full thrust started, so that impulse was not
wasted in the horizontal direction ...."
[Then] maximum thrust to get acceleration done quickly while
still in the atmosphere so aerodynamic controls would be effective
to counter thrust asymmetries."
finally] a tailoff of thrust that matched the craft slipping
out of the atmosphere, to get the last bit of impulse with
thrust low enough to be countered by declining aerodynamics.
With the ideal profile, this tailoff would start at 140,000
ft. at 80 kt. equivalent airspeed (KEAS)."
- A chart shows
big discrepancies between the profiles of the two motors from
the companies and this ideal profile SpaceDev won the contract
mostly because the eAc motor required a longer burn time to reach
the desired altitude.
in the in the first 10-15 sec after ignition is particularly difficult
and in general the Work
load on the pilots was very high. E.g. Mike Melvill said:
- "On my
first powered flight there wasn't enough mental bandwidth...I
didn't hear or feel anything, I just focused on the display.
By the third time I noticed a lot more. The rocket made a
weird howling noise at high altitude; I didn't notice that
on the first flight."
- The simulator
was less than perfect, e.g.
to remember that the sim doesn't fly exactly like the real
aircraft,' [Pete] Siebold says. 'It's harder when the sim
teaches you techniques that just don't work in the aircraft.'"
- During the
pilots wanted stability augmentation, but Rutan wanted simple,
reliable manual cable controls. SpaceShipOne has achieved
its goal of being the first private spaceship ... but only
through a high level of pilot skill, courage, and training."
- Virgin Galactic
wants the SS2 to be "very straightforward to handle"
and "the Scaled pilots are sure that means the next craft
will have stability augmentation."
real space business... This
article looks at the prospects for Richard Branson's space tourism
Galactic's Space Odyssey: Richard Branson's plans for suborbital
tourism may sound pie-in-the-sky, but he has details all worked
out - Business Week - OCt.15.04
I think it's
starting to sink in that suborbital space tourism is not like the
"factories in low earth orbit" type of hand-waving of
- There is
now an actual working prototype vehicle that proves the concept.
- There are
high-quality market studies showing a sufficient number of customers
to support a business plan based on such a vehicle.
- One company
has taken deposits for suborbtial space flights already from several
dozen people and another company (Virgin
Galactic) has had people trying to make reservations even
before the company is ready to take them.
no proof that it will be a multi-billion dollar business very soon.
However, suborbital space tourism looks like it can produce profits
in the multi-tens of millions and possibly multi-hundreds of millions
Of course, nothing
is guaranteed. Regulatory and liability roadblocks could delay flights
for many years. A serious recession could greatly diminish the market.
it sure seems to me that big progress is being made. Within just
a few years we have seen proposals of human spaceflight businesses
go from wild fantasies to a real market in which serious money is
being invested by hard-nosed business people who believe a decent
return can be made on that investment.
Rutan and his SS1 team get to appreciate a fine automobile: From
Elsie to Elise: Spaceshipone designer Burt Rutan takes the latest
Lotus out for a spin - AutoWeek - Sept.27.04 (via Cosmic
Frontier meeting last weekend, the SS1 project and the X PRIZE
received honarary awards: X-Prize,
SpaceShipOne Receive Awards – Pair "Blew the Hinges Off the Door
to the Frontier" - SFF - Oct. 14.04...
After accepting the award, Burt Rutan proceeded to give an informal
talk at the banquet that lasted for more than an hour and half.
He spoke about the SS1 project and also on other topics such as
how he got interested in spaceflight originally. (One attendee told
me that this talk alone was worth the cross-country trip to Long
Beach.) Jeff Foust will be reporting on it in one of his upcoming
Space Review issues.
briefs... Leonard David spoke with Burt Rutan the day
after the final SS1 X PRIZE flight: Burt
Rutan: Building 'Tomorrowland' One Launch at a Time - interview
with Leonard David - Space.com - Oct.14...
More about Burt Rutan here: Focus
on SpaceShipOne's creator - AFP/iafrica.com - Oct.14.04 (via
HS visibility... It's always great to get a plug
in Alan Boyle's weblog and to see HS on
his link list. Another morale boost came with the latest issue of
Space News. Brian Berger has an article about Gary Hudson, whose
Air Launch and
startups won $14M in government funding this year. He includes a
quote from the interview
I did with Gary last year in which Gary said "someone needs
to spank NASA..." Berger refers to HobbySpace.com as "an
online publication that caters to the entrepreneurial crowd".
hear it has become a crowd.
enthusiasm ... The Virgin
Galactic web site has gotten 7.5 million visitors since it opened
a couple of weeks ago. About 185 people came in person to the office
seeking more information and asking about making reservations: Space
adventurers race to get aboard Virgin ship - CNET News.com - Oct.12.04.
The Scaled Composites web site had posted special pages dedicated
to the first
X PRIZE flights...
This multimedia viewer - AOL
Research and Learn : Ansari X Prize - presents the X PRIZE flight
at different angles.
The latest edition of the Space
Review includes the following articles of interest:
of the second SS1 X PRIZE flight has been posted on the Tier One
site. (Via a HS reader.)
in the first X PRIZE flight is explained in more detail by an article
in the latest Aviation Week: SpaceShipOne
Wins Ansari X Prize - Aviation Week - Oct.10.04. (A photo of
the earth taken by Brian Binnie near apogee is on the cover.)
A slightly negative angle of attack (AOA) at high Mach reduced the
directional stability and the SS1 yawed about 8 deg. Then a "strong
dihedral effect coupled the yaw into roll, and the nose pitched
up about 15 deg. as well, starting a snap roll motion that was uncomfortable
That soon settled
into a pure roll at about 180deg./sec. Before aerodynamic controls
became useless due to the thinning atmosphere, Melvill was able
to reduce the roll to about 140deg./sec using left rudder and rudder
After the engine
was shut down and the feather deployed, he was able to use the cold-gas
reaction control system to eliminate the roll completely. Rutan
was glad to see this tested but noted that it used up most of the
gas and said "we don't need to try that again."
For the second
flight, a positive AOA was maintained. However, you don't want too
much else the craft goes on its back. So a less aggressive pullup
was done. These measures successfuly prevented the roll problem.
