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SCIENCE
December 8, 2009 | By John Johnson Jr.
On a wind-tossed desert night, the dream of space pioneers Richard Branson and Burt Rutan to bring space flight to everyone -- at least everyone who can afford it -- drew closer to reality when the pair unveiled the world's first commercial passenger spacecraft. To the strings of an ethereal soundtrack, as dreamlike purple lights played across the runway, the VSS Enterprise rolled into view at the Mojave Air and Space Port, about 95 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Despite the bracing wind-chill factor, hundreds of people who had flown in from around the world to view the craft burst into cheers and applause.
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OPINION
December 9, 2013 | By Louis Friedman
Some 10 years ago, during testimony before Congress, I was asked by Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), "Do you think we are in a space race with China?" I quickly answered "no" and proceeded to explain that, in my view, the concept of a space race represented old thinking. The modern way forward in space would be through international cooperation and coordination. Today, I think my insistence that the space race was over was naive. There are now many space races. One is taking place between China and India, dramatized by India's launch of a Mars orbiter last month and China's launch this month of a lunar lander and rover.
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BUSINESS
March 27, 2008 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
Xcor Aerospace Inc. announced Wednesday that it would enter the space tourism market with a rocket plane that would carry passengers for about $100,000 a ride. The Lynx will take off under its own power, carrying just a pilot and a single passenger, the Mojave, Calif., company said at a news conference in Beverly Hills. Each flight will reach an altitude of 200,000 feet, close enough to space that passengers will experience about 90 seconds of weightlessness.
BUSINESS
April 30, 2013 | W.J. Hennigan
With a sonic boom that resounded above the Mojave Desert, a rocket plane belonging to British billionaire Richard Branson's commercial space venture Virgin Galactic got one step closer to carrying tourists into space. On Monday the company's SpaceShipTwo ignited its rocket motor in mid-flight for the first time and sped to Mach 1.2, faster than sound, reaching about 56,000 feet in altitude. The test flight is the biggest milestone in Virgin Galactic's 81/2-year endeavor to be the world's first commercial space liner, which would make several trips a day carrying scores of paying customers into space for a brief journey.
NEWS
May 22, 2000 | JOHN M. GLIONNA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Robert Bigelow has this vision: He and fellow space tourists orbit the moon aboard a luxury liner rocket ship with wall-to-wall windows on deep space. The five-star accommodations include gambling, gourmet food and romantic weightless encounters. For additional thrills, laser light shows illuminate the far side of the moon.
NEWS
May 14, 2001 | BETTIJANE LEVINE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The most interesting thing about Dennis Tito's space vacation may not be the trip itself, or that he paid $20 million to take it. It could just as easily be the man who helped make the billionaire's space odyssey come true. Eric Anderson is 26. You don't hear much about him because he doesn't like to talk, especially about himself.
BUSINESS
September 20, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Bringing commercial spaceflight a step closer to reality, a privately funded aerospace firm has built a production plant where it will assemble the world's first fleet of passenger-ready spaceships. The 68,000-square-foot facility next to a runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port about 100 miles north of Los Angeles is one of the first aircraft assembly plants to be built in the region in decades. It'll be home to Spaceship Co. — a joint venture of Mojave-based Scaled Composites and British billionaire Richard Branson's space tourism company, Virgin Galactic.
NEWS
March 12, 2002 | From Times Wire Reports
A free flight to a palm-fringed isle might seem a bit tame compared to US Airways' latest award for frequent fliers: a trip aboard a sub-orbital passenger spaceship. No such flights are planned until 2004, but it could take a while to earn the 10 million Dividend Miles required. The new award was announced by US Airways and Space Adventures Ltd., the space tourism firm that helped arrange the commercial space flight of U.S. millionaire Dennis Tito. "Participants will be able to . . .
NEWS
August 13, 2006 | Alicia Chang, Associated Press Writer
They are celestial missionaries of sorts: professionals with a wild side, celebrities with money to burn and semi-retirees with a hankering for one last thrill. What they share is a desire to float weightless for a mere five minutes. They've also got $200,000 to book a flight into space.
