November 9, 2010 |
A production facility that would build the world's first fleet of commercial spaceships is set to begin construction Tuesday at the Mojave Air and Space Port. The 68,000-square-foot facility, one of the first aircraft assembly plants to be built in the region in decades, will be home to the Spaceship Co., or TSC ? a joint venture owned by Mojave-based Scaled Composites and British billionaire Richard Branson's space tourism company Virgin Galactic. TSC hopes to complete the complex by September.
October 12, 2010 |
Commercial space tourism got a boost when Virgin Galactic's rocket plane successfully completed its first manned test flight at the Mojave Air and Space Port. The aircraft, dubbed SpaceShipTwo, was dropped from a carrier plane at 45,000 feet and glided without power for more than 10 minutes before landing on the desert runway Sunday. The carrier plane, which resembles a flying catamaran because of its two fuselages, and the six-passenger rocket ship are in the midst of a test-flight program that will continue until Virgin Galactic, the space tourism company that owns the planes, believes it can begin commercial operations.
January 31, 2010 |
Within the next decade, the stereotypical space traveler may no longer be a square-jawed fighter pilot but a wealthy Internet geek with deep pockets. Or at least that's what a crop of gutsy space entrepreneurs hope. For half a century, venturing into space has been the primary domain of governments that can afford to spend billions of dollars to develop and send massive rockets into orbit. But modern-day industrialists believe a privately funded commercial space industry is poised to blast off. With technological advances that they say will make rocketry more affordable, companies are popping up nationwide and focusing on an array of ventures, from lifting "space tourists" briefly into orbit to launching satellites and cargo far into space.
January 19, 2008 |
Scaled Composites, the fledgling space tourism company founded by rocket pioneer Burt Rutan, was fined $25,870 on Friday as a result of an accident last July that killed three workers at the firm's Mojave, Calif., testing facility. The fine covered five violations of workplace safety codes, including a failure to maintain a safe working environment and to properly train workers handling hazardous materials, according to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
July 29, 2005 |
Space entrepreneurs Burt Rutan and Richard Branson announced plans Thursday to form a new aerospace production company to build a fleet of commercial suborbital spaceships and equipment. Called Spaceship Co., the enterprise will be jointly owned by Britain-based Virgin Group Ltd.
November 7, 2004 |
The designers of the first privately funded manned rocket to burst into space were handed a $10-million check Saturday, a prize designed to encourage technology that would open the heavens to tourists. SpaceShipOne designer Burt Rutan accepted the Ansari X Prize money, along with a 150-pound trophy, as a chase plane flew over the ceremony in a field adjacent to the St. Louis Science Center.