November 2008 NewSpace News

October 31, 2008

Armadillo Goes Lunar

After 8 years of development, as well as a few SPECTACULAR failures, Armadillo Aerospace has won the $350,000 Level One of Northrop Grumman’s Lunar Lander Challenge this past weekend in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Press Release and Video at

Odyssey Moon Partners With NASA

The long-awaited press release from one of the leading $30 million Google Lunar X-Prize contenders recently announced their new partnership with NASA to build it’s “Moon One” robotic lunar lander. Press Release at Odyssey Moon

Space Troopers

Anywhere in the world in 2 hours? That’s what the Pentagon is looking into- a way to insert a small group of troops into a hot spot anywhere in the world via a sub-orbital rocket. Tom Vanden Brook at USA Today

Armadillo and RRL Make a BIG Move

The Rocket Racing League, Armadillo Aerospace, and the state of New Mexico have jointly created a private suborbital space transportation company, with initial manned flights planned for 2010. Rob Coppinger at Flight Global

The Spaceflight that Never Happened

Space Adventures Inc. is being sued for $21 million by Japanese businessman Daisuke Enomoto, the man who was replaced by Anousheh Ansari in 2006. Becky Iannotta at

Moon Mission Revealed

The moon seems to be a little closer today, with help from Google Lunar X-Prize contender Astrobotic Technology Inc., who just recently released their plans for a moon mission in May of 2010. Tariq Malik at

The World Capital of Manned Rocket Vehicle Flight

XCOR Aerospace helped Mojave Air & Space Port launch 51.3% of the world’s manned rocket flights this century, and made a few records of themselves along the way. Press Release at XCOR Aerospace

Esther Goes to Space

Space Adventures Inc. announced on October 7 that Esther Dyson will train as back-up crew member alongside Charles Simonyi, scheduled to launch in Spring, 2009. Alan Boyle at Cosmic Log

NewSpace Loses a Friend

The NewSpace Movement has lost a key player- SpaceDev Founder and Board Member, James Benson, has passed away at the age of 63, and his legacy will be remembered for long to come. Video at

A Victory for Private Space

Congress has wisely canceled the proposed $1.7 billion Broad Area Space-Based Imagery Collection (BASIC) satellite system, which would have directly competed with the companies selling satellite imagery today. Berin Szoka at Tech Liberation

Why Amateurs in Space Is Important

A vibrant amateur space sector is coming, and amateur space enthusiasts will have a huge role in the development of this fledgling industry. Andrew Tubbiolo at The Space Review

International Institute of Space Commerce

On October 4, the first International Institute of Space Commerce opened at the International Business School on the Isle of Man. Press Release at IISC

Recession vs. NewSpace

What does the current financial crisis mean to the NewSpace industry? And can we weather the storm? Jeff Foust at The Space Review

The Space Show

Nancy Conrad, Robert Zimmerman, and Robert Black discuss their respective NewSpace initiatives with Dr. David Livingston on The Space Show.


October NewSpace News

September 30, 2008

Elon’s Dream Becomes a Reality

Naysayers were silenced this past weekend when Elon Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies successfully reached orbit, via a picture-perfect launch.  Tariq Malik at

Orbital Makes Progress

Virginia-based Orbital Sciences Corp. has plans this month for breaking ground on their new launch site, located at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility, which will hold their Taurus II launch vehicle.  Rob Coppinger at Flight Global

WhiteKnightTwo Sits Tight

Virgin Galactic recently announced that the maiden test flight of their mothership “Eve” will be delayed, possibly to the end of the year.  Rob Coppinger at Flight Global

Moon Men are Hard to Come By

Former Kennedy Space Center Director Jay Honeycutt has been named President of U.S. Operations for Odyssey Moon, bringing unique -and rare- experience on lunar missions.  Press Release at Odyssey Moon

Space Solar Power Milestone Reached

The problem of efficient wireless power transmission over long distances lies at the heart of Space-Based Solar Power’s technical difficulties, and a key milestone in pursuit of the solution has been reached.  Jeff Foust at The Space Review

NASA Innovates, Zero-G Delivers

Now that cheap, reliable zero-gravity flights are available, NASA can test all sorts of cool new “stuff”- like the new space experiment rack system, designed for the ISS and other future space facilities.  Press Release at

Fleet of Armadillos

What happens when John Carmack’s mute button is pushed for 6 months, and then suddenly released?  A mouth-watering Rocket Racer update happens, complete with photos, videos, and some jaw-dropping news.  John Carmack at Armadillo Aerospace

What’s Next for SpaceX?

