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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.
December 2006
Recent Features
Armadillo Pixel vehicle at the X Prize Cup
X Prize Cup 2006 - Review
The annual celebration of space and rocketry took place October 21-22, 2006 in Las Cruces, New Mexico. HobbySpace provides links to weblog entries, articles, photos, and videos from the event.
NewSpace - Introduction & Resources
An overview of the NewSpace (or entrepreneurial space movement. NewSpace promises far lower costs and wider participation in space development. The section provides historical info, web resources, news, and more.
Prof. Glenn Harlan Reynolds
Interview: Glenn Reynolds
An exchange with the Instapundit, Professor of Law, author, and long time space activist about issues of space law and space politics, and about space development using armies of Davids.

More Interviews, Articles, and Special Topics.


Space Music of the Month
What Goes Up
- music video by
Vanna Bonta & Martin St. Pierre
Previous space music in spotlight
Space Artist Spotlight

Europa's Surface - Andrew C. Stewart
Europa's Surface

Jupiter Mission - Andrew C. Stewart
Jupiter Mission

Colonize - Andrew C. Stewart
Mayflower Hotel - Andrew C. Stewart
Mayflower Hotel
Andrew C. Stewart
More space art...
Shop at HobbySpace Sponsors

The HobbySpace project is supported by several advertisers and their help is greatly appreciated. During your Christmas gift hunting this year, please visit their store sites. Below are samples of what they offer.

Luke Skywalker light saber - Master Replicas
Luke Skywalker Lightsaber
at Master Replicas

Shuttle clothes at Countdown Creations
Space Shuttle Apparel
at Countdown Creations

Saturn V replicat at
Apollo Saturn V Rocket Replica 1/144 scale

Spaceshots - image, posters, prints
Space and Earth
images, posters, prints


A-OK! Wings of Mercury simulator
The Wings of Mercury
- high realism simulator

Lunar dust cloth swatch -
Apollo 15 lunar dust covered betacloth swatch plus poster
Iron meteorites at Meteorites Plus
Iron Meteorites
at Meteorites Plus

Apollo panorams at
Apollo Panoramas and Apollo Astronaut Autographs, Lunar panoramas

It's a Whole New Outer Space Out There

Commercial Orbital Space Transport

Two companies, Rocketplane Kistler (RpK) and SpaceX, won contracts in 2006 with NASA to demonstrate by 2010 vehicles capable of taking cargo to the International Space Station. Both companies plan eventually to carry crews as well. Unlike the usual NASA approach, the agency will not dictate the design of the vehicles used by the companies. Instead the agency simply contracted for the ISS resupply tasks and will let the companies decide the best way to fulfill the contract. Each company has its own vehicle in development.

Other companies are also looking at building their own vehicles capable of delivering cargo and crews to orbit on a commercial basis. Many of these firms plan first to build suborbital vehicles for space tourism operations before building orbital systems.

Below we display a sample of companies developing commercial orbital space transport. (In the October Spotlight we displayed a list of suborbital space tourism transport projects.)

Falcon 9/Dragon Capsule
SpaceX Falcon 9 with Dragon Capsule

NASA COTS contract awarded to SpaceX to develop the Falcon 9 / Dragon capsule system. Full stage engine testing in 2007.

Falcon 9:
2-stage vehicle powered by LOX/Kerosene engines
Falcon boosters reusable after parachute sea return.

Dragon Capsule:
Configurable for cargo or to carry up to 7 passengers.
Dragon returns for parachute landing.

First flights in 2008.

Rocketplane Kistler

NASA COTS contract awareded to RpK to develop the K-1 vehicle, which is a fully reusable, 2-stage system designed by Kistler Aerospace before that company was bought by Rocketplane. Hardware is currently about 75% completed.

Rocketplane Kistler K-1 Vehicle
Two stages, both fully reusable.
Aerojet AJ26-58/-59 LOX/kerosene engines,
three on first stage, 1 on second.
Crew capsule shown with 5 passengers.
Parachute return with airbag landing
for both stages.
First flights in 2008

Silver Dart
PlanetSpace Silver Dart orbital system

PlanetSpace is a US/Canadian team developing both the suborbital Canadian Arrow booster system based on the V-2 and the Silver Dart hypersonic glider based on the FDL-7 design from the 1960s. They did not win first round COTS contract but will contest for second round.

First Stage:
Cluster of Canadian Arrow boosters.

Silver Dart:
Up to 8 passengers.
Returns for glide landing
All metal thermal protection system. Will also be used for a suborbital space tourist system.

Dream Chaser
Benson Space Company

The Dream Chaser is patterned after the HL-20 lifting body design from NASA. It would be used for either suborbital or orbital spaceflight. SpaceDev would build the vehicle for Benson Space.

SpaceDev - Dream Chaser orbital system
Dream Chaser lifting body
with hybrid rocket boosters.
~6 passengers
Mock-up picts at Benson Space

Atlas V with Crew Capsule

Bigelow Aerospace has contracted with Lockheed-Martin for a study into whether the Atlas V 401 version could be configured for delivery of crews to Bigelow orbital habitats.

Lockheed-Martin - Atlas V space tourist concept
Atlas V 401 Space Tourism Concept
8 passenger capsule
2-stage expendable boosters
Capsule return with parachute landing
(See also other Atlas concept architectures)

Real-Time Space Viewers
Earth Viewer
Weather maps, remote sensing
and spysat images.
Space Weather Viewer
Space Weather
Sun, solar wind, aurora images
and the latest data

Space Explorer Viewer
Space Explorers
Images and data from
deep space probes.

See the archive of previous HobbySpace homepage Spotlight items ...
November - January 07

HobbySpace provides over 15,000 space links and
has delivered over
11,880,000 page views since
January 1999.

The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey
NewSpace Watch at NSG


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HobbySpace is a part of Space-H Services.