One other interesting
item in the article. With the licensing money from Virgin
Galactic plus the X PRIZE purse, the return will nearly match
Paul Allen's total investment in the SS1 project. (At the post-flight
news conference, however, there was mentioned the possibility that
at least some of the purse will be split into bonuses for the Scale
Composites team members.)
has also posted several of its reports on the X PRIZE, SpaceShipOne
and commercial space development. This includes an interesting hour
long show from the latest Science Friday in which "The Future
of Private Space Travel" was discussed. Guests included Rick
Tumlinson and Bob Haltermann (former executive director, Space Travel
and Tourism Division at the Space
articles on commercial spaceflight developments (via spacetoday.net):
briefs ... Alan
Boyle profiles Interorbital
Systems as an example of an ex-X PRIZE team dealing with the
end of the race: Space
racers set sights on orbital frontier: After X Prize, some rivals
seek more lucrative payoff by Alan Boyle - MSNBC - Oct.8.04
National Geographic provides a list of fun factoids about the SS1
Burns Rubber, Laughing Gas - More Fun Facts - National Geographic
Here's more about the radar tracking system used by the Air Force
to follow the SS1: Edwards
system monitors SpaceShipOne during flights - Air Force Link - Oct.8.04
Jeff Foust has posted a special issue of the
in response to the success of the SS1 flight:
tourism notes... Here is the kind of customer the alternative
space companies need more of: San
Diego flight fans hope to find the right stuff in zero-gravity ride
- SignOnSanDiego.com - Oct.8.04.
Like many Americans
who are considered middle class, if his house is included then his
net worth most likely reaches to a few hundred thousand dollars.
So while the initial $200k price for a flight on the SS2 would be
outside his reach, if the price came down to the $50K range, a flight
enthusiast like him would jump at the chance for the experience
of a lifetime. And it wouldn't threaten his economic situation any
more than if he bought a BMW as a second or third family car.
the whining, the American middle class is incredibly wealthy
both in relative and absolute terms. Per
capita GDP has nearly tripled since the start of the Space Age
in 1957. See this article
and this one
for some perspective. ...
are already lining up for the SS2: First
Edinburgh man in space - New Scotsman - Oct.8.04 -
people literally coming up to our doors with cheques for the first
flights as well, even though we aren’t taking bookings or deposits
yet. Trevor Beattie, who is a very well known advertising guru,
actually came out to the Mojave Desert and wrote Richard out a
cheque, and we’ve also had Gene Simmons from the rock band Kiss
who asked where he could send the money.
"We even had
Captain Kirk himself - William Shatner - who said he wanted to
be a part of this. It’s been an unbelievable reaction.
The US has a window of opportunity to take advantage of the technologies
created by companies like Scaled Composites but eventually other
countries will catch up: Does
U.S. have right stuff for space tourism? - baltimoresun.com - Oct.8.04
Sky is excellent... Tonight I saw the Discovery Channel
Sky: The Race for Space" about the SS1 project and, as
Burt Rutan indicated at the press conference, it really is super.
Gives a marvelous insider's view of the struggles and triumphs of
the project. It will be shown again on October
See also Alan
Boyle's comments at New
light on 'Black Sky' - Alan Boyle/Cosmic Log - Oct.7.04. I also
ordered my DVD at Black
Sky: The Race for Space DVD -- Discovery Channel Store -- 713826.
briefs... Here's an AP report on the regulation issues:
Tourism Faces Safety Regulations - AP/Space.com - Oct.7.04...
At least Congress could manage to pass a bill honoring the SS1 team:
Passes Resolution Honoring X Prize Recipients - ComSpaceWatch -Oct.7.04...
California: Spaceport - LA CityBEAT / Valley BEAT - Oct.7.04....
touts its hybrid propulsion system on the SS1: SpaceDev
Powers SpaceShipOne To Historic Heights As Well As The Ansari X-Prize
Victory - SpaceDev - Oct.4.04.
science market opening... I've written several times
about my efforts to contact various scientists to question them
about how they might take advantage of low cost, reusable suborbital
spacecraft like the SS1. Unfortunately, most either did not respond
at all or gave me a brush-off. Van Allen, for example, sent a canned
anti-manned spaceflight response.
One space scientist,
who puts experiments on sounding rockets, responded to my specification
of a one week turnaround and a $200k price tag with "I don't
believe these numbers (either the turnaround or the cost). Similar
promises were made about the space shuttle 30 years ago, and they
turned out to be grossly overoptimistic."
Now that such
performance has in fact been proven by the SpaceShipOne, these kinds
of knee-jerk rejections will gradually be replaced by enthusiasm
for the new vehicles. Substantially lower costs, rapid re-flight
opportunities, safe return of payloads, and nearby operator monitoring
will make them irresistible.
working with sounding rockets in areas such as atmospheric sciences,
magnetospherics, astronomy, microgravity, and remote sensing will
want to use them. Also, those developing sensors and other equipment
for orbital and deep space vehicles will want to carry out suborbital
flight tests. (Of course, those who absolutely have go substantially
higher than 100-150km will still be stuck with sounding rockets.)
For now, though,
their experiments won't be riding on the SS1. Rutan has decided
to turn down requests for such services so that he can concentrate
on using the vehicle to test technologies for the SS2: 'No
experiments' for SpaceShipOne - BBC - Oct.7.04. This leaves
an opening for those who are developing vehicles with similar capabilities.
provides only a few tens of millions of dollars for sounding rockets,
but that's still a decent sized market for vehicles that are developed
for only a few tens of millions of dollars. In addition, other agencies
like NOAA and DOD want to fly suborbital experiments. DARPA, for
example, was one of those trying to arrange for rides on the SS1.
for the regulation/liability situation with regard to passenger
flight to work itself out, science/engineering payloads could offer
a substantial interim bridge market.
and filming the SS1... Ron Dantowitz and Marek Kozubal
are known here for their detailed photos
of spacecraft in orbit with ground based amateur telescopes.
They were able use those same skills to track and film the SS1.