Now with orbital capability, SpaceX forges ahead with their numerous other jaw-dropping plans- including Falcon 9, human-rated capabilities, and moon rockets.  Loretta Whitesides at Wired Science

Teachers In Zero Gravity

According to their students, thirty California teachers recently became the coolest teachers ever as they floated around the cabin of a Zero-G flight, courtesy of Northrop Grumman’s Weightless Flights of Discovery Program. Jill Tucker at The San Francisco Chronicle

Rocket Town U.S.A.

A group of entrepreneurs in a small desert show that an imagination is all you need in order to start a revolution.  Justin Martin at CNN

The Entrepreneur’s Role

The roles of the entrepreneur, the venture capitalist, and the government is often hotly debated, especially when it comes to the future of space.  Bob Clarebrough at The Space Review

Moon, Mars, and Golf

Step into the life and mind of Burt Rutan and Peter Smith- where a vacation spot on the moon is more than just a possibility, and life on Mars is more than just speculation.  Joe Bargmann at The Washington Post

Teachers Apply for a Trip Into Outer Space

Move over space shuttle- a new ship is in town, and it will soon be taking selected teachers to the edge of outer space.  Staff at Bay News 9

Space Entrepreneurs vs. Venture Capitalist

Peter Diamandis and Elon Musk discussed and defended their views and their passions about space when they recently spoke with venture capitalist John Doerr, at the Google Zeitgeist Conference.  Press Release at The Launch Pad

The Space Show

Rick Tumlinson, Winston E. Scott, and Michael Michaud discuss their respective NewSpace initiatives with Dr. David Livingston on The Space Show.

September 2008 NewSpace News

September 3, 2008

A Conclusion, Sort Of…

The investigators hired to determine the cause of the Scaled Composites accident in July, 2007 have concluded their investigation, with a surprising end result.  Press Release at SpaceRef

Lunar Lander Challenge, Take 3

The X Prize Foundation has announced ten teams vying for the upcoming Lunar Lander Challenge, which is set to take flight next month.  Press Release at X Prize Foundation

SpaceShipTwo Available Next Year?

Virgin Galactic’s new spaceship may make a debut next year at the EAA AirVenture Air Show, according to the firm’s president, Will Whitehorn.  Rob Coppinger at Flight Global

An Investment That Turned Heads

The first institutional investment in XCOR Aerospace was made by Desert Sky Holdings recently, giving hope to an industry that is often looked over by cautious investors. Press Release at XCOR Aerospace

Coming to a Classroom Near You

A documentary on Space-Based Solar Power will be headed to Math and Science classes nation-wide this upcoming fall.  Film Preview at The Futures Channel

Rocket Racing League’s New Plane

The Rocket Racing League has successfully tested their second new rocket racer, this one built by Armadillo Aerospace, and we could see the first rocket racer vs. rocket racer flights later this month.  Editors at

Plasma Rockets on the ISS

AdAstra Rocket Co. plans to bring a plasma rocket to test on the International Space Station in 2011 or 2012.  Irene Klotz at Discovery Channel

SpaceDev Succeeds

Even though SpaceX failed to reach orbit last month, California-based SpaceDev succeeded in building and delivering a responsive satellite in only six months. Press Release at Yahoo Finance

Shuttles, Dragons, and Alternatives

With the looming shuttle retirement on everyone’s minds, a fresh look may be needed at what is possible for crew and cargo transportation beyond the 2010 deadline.  Taylor Dinerman at The Space Review

The FAA Weighs In

The Commercial Space Transportation office of the Federal Aviation Administration today is busier than it has ever been, but what possibilities do they see in the future, and what will their role be in regulation?  Alan Boyle at Cosmic Log

Space Show Highlights

Richard Garriott, Dr. Patrick Collins, and Dr. Jeff Foust discuss their respective NewSpace initiatives with Dr. David Livingston on The Space Show.

