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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.
May 2010
Recent Blog Postings
HobbySpace Log:
RLV & Space Transport News:
Recent Features
Space Access 10 Conference review
Space Access '10 Review
A report on the annual Space Access Society's annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona. The latest updates on low cost approaches to getting to space were presented.
New Space Log 2010
New Space Log 2010
This new section holds pointers to blog postings, articles, pictures, etc. concerning particular events and developments of interest during the year in New Space.
NG Lunar Lander Challenge 2009
SpaceShipTwo Rollout
Links to articles, blog postings, photos and videos about the unveiling of the SpaceShipTwo vehicle on Dec. 7, 2009 at the Mojave Spaceport by Virgin Galactic.
NG Lunar Lander Challenge 2009
NGLLC 2009 Resources
Links to blog reports, articles, videos, photos, etc. for each round of flights by the teams in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge competition.

More Interviews, Articles, and Special Topics.

Space Art Spotlight

Armada book cover, 1981 - John Berkey
Armada (book cover) -1981

Ship Sightless - John Berkey
Ship Sightless

A space illustration - John Berkey
Space illustration
A space illustration- John Berkey
Space illustration

Ship Red - John Berkey
Ship Red

John Berkey at
John Berkey
More space art...
Space Music Video of the Month
Space Hobbies & Activities in the Spotlight
May Highlights in Orbit Observing

Amateur observers of spacecraft have gotten into the news big time this month twice. The first splash came with pictures by noted observer Thierry Legault that showed the combination of the Shuttle Atlantis docked at the International Space Station in silhouette over the Sun.

Atlantis at ISS over the Sun - Thierry Legault
Thierry Legault

Detail from Atlantis at ISS over the Sun - Thierry Legault
Thierry Legault

See also the pictures here by Legault of Atlantis and the ISS separated.

The second splash came with the news that amateur sky observers had successfully tracked the secretive X-37B military spaceplane, which was launched on April 22, 2010 from Cape Canaveral.

This image from Space Weather shows a track of the X-37B in an image made by amateur sky observer "Gary O." in Texas on May 24, 201.

Track of X-37B

It's a Whole New Outer Space Out There

Trusting Your Rocket Engines

Rocket vehicles that take off vertically, accelerate to space and then return to land vertically obviously need engines that are extremely reliable. They have no wings or other means to provide lift if the engines fail. (A crew or payload module, though, could separate in an emergency and land via parachutes as Blue Origin plans to do with its vehicle.)

Furthermore, a suborbital VTVL (Vertical Takeoff, Vertical Landing) space vehicle must turn off its engine(s) after accelerating to the desired speed so that it coasts up to its maximum altitude (typically 100 kilometers) with minimum fuel usage. As the vehicle heads back down, it must turn the engine back on so as to slow the vehicle and make a safe landing.

Masten Space System in Mojave, California on May 26, 2010 carry out what is believed to be the first successful demonstration of a rocket engine deliberately shut off and then re-lit during the flight of a VTVL vehicle. Here is a statement from the company describing the test: Masten Space Re-Lights Rocket Engine in Flight - Masten Space Systems - May 26, 2010.

The two videos below show views from "Xombie" as it took off vertically, shuts off the engine, and then re-lights its engine, which proceeds to power the vehicle for a safe landing.

Xombie does an amazing mid-air feat:

A view looking downward from the vehicle:

More Masten Space Systems videos in their Youtube Gallery and also in Ben Brockert's Gallery.

Check for the latest in leading edge rocket and space travel projects on the Space Transport News blog.

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

See the archive of previous HobbySpace homepage Spotlight items ...
April 10 - June 10

HobbySpace provides over 15,000 space links and
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40,000,000 page views since
January 1999.

The Art of C. Sergent Lindsey


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