Here are their web pages about the September
29th flight and the October
4th flight and they also got on the radio: Filming
the X-Prize, from Far Below - NPR - Oct.5.04.
briefs... Irene Klotz reports on the next Rutan spaceship:
Birth of SpaceShipTwo - SpaceDaily - Oct.5.04
Max Boot notes the success of the private space entrepreneurs: Space,
the Final Free Market: The success of SpaceShipOne means the sky's
no limit for the private sector. - LA Times - Oct.7.04
comments at The
Triumph of Truth and Technology by Michael Potter and Rick Tumlinson
- SpaceDaily - Oct.6.04 ...
complete broadcast of the SpaceShow from Mojave on Oct. 5th for
the second X PRIZE flight is now online at SS1
X2 Flight - The Space Show with Dr. David Livingston and Patrick
Beatty, Thomas A. Olson ...
Rand Simberg answers questions about the significance of the flight
in this 6 minute interview
with Warren Olney: Radio
Interview Link - Transterrestrial Musings - Oct.6.04
The X PRIZE Cup has its first major corporate sponsor: International
Fuel Technology Looks to the Stars as the First Major Sponsor of
the X PRIZE CUP - International Fuel Technology Oc.4.04
Horvath posts her report
on SpaceShipOne's prize winning flight. This is the third in her
series on the SS1 flights in which she has focused on the people
and the mood of the events. See the previous reports from June
21st and the first
X PRIZE flight on Sept.29th.
party... I saw Joan at the XCOR
part on Sunday night, where she did a fine job pushing the firing
button on the company's famous Tea
Jones (seated) sets up the Tea Cart engine while Joan (standing)
Joan fires the engine. Excuse the blurred image. The noise
was blowing out my ears at the time.
thanks to XCOR for the excellent party and the open house
access to the EZ-Rocket and their other fine creations.
Case stands by the business end
of the EZ-Rocket.
flight news... This
Thursday the Discovery
Channel to Air Exclusive Footage of Aviation Pioneer Burt Rutan's
SpaceShipOne Capturing the $10 Million X Prize - SpaceRef - Oct.5.04...
Rutan is now racing to develop a safe, low cost space tourism vehicle:
says space tourism is three years away - Spaceflight Now - Oct.4.04
UP will release details in 2005 about its space tourism contest
but it did give out a cute flyer at the post-flight news conference:
UP to Offer Free Space Flight - X PRIZE Space Race News! - Oct.4.04
X2 flight pictures:
PRIZE Cup news... Here are some articles about the X
the road... Connected to a wireless network at Long Beach
Airport. Really amazing to get a broadband link just sitting here
waiting to board. (Hope I'm not taking back lots of worms and viruses
as souveniers!). [1:30am Oct.6th - Well, not totally amazing. I
could download material but couldn't upload anything for some reason.
Anyway, now that I'm back home I will upload this before beginning
At the press
conference, Burt Rutan couldn't say enough good things about the
Discovery Channel documentary - Black
Sky: The Race for Space - on the SS1 project. He had his whole
team over to watch it at his home on Sunday night. (The vehicles
were all preped, fueled and ready to go the next morning.) He said
the program captured the essence of what an incredibly tough job
it was to develop the Tier One project.
I didn't get to see it but it looks like it will be repeated next
Sunday. There will also be an update on the X PRIZE this Thursday:
for Space - Discovery Channel for time info.
I just looked
and there are three and half pages of links for today and they are
almost all about the SS1 flight. These two chosen at random are
quite interesting: Left
in the dust - Florida Today - Oct.05.04 * Space
invaders: SpaceShipOne wins the X-Prize: SpaceShipOne has become
the first privately funded craft to reach space. It could be your
turn next - Economist.com - Oct.5.04
about to start so I will log off. Regular posting tomorrow and more
comments about the X2 flight.
SS1 snapshots... Manage to get a pass into the VIP area
along with a couple of thousand other people:
This sequence shows the contrail of the SS1 splitting
off from that of the White Knight. The small contrail is that of
one of the three chase planes.
the SS1 newsroom... Alan Boyle and Leonard David are
sitting a couple of tables away in the media room so I should probably
link to their stories: SpaceShipOne
wins $10 million X Prize Flight also bests X-15 altitude record
- MSNBC - Oct.4.04 * SpaceShipOne
Wins $10 Million Ansari X Prize in Historic 2nd Trip to Space -
Space.com - Oct.4.04.
And Bill Harwood
is sitting a few meters away form me: SpaceShipOne
soars to $10 million X Prize - Spaceflight Now - Oct.4.04. I
just met Maggie McKee of New Scientist: SpaceShipOne
wins X Prize for spaceflight - New Scientist * Oct.4.04...
More links at Space
Race News and spacetoday.net....
reflects on Armadillo's X PRIZE efforts in his latest update: X-Prize,
Engine work, Vehicle work - Armadillo Aerospace - Oct.3.04...
Here are Jeff Foust's photos
from the first flight and comments
on the event.
The unexpectedly rapid rolling in the Sept.29th flight left a lot
of people a bit worried about the next flight. I think Burt in turn
was annoyed that reporters made such a big deal about it. When today's
flight went so flawlessly it seemed almost anticlimatic. In the
press conference, Burt said that his goal for the vehicle for Virgin
Galactic is to achieve reliabilty higher than that of the first
Here Jeff Foust
comments on the risks that the suborbital industry must deal with:
with the risks of space tourism - The Space Review - Oct.4.04.
Wins the X PRIZE!!
does it again... I saw history in the making today. It
was a marvelous experience to be here to witness such a flawless
spaceflight. The roll problem from Wednesday was fixed (a report
on the technical details about changes in the trajectory and other
operations will be released later) and the vehicle reached a record
setting altitude - 367,442 ft (112km), beating the highest altitude
flown by the X-15.
At the news
conference, X PRIZE judge Rick Searfoss said that the SS1 fulfilled
all the competition requirements to win the full $10M purse. The
money and trophy will be awarded at an official ceremony in St.
Louis on Nov. 6th. The X PRIZE contest was inaugurated in St. Louis
on May 18, 1996.
What a great
feeling. Like many space enthusiasts from the 60s, I've waited a
long, long time to observe a genuine victory in the long struggle
to bring spaceflight closer to the reach of the private individual.
This was really a big step towards making that happen.
to a victory party now and will try to add updates later today.
Regular postings will continue on Wednesday.