Space for a Safe and Secure World

On February 18-20, 2009, International Space University will be hosting a three-day symposium as an interdisciplinary, international forum to help both the users and the providers of space-related systems move forward from the discussion of problems to the formulation of innovative solutions. Call for Papers

Space Angels Network – Angel Investor Deal Screening Meeting

On September 25-26, Space Angels Network will hold its inaugural Aerospace Venture Forum investor event in Los Angeles with the Keiretsu Forum angel group as co-host. Up to 20 space- and aviation-related startups will pitch their ventures before investors from around the USA. Attendance is limited to accredited investors only. For further details, including sponsorship opportunities, visit

August 2008 NewSpaceNews

August 3, 2008

From Powerpoint to Plane

Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites rolled out the red carpet last Monday to unveil their multiple-record-setting airplane and mothership, WhiteKnightTwo. Associated Press at CNN

Lucky Number Nine

For the first time in the history of the United States, 9 space-ready engines were fired at once, paving the way for the first Falcon 9 launch. Press Release at

NewSpace Opportunity or Man-Made Meteorite?

What is to become of the International Space Station? Engineers from around the world weigh in on what to do with the still unfinished space habitation module. Rand Simberg at Popular Mechanics

The Moon’s First Observatory

With no shortage of ambition, Odyssey Moon, one of the contending teams for the Google Lunar X Prize, announced a joint venture with the International Lunar Observatory Association to put an observatory on the lunar surface. Press Release at Odyssey Moon

Fields of Dreams

A disorder known as ‘spaceport fever’ is spreading across the face of the earth, and those that have it tend to spread it as far and wide as they possibly can. Ed Regis at Air and Space Magazine

The Rocket Racer Flies

The 2008 Airventure at Oshkosh was home to the maiden flight demonstration of the Rocket Racer plane, complete with ooh’s and aah’s. Rachael Courtland at New Scientist

The Moon Gets Closer

Google Lunar X Prize contender ARCA recently announced their near-future plans for a 100km test launch, leaving the other teams wondering if they’re going to have to play catch-up. Bogdan Sburlea at ARCA

Freight Train to Space

In the wake of the 2008 Space Elevator Conference recently held, skeptics speak out on whether a space elevator will ever be built. Alan Boyle at Cosmic Log

The New Area 51

Mojave Air and Space Port is home to mysterious, unidentified flying objects, but it’s also the proving ground for rebellious, game-changing aerospace engineers. Joe Pappalardo at Popular Mechanics

Rocketplane Digs In

Despite losing a $207 million contract, their chief design engineer, and their test pilot, Rocketplane Global shows that determination conquers all. Ben Fenwick at Oklahoma Gazette

Silver Dart Lives

The U.S.-Canadian venture Planetspace moves ahead with their plans for a suborbital craft and orbital launch system. Alan Boyle at Cosmic Log

DKNY eyes Rockets in the Sky

The flight of the Rocket Racer at Oshkosh donned an unusual sponsor logo, but like NASCAR, it proves to be a successful partnership. Alan Boyle at Cosmic Log

The Governator Turns a Blind Eye
Even a call from Sir Richard Branson himself could not persuade California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to participate in the NewSpace movement. Alan Radecki at Mojave Skies
From Paypal to Outerspace
Entrepreneur and SpaceX founder Elon Musk opens up about space, Mars, electric cars, and what it was like to immigrate from South Africa to the United States. Editors at TCS Daily


Continuing the success of bringing private space companies and investors together, Space Investment Summit 5 is planned for October 15 in Los Angeles. Press Release at Space Investment Summit