BUSINESS
January 11, 2013 | By Tiffany Hsu
Smelling good could send you out of this world. As in, actually off the face of the planet, according to a new promotion from the Axe line of male grooming products. Axe - a Unilever brand of shampoos, body sprays and deodorants - is offering the chance to win 22 spots on the Lynx sub-orbital plane from Mojave space tourism company XCOR Aerospace. In Britain, Axe is known as Lynx - see what Unilever did there? The gimmick coincides with the launch of the company's new Apollo collection of products.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 8, 2012 | Elaine Woo
Robert A. Citron, an aerospace engineer and intrepid entrepreneur, whose boyhood fantasy of traveling beyond Earth inspired pioneering ventures to commercialize space, died Jan. 31 at his home in Bellevue, Wash. He was 79. The cause was complications of prostate cancer, said his son, Kirk. During an extraordinarily varied career, Citron founded an adventure travel agency, built satellite tracking stations, produced National Geographic documentaries and monitored natural phenomena such as insect invasions and falling meteorites.
BUSINESS
September 20, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Bringing commercial spaceflight a step closer to reality, a privately funded aerospace firm has built a production plant where it will assemble the world's first fleet of passenger-ready spaceships. The 68,000-square-foot facility next to a runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port about 100 miles north of Los Angeles is one of the first aircraft assembly plants to be built in the region in decades. It'll be home to Spaceship Co. — a joint venture of Mojave-based Scaled Composites and British billionaire Richard Branson's space tourism company, Virgin Galactic.
BUSINESS
September 15, 2010 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Astronauts and space tourists could one day be sharing an armrest as they hurtle toward outer space under an agreement announced Wednesday between aerospace giant Boeing Co. and a private spaceflight marketing firm. Under the deal, Space Adventures of Vienna, Va., will market passenger seats aboard the seven-person spaceship that Boeing is developing in Huntington Beach. It is designed to fly atop a variety of launch vehicles and is expected to be ready to go by 2015. The spaceship, dubbed the Crew Space Transportation-100, is considered a contender for the job of ferrying astronauts to and from the International Space Station after the space shuttle program ends in 2011.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 19, 2010 | By ROBERT LLOYD, Television Critic
British comedian Ricky Gervais' third television series, after "The Office" and "Extras," is a cartoon called "The Ricky Gervais Show." Its audio is lifted from a series of podcasts, also titled "The Ricky Gervais Show," that began at the end of 2005 as a free online feature of the British newspaper the Guardian and was a successor to a radio show on London's XFM. (It moved on to a pay-to-listen "audio book" version.) It is described here as "a series of pointless conversations." The cartoon show, which begins Friday night on HBO -- it's Gervais' American home away from home -- is the least of his series, but it is generally amusing and pretty to watch, and I like the way it rambles.
SCIENCE
December 8, 2009 | By John Johnson Jr.
On a wind-tossed desert night, the dream of space pioneers Richard Branson and Burt Rutan to bring space flight to everyone -- at least everyone who can afford it -- drew closer to reality when the pair unveiled the world's first commercial passenger spacecraft. To the strings of an ethereal soundtrack, as dreamlike purple lights played across the runway, the VSS Enterprise rolled into view at the Mojave Air and Space Port, about 95 miles north of downtown Los Angeles. Despite the bracing wind-chill factor, hundreds of people who had flown in from around the world to view the craft burst into cheers and applause.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 26, 1998 | ANNE-MARIE O'CONNOR, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Some might say that sending '60s pop icon Timothy Leary to outer space was redundant. But the same Houston outfit that rocketed Leary's cremated remains in 1997 in the first commercial space burial is inviting the public to join him in intergalactic immortality. On Saturday, some people took them up on it.
BUSINESS
March 3, 2007 | Kimi Yoshino, Times Staff Writer
Sometime between the end of the Apollo missions and the shuttle disasters, space lost its shine. Instead of Capt. Kirk boldly going where no man has gone before, space shuttle launches barely cause a media ripple. The most recent indignity was the headline-grabbing misadventure of a diaper-wearing, lovesick astronaut. Now, all that may be about to change.
BUSINESS
March 27, 2008 | John Johnson