Jeff Foust has
posted lots of links to articles
about the flight.
to Mojave... I hope that I can find a connection while
I'm there and can post on the pre-flight happenings as well as the
flight itself. See the above list of webcasters for video, audio,
and text reports during the flight.
should go as before:
- White Knight
with the SpaceShipOne will takeoff from the Mojave Spaceport at
7:00 a.m. local time (10.00 a.m. EDT; 1400 GMT).
- About an
hour later White Knight will reach an altitude of nearly 50,000
feet where SS1 is dropped at 8:00 a.m. PDT (11:00 a.m. EDT; 1500
- and SS1 ignites
its rocket engine
- Powered flight
of about 80 seconds
coasts up to an altitude of at least 62 miles and then reenters
- Glides to
a landing on the Mojave runway by 8:30 a.m. PDT (11:30 a.m. EDT;
A press conference
will be at 10:30 a.m. PDT (1:30p.m. EDT, 1730 GMT).
news briefs... Scaled has posted a video
of the September 29th flight...
Lots of school kids coming to watch the flight: 40
buses heading for SpaceShipOne liftoff - AV Press - Oct.2.04
(via a HS reader)
space companies are getting down to business: Can
Do Private Space Companies Set Tone for Future Spaceflight - SpaceRef
- Oct.2.04 ...
on the SS1 roll: SpaceShipOne
Rolling Rumors: Rutan Sets the Record Straight by Leonard David
- Space.com - Oct.2.04 * Why
SpaceShipOne spun - Alan Boyle/Cosmic Log - Oct.2.04...
report on the SS1 program:
SpaceShipOne: One down, one to go: A private rocket takes its first
flight toward winning the $10 million X-Prize by Bill McCoy - Astronomy
-Oct.2.04 (Via spacetoday.net)
briefs... NASA TV will definitely provide a webcast
of Monday's flight. (via a HS reader.)
Boyle gives a list of books coming out about the X PRIZE and some
of the rocket projects: Real-life
rocket tales - CosmicLog/MSNBC - Oct.1.04.
roll report... Once Mike Melvill used the reaction control
system thrusters (RCS), the rolling stopped: Burt
provides some preliminary information about the rolling motions
seen on the First X-Prize Flight - Scaled Composites - Oct.1.04.
(Via a HS reader.)
webcasts... A HS reader
notes that NASA
TV may not webcast flight 2 as it did with flight 2 since there
is a Soyuz Expedition 10 press conference scheduled for Monday morning.
However, another alternative stream is from the Science
1 , 2004
briefs... Here's a very nice video of the SS1 flight
that includes shots from the onboard camera: www.spaceflightnow.com/launch.mov.
In Paradise) ...
Benson of SpaceDev
talks about the SS1 engine and the Dream
Chaser suborbital vehicle project in a SpaceShow
interview on Sept.28th...
article gives a brief explanation of the dihedral effect and how
it might have caused the SS1 roll: SpaceShipOne:
Monday Launch Is On - Wired - Oct.1.04...
NASA response: NASA
Official Sees Role in Space for Private Companies - VOA - Oct.1.04
Brass Laud X Prize as Natural Extention of Agency's Work by Leonard
David - Space.com - Oct.1.04...
pictures of SS1 flight one by Alan Radecki: page
briefs ... The official altitude for SS1 and Mike Melvill:
Official: X-Prize officials say Mike Melvill climbed to 337,500
feet this morning - X PRIZE - Sept.30.04 ...
an interesting report from the Cal Space Authority on the sophisticated
radar system used to track the SS1: SPADS
Parallels Pioneering Effort of SpaceShipOne as SS1 Clears the First
Hurdle - CSA - Sept.30.04...
O'Keefe congratulates the SS1 team: NASA
Salutes Spaceshipone Team After Second Flight - NASA HQ - Sept.29.04....
didn't know till afterwards that NASA TV was also webcasting the
flight. I assume they will do it again on Monday. Here is the NASA
TV main page ...
for Mojave... I will be attending the flight on Monday
and will try to post from there if possible. Unfortunately, I have
not been given press credentials (blog discrimination!) but expect
it will be a great experience regardless of where I watch it from.
[Update: Looks like I am in fact on the media list. Got a
Press Info Sheet in the email today. Just need to get there in time
on Sunday to register.] ...
See you at the "all night" Rock
Concert sponsored by Apogee
Books for members of the National
Space Society (do I have to bring my NSS ID?). They are showcasing
the new book Space
Tourism by John Spencer.
SS1 news... Here are additional articles (mostly via
on the announcement of the second flight:
X PRIZE Flight - Monday October 4th
delay for space flight... Just got this message
via the X PRIZE newsletter distribution:
Dear X PRIZE
As you may
know, yesterday, Burt Rutan's Mojave Aerospace Ventures Team successfully
reached an altitude of 337,500 feet with Mike Melvill (the pilot)
onboard plus ballast (approx. 180 Kg). This flight was deemed
by the Judges as a successful first flight for the $10 million
Ansari X PRIZE.
We have just
received official notice from Burt Rutan that SpaceShipOne's second
flight (X2) will take place Monday morning, October 4th. Expected
at 7am PT
* Ignition at 8am PT
* Landing at 8:30am PT
* Press Conference to announce official Altitude at 10:30am
flight can be viewed LIVE at www.xprize.org
on our global webcast.
the word to your friends. Tune in and help us celebrate the birth
of the Personal Spaceflight Revolution!
Peter H. Diamandis
Chairman & Founder X PRIZE Foundation
SS1 news... Apparently there was no information released
with the announcement of Monday's flight about the analysis of the
roll on the SS1 flight...
Alan Boyle reports on the announcement: All
systems go for prize-winning space launch SpaceShipOne to go ahead
with planned Monday flight - MSNBC Sept.30.04...
October 4th will be the 47th anniversary of the launch of Sputnik,
the first artificial satellite. By chance, in my Sputnik
links I had this article from 1997 by Alan: Sputnik
started space race, anxiety: 40 years later, Cold War rivals cooperate
in space ventures - MSNBC - Oct.4.97.
briefs... Alan Boyle ponders the future of spaceflight
in the aftermath of the SS1 X PRIZE flight:The
space road ahead - Alan Boyle/Cosmic Log - Sept.30.04 ...
Brad Stone at Newsweek wants prices for suborbital flights to come
Small Step for Private Space Travel: SpaceShipOne rolled to victory
today, but the nascent space-tourism industry hasn't soared yet.
Increased competition could help the business get off the ground
- MSNBC/Newsweek - Sept.29.04 ....
The Economist reports on Virgin space tourism:
Space tourism: Virgin Territory: Sir Richard Branson aims for the
moon - Economist.com - Sept.30.04...
This article looks at the risks of these early days of commercial
to travel on a private space jet? Pack nerves of steel. - csmonitor.com
Round One, September 29th, 2004 - Joan Horvath reports
on the SpaceShipOne X PRIZE flight event.
News briefs... More SS1 articles:
flight info... SS1 reached 337,500 ft.( 63.9miles, 102.9km):
SpaceShipOne Surpasses 100 Km Altitude on First X-Prize Flight -
Scaled Composites - Sept.29.04 ...
Announcement of date for next flight is expected by Thursday evening.
and flight re-runs... Here are links to where you can
watch and/or hear the whole event or just the flight:
flight news links... Here is a selection of articles
and commentaries on the flight:
and ANSARI X PRIZE
Space Race News! for more article links.
X PRIZE sponsors... Here is the official announcement
of the M&M sponsership: M&M'S
Brand and The Ansari X Prize announce an "out-of-this-world"
partnership -- literally. - ANSARI X PRIZE - Sept.29.04. The
M&M's has a
The X PRIZE
home page also shows a 7-UP Plus banner but I don't see an announcement
about the sponsorship yet.
briefs... The Mission
Status Center at Spaceflight Now has excerpts from the post-flight
news conference. Still no explanation for the roll...
More about commercial spaceflight development: Prizes,
Profit Could Fuel Private Space Race - Voice of America - Sept.29.04....
More awards for Scaled Composites: X-Prize,
Scaled Composites to Receive Awards – Space Frontier Foundation
to Recognize "Revolutionary" Space Efforts - Space Frontier Foundation
SpaceShipOne X PRIZE Flight a Success!
100km limit... The cause of a fast roll at the end of
the burn must be determined before a date for second flight is scheduled.
Latest updates at SS1
News - Mission Status Center at Spaceflight Now
Melvill to pilot SS1 again... Experience counts: Melvill
to fly SpaceShipOne - Spacetoday.net - Sept.29.04.
mission schedule... Winds permitting, the flight should
go as follows:
- White Knight
with the SpaceShipOne will taxi to the runway at California's
Mojave airport at 6:30 a.m. local time (9:30 a.m. EDT; 1330 GMT).
around 6:45 a.m. PDT (9:45 a.m. EDT; 1345 GMT).
- About an
hour later White Knight will reach an altitude of nearly 50,000
feet where SS1 is dropped at 7:45 a.m. PDT (10:45 a.m. EDT; 1445
- and SS1 ignites
its rocket engine
- Powered flight
of about 80 seconds
coasts up to an altitude of at least 62 miles and then reenters
- Glides to
a landing on the Mojave runway by 8:30 a.m. PDT (11:30 a.m. EDT;
PRIZE news briefs ... The media around the world is
full of articles about the flight and the X PRIZE. Examples:
and ANSARI X PRIZE
Space Race News! for lots more...
reports that the American Mojave Aerospace Ventures deal with Virgin
is non-exclusive. AMAV managing director David Moore said, "I've
actually had four other parties approach us." ...
The SS1 will again carry look back cameras from Ecliptic
RocketCam Featured in Live Webcast of SpaceShipOne X Prize Flight
on Sep 29 - Ecliptic Enterprises - Sept.28.04. See their Gallery
for a clip from the June 21st flight...
the publicity is starting a snowball effect. Now other sponsors
want to jump in. New
X Prize sponsors - Alan Boyle/Cosmic Log - Sept.28.04. Note
that Melvill's release of M&Ms got the attention of Mars, Inc.
(Guess they didn't want Hershey's to grab another space related
publicity event: M&M's
Loss Was Hershey's Gain with E.T.)
space investing... The Virgin announcement is getting
the attention of investors who are wondering if space tourism will
grow into a big industry: Virgin
Starts (70) Mile-High Club [Motley Fool Take] - Fool.com - Sept.28.04.
Not very active yet, but Motley Fool has a forum for spaceflight
Motley Fool Discussion Boards: Space Exploration & Terraforming
briefs... Tonight the
Space Show features "the return of Jim Benson, Founding
Chairman and Chief Executive of SpaceDev,
a publicly traded space development and exploration company. SpaceDev
specializes in affordable, high-performance small satellites and
safe, affordable hybrid-based rocket motor propulsion systems. ..."
Online at Live365
at at 7-8:15pm Pacific Time
PRIZE TV... Don't forget the upcoming TV shows about
the X PRIZE: Discovery
Channel to air documentary on Mojave Aerospace Ventures team - X
PRIZE - Sept.26.04. Part 1: October 3rd, 9 p.m. EST, Part 2:
October 7th, 9 p.m (Check local listings for starting times in your
reader R. Burmeister says, "Finally! Something on the Discovery
Channel that doesn't have to do with building motorcycles."
briefs... Alan Boyle reports on the momentum building
in commercial space development: Private
space race reaches its height: Visionaries already looking beyond
$10 millon prize - MSNBC - Sept.27.04....
Financial Times reports on Branson's space tourism plans: Virgin
plans space tourism by 2007 - FT - Sept.27.04 *
Branson aims to make space flights his star turn - Financial Times
briefs... More on the da Vinci flight delay: Last-minute
delay for X Prize rival - New Scientist - Sept.27.04...
A profile of Mojave California: Space
Town: Mojave's isolation, can-do spirit work to its advantage in
race to the stars. - FresnoBee.com - Sept.27.04 (via spacetoday.net)...
More Virgin news: Branson
reaches for the stars - Guardian - Sept.27.04...
The instapundit talks about the X PRIZE: X-Prize
News - MSNBC/GlennReynolds - Sept.27.04.
update... BBC reports that Branson will order five vehicles
from MAV, each capable of carrying five passengers: Virgin
boss in space tourism bid - BBC - Sept.27.04."The final
design for the maiden ship, the VSS Enterprise, should be signed
off in 2005." Also,
will have a spectacular view; they will have considerable windows
and luxurious seats," Sir Richard said.
they will take off from the Mojave Desert near Los Angeles. It
will be a three-hour journey. Passengers would have about a week's
training prior to taking off."
for great marketing if nothing else, finds that there is a substantial
market even at $200k per ticket:
quite a lot of research; we think there are about 3,000 people
out there who would want to do this," Sir Richard told the BBC.
"If it is
a success, we want to move into orbital flights and then, possibly,
even get a hotel up there."
News wire report on the announcement: Virgin
Galactic to Offer Public Space Flights - Space.com/AP - Sept.27.04
news... Leonard David reports on the upcoming SS1 flight:
to Soar: First X Prize Flight This Week By Leonard David - Space.com
- Sept.27.04 ...
More fuel for this flight: No
Major Engine Changes for SpaceShipOne, Builder Says - Space.com
Branson enters suborbital space tourism business... Richard
Branson, head of Virgin
Group, has made an agreement with Mojave Aerospace Ventures
to build a suborbital vehicle for space tourism: Virgin
boss in space tourism bid - BBC - Sept.27.04. Mojave Aerospace
Ventures is the company formed by Burt Rutan and Paul Allen to exploit
the SS1 technology. The deal is worth £14M [$25.2M].
was made on Monday at a joint news conference with Branson and Rutan
at Royal Aeronautical Society in London.
been in talks with Paul Allen and Burt throughout this year and
in the early hours of Saturday morning signed a historical deal
to license SpaceShipOne's technology to build the world's first
private spaceship to go into commercial operating service," Sir
will be run as a business, but a business with the sole purpose
of making space travel more and more affordable."
the BBC, "Prices for each seat into space are expected to start
at around £115,000. [$207,000]."
The web site
for the company Virgin
Galactic says that it "will own and operate privately built
spaceships, modelled on the history-making SpaceShipOne craft. These
spaceships will allow affordable sub-orbital space tourism for the
first time in our history."...
The article British
Tycoon Branson Unveils Plan For Commercial Space Flights - AFP/SpaceDaily
- Sept.27.04 also reports on the announcement. Branson said
at the briefing,
"We plan to
construct launch pads for commercial space travel in a number
of countries over the next few years."
The ticket price
will include "three days of flight training before taking the
real trip." [The Virgin Galactic site, though, talks
of six days of preparation.]
I will be fortunate enough to have fulfilled our own personal
dreams and to experience all of this on the inaugural flight over
Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise in three years' time."
Scaled Composites press release... On the SS1 web site
there is also this announcement: Virgin
Group Sign Deal with Paul G. Allen’s Mojave Aerospace Licensing
the Technology To Develop The World’s First Commercial Space Tourism
Operator - TierOne/Scaled Composites - London, September 27th 2004.
It says that
licensing deal with M.A.V. [Mojave Aerosapce Ventures] could be
worth up to £14 million ($21.5 million) over the next fifteen
years depending on the number of spaceships built by Virgin."
expected that around £60 million ($100 million) will be invested
in developing the new generation of spaceships and ground infrastructure
required to operate a sub orbital space tourism experience."
briefs ... Info on the flight day: SpaceShipOne
chases $10 million: Rutan's rocket ready to go - Valley Press -
Sept.26.04 (permanent copy at ANSARI
X PRIZE Space Race News!)
PRIZE news briefs... Space Race News has posted the latest
PRIZE Newsletter, which includes items about several of the
Houston hears about a different space program for a change: SpaceShipOne
just two flights from the X Prize: Rutan's privately built spacecraft
made successful manned mission into space in June - HoustonChronicle.com
- Sept.26.04 ( via spacetoday.net)
This article talks about the Mojave airport and the "nine companies
[...] working on space-related projects" there: Space
cowboys writing next chapter in history of flight: Second trip beyond
Earth's atmosphere is set for Wednesday - Tri-Valley Herald Online
- Sept.26.04 ( via spacetoday.net)
PRIZE news briefs... BBC profiles Burt Rutan: Rutan
ready to realise vision - BBC - Sept.25.04...
While CNN looks at the broader picture of the creation of a space
tourism industry:. Space
tourist industry bets on a dream: For some, blastoff may be right
around the corner - CNN.com - Sept.24.04.
blog reporting ... Brad Neuberg, a volunteer with the
Ansari X Prize Foundation on the Media Relations team, brings up
the question of giving space bloggers press credentials for the
upcoming flights as well as future events: Lets
Get Press Credentials for Bloggers at the X Prize Foundation Launch
Attempt - Coding In Paradise - Sept.24.04.
This is obviously
of interest to me and I hope something can be arranged. (I will
be attending the second SS1 flight, tentatively set for the 5th
and I've applied for credentials.) Many blogs and private web sites
receive visitor traffic rates comparable to that of the readerships
of small to medium size town newspapers. Seems arbitrary to give
credentials to reporters from the former but not the latter.
publications, such as in car racing and other sports, usually get
favorable treatment at events in the area of interest. For spaceflight
enthusiasts, the dedicated publications are almost entirely on the
I can see, of
course, that there are practical problems. For the print media,
there are credible measures for the number of readers while for
web sites there is no universal independent traffic indicator. The
cost of entry in web publishing is quite low so offering credentials
to anyone with a space blog or news site would produce a flood of
Perhaps a ranking
system could be developed. For example, the X PRIZE could ask its
newsletter readers to enter a short list of their favorite sites
and then the 3 or 4 with the most votes would be offered credentials.
PRIZE news briefs... More from Eli Kintisch regarding
the X PRIZE and the SS1 flight:
webcasts... For the SS1 flight on Sept. 29th, webcasting
should be more elaborate and robust than for the June 21st flight
when many people had trouble getting a connection. The X PRIZE will
offer its own stream via the X
PRIZE Webcast Page. Also, The
Space Show plans to webcast again. I will keep a list of stream
sites posted at the top of the page here.
PRIZE news briefs... The revolution will be televised
(at least on the Web): ANSARI
X PRIZE Flight Attempt 9/29/04 X PRIZE - Sept.22.04 - AOL partners
with the ANSARI X PRIZE to webcast the $10 million competition flights
Eli Kintisch at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is writing an interesting
series on the history of the X PRIZE beginning with yesterday's
new space race - St.Louis Dispatch - Sept.21.04. Here are today's
will appear tomorrow. (Links via spacetoday.net)....
Photoshop-pers get creative, funny and weird with the SS1: SpaceShipOne
gets more nitrous, thrust. Pimp it out to give it even more power
- FARK.com. (Via BoingBoing)
briefs... A profile of former astronaut Rick Searfoss
who works as chief judge for the X Prize competition: Space
Race 2 Beyond The Final Frontier by Irene Klotz - UPI/SpaceDaily
A history of the X PRIZE project: A
new space race - St.Louis Dispatch - Sept.21.04. "Some
of the leading citizens of our community have too much money and
too little sense." said the Post-Dispatch's Bill McClellan
in 1996 about those investing in the project.
PRIZE news... Space Race News interviews
Robert K. Weiss who is helping the X PRIZE organize its broadcasting
and webcasting of the SS1 flights: ...
buildup to the countdown begins: X
PRIZE countdown enters final days - X PRIZE - Sept.20.04...
documentary... The Discovery
Channel will broadcast about Burt Rutan and the SS1 project:
Sky: The Race for Space
For the past
three decades, Burt Rutan has produced one new research airplane
per year. Considered one of the most influential aircraft designers,
Rutan is building SpaceShipOne, a personal space vehicle.
They will broadcast
this two hour program, which will focus on the June 21 flight, first
on Oct. 3rd at 9 pm and repeat it on Oct 4th at 12:00 am and on
Oct 10 at 04:00 PM.
They will also
show a one hour update on the X PRIZE on Oct 7th at 09:00 PM and
repeat it on Oct 8th at 12:00 am.
(Via an HS
site updates... HS visitor,
C. Dorrough, notes that the Scaled site has updated the General
Information page (I had not seen, for example, this Scaled
Newsletter for the April 2003 rollout). And also the Gallery
photos are nicely organized.
updates... Valley Press posts a couple of articles about
the SS1 (or SSO, as they call it) and the recent meeting of the
The Society of Experimental
(Note: AV Press
only posts articles for a few days. Space Race News is posting copies
of the first
The Mojave Spaceport
is gearing up for the first X PRIZE flight for the SS1. Here's the
most recent NOTAM
(Notice to Airmen) :
will be engaged in spaceport operations 29 September 04 between
0500L and 1200L, with potential extensions through 13 October
be PPR (prior permission required) for landing beginning 1600
28 September 04. Mojave Airport tower will be in operation Tuesday
28 September 04 from 0700L TO 2000L. Ramp space is extremely limited
and PPR aircraft are encouraged to bring their own tiedown devices.
tower will open at 0500L 29 September 04 and remain open until
1700L. Follow-me truck available on 29 September 04 between 0500-0615.
IAW FAR 91.143
Mojave Airport TFR in effect surface to 20,000 MSL, 7NM radius
around KMHV. 0600L-0900L 29 September 04. Contact KMHV tower on
127.6 or Joshua approach on 133.65 for TFR updates.
items via a regular HS visitor.
brief... Brief update from Alan Boyle on the X PRIZE
race update- Alan Boyle/Cosmic Log - Sept.7.04
brief... More press attention for the X PRIZE and private
space development: Gentlemen,
Start Your Rockets: The race for space is heating up as private
outfits head for the launchpad - Business Week - Sept.13.04 issue.
briefs... An interview with SS1 pilot Mike Melvill can
be heard (real audio) online via the archive
for the Dr. Sky Show
(an Arizona radio program hosted by Steve Kates)...
Still time to get your name on the X PRIZE flights of the SS1: Deadline
to get a name in space extended - Alamogordo News - Aug.28.04
briefs... Leonard David provides an interesting overview
of prospects for the private manned rocket projects: Space
Barnstorming: The Risk and Rewards For Private Rocketeers - Space.com
- Aug.13.04 ...
I don't know when they were posted but there have been some nice
added to the SpaceShipOne Gallery since the last time I looked.
They include aerial views of the crowd that came to see the June
flight details are given in the latest issue of Aviation
Chart Shows How SpaceShipOne Left, Reentered The Atmosphere - Aviation
Week - Aug.9.04 (subscription required). The chart (which I
can't legally reprint here) shows altitude, speed, pitch and other
parameters versus time.
aspect of the flight involves how they deal with the asymmetric
thrust caused by uneven erosion of the nozzle. They compensate for
this with aerodynamic trim, which works as long as there is sufficient
atmosphere and speed relative to it. (Vectoring of the engine was
not implemented so as to keep things simple and low weight.)
trick is to have the thrust taper off as the craft eases out of
the atmosphere, slowly enough so that the pilot can keep up with
the trim changes as the airspeed drops. Making the engine burn
as long as possible reduces the g forces and speed of events the
pilot has to cope with. The natural falloff of thrust due to the
oxidizer transition from liquid to gas is suited to these control
requirements. If one wanted to double the apogee, it would have
to be done by doubling the thrust, not doubling the length of
X PRIZE effect... The contest may lead to a "boom
market" for suborbital spaceflight: Eyes
on the Space Prize: Fat cash awards may be just the ticket to privatize
the space industry. Many wonder what took so long. - Technology
Review - Aug.8.04 (via a HS reader.)
going to space... Burt Rutan plans to ride in the SS1:
aims to be on X-Prize flight - BBC - Aug.5.04. "...I am
going to be one of the first passengers, for sure".
briefs... Here's an informal report
on Burt Rutan's presentations at Oshkosh...
Rutan pushes for access to space sooner than the constant 30 years
from now: Rutan
says NASA should hurry: Aviation legend pushes private space travel
- Florida Today - Aug.3.04:
"And if the
business-as-usual space developers continue their decades-long
pace, they will be gazing from the slow lane as we speed into
the new Space Age -- this time not for prestige, but this time
to fulfill people's dreams."
briefs... The X
PRIZE has a Flash-y new web site. (Hope you have broadband.)
Race News posts the August
X PRIZE Newsletter. Includes updates on several teams
news... Burt Rutan and Mike Melvill wow the audience
and Melvill Tell SpaceShipOne Story - EAA AirVenture - July.31.04
(link via a HS reader). Some
items from the article:
He said he
had thought that it would be easier to develop the suborbital
system than it turned out to be. “For example,” he said, “I didn’t
know I would have to build a rocket system.”
“We had two small shops competing against each other in the hope
one of them could do it.” In the end both shops delivered usable
systems, and the one that was selected was only better by a few
Rutan spoke about how the program is now over a year behind schedule.
“But no one knew it, because I never told anyone what the schedule
was.” His advice: “Don’t even tell your customer what your schedule
The audience was delighted when Rutan described his idea of bringing
the White Knight and SpaceShipOne to a future EAA AirVenture.
A lottery would be held and two lucky attendees would get to take
a ride into space, which would launch from the Wittman runway
at the start of the afternoon air show, rocket into space over
Lake Winnebago midway through the show, and recover in front of
the crowd at the end.
The SS1 may carry passengers instead of ballast on the
second flight: Space
Race II: A ticket to ride - UPI - Aug.3.04 -
said the passenger list is quite long. "There are some significant
opportunities and some significant folks who are on that list,"
he said. "Hopefully, we'll be able to talk about that later on.
There is an enormous passion for people to fly, not just citizens,
but journalists and scientists."
to passengers, Rutan also is considering flying small payloads.
Four organizations, including the Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency, have approached Scaled Composites about flying items aboard
is a prototype headed for the Smithsonian, I think this very first
manned suborbital spaceship already could start making real money
by selling rides to orbit for scientific and engineering payloads.
up an interesting question. If a scientist rides along to monitor
and control a payload, is he or she counted as a paying passenger
by FAA-AST or as a crew member? I believe the regulations that apply
briefs... Unfortunately, they won't be on line for long
but here are a couple of nice articles from the Antelope Valley
Press about SS1 inspired merchandising in Mojave: SpaceShipOne
mania! T-shirts, hats flying off shelves * Souvenir
rock from launch site sells on eBay (links via a HS
Alan Boyles readers comment on the SS1 and the X PRIZE: How
does the X Prize rate? - Alan Boyle/MSNBC - July.30.04
card brief... Just got back to Sweden from a two day
round trip cruise to Helsinki. The ride through the Stockholm
archipelago on an evening bathed in the northern summer light
I see that the
X PRIZE press conference
revealed some exciting news about the SpaceShipOne schedule. It
will be tough to decide which of the flights I will try to attend.
Jeff Foust posted several links to several articles about the announcement
in this item: Scaled
announces X Prize flight plans - spacetoday.net - July.27.04
and has many others included in his daily space news list at spacetoday.net.
Also, check out the X
PRIZE Space Race News postings.
briefs....Burt Rutan and Mike Melvill to give talks at
AirVenture takes flight for the future - Milwaukee Journal - July.25.04
Boyle reports on progress with HR3752: All
systems go for new spaceflight law Compromise reached on suborbital
regulations - MSNBC - July.23.04...
news conference should be interesting to hear not only about the
SS1 flight dates but also what da Vinci is planning: Secrecy
shrouds space launch Toronto man mum on U.S. competition Expected
to vie for $10 million prize - TheStar.com - July.26.04 (via
Space Race News.com)
brief... The da
Vinci Project plans to give Burt some competition: Space
Race Competition Heats Up - SpaceDaily - July.20.04 * 2
teams may announce X Prize plans - Florida Today - July.22.04
will be a fight to restore funding for the space initiative projects:
NASA vote opens new space debate by Frank Sietzen - UPI - July.21.04
PRIZE press conference next week will announce the start
of a 60 day countdown to the start of flights to win the prize:
Prize countdown begins - Alan Boyle: Cosmic Log - July.21.04
Prize announcement planned next week - spacetoday.net - July.21.04.
or more competing teams may announce plans to conduct flights
to win the prize. The press conference is scheduled for Tuesday
morning, July 27, in Santa Monica, California, according to a
media advisory issued Wednesday."
Prize Hints At Space Race By Leonard David - Space.com - July.21.04
brief ... Check out the new
video (10.5MB wmv) of flight 15P on the SS1
archive now holds the Space
Ship One Broadcast from June 21, 2004. This special Space Show
program featured author John Carter McKnight (of "The Spacefaring
Web" commentaries) on location and David Livingston in San
Francisco. The original three hour and forty minute broadcast has
been edited to one hour, 45 minutes. David assures "all the
listeners that this is the full broadcast of the events this historic
X PRIZE flight in September according to Mike Melvill,
who was interviewed yesterday on the MSNBC show "Deborah Norville
Tonight" : X
Prize attempt in late September - MSNBC/Cosmic Log (Lori Smith filling
in for Alan Boyle) - July.9.04. See also item
And there are no plans for another test flight before the X PRIZE
Boarding! SpaceShipOne Paves Way for Passengers? By Leonard David
- Space.com - July.9.04
in space... Scaled Composites has determined the causes
of the two serious problems during the June 21 flight. Burt Rutan
now says the "flight-control anomaly" ... was not serious." Wind
shear during the ascent caused the vehicle to go off course. They
are now planning for the first X PRIZE flight: SpaceShipOne
Back on Course - Wired - July.7.04.
arts ... The FoxTrot team goes after the X PRIZE: 1,
via Jon Goff) ...
SpaceShipOne - the musical . Sing along to Rutan
Spaceship by Chuck Devine - Samzidata.net and Spaceship
Yourself by Terence
news... A HS reader forwarded
a link to the excellent report by Mark Wade on the SpaceShipOne
project at astronautix.com.
(As the reader noted, check out the explanation of the tail number.)...
More pictures of the Space
Woodstock: Memories of a Party in the Desert - Alan Radecki - July.3.04....
Joy of Tech! offers a "scaled
pictures from the SS1 flight plus the XCOR party: The
Story of SpaceShipOne - Samuel Coniglio.
briefs... Alan Boyle provides a thorough overview of
the status of private space transport development: The
next stage for private spaceflight: Infant industry capitalizes
on success of SpaceShipOne - MSNBC - June.30.04...
Mike Melvill gets a profile from his local paper: Tehachapi
pilot rockets into history - Tehachapi News - June.30.04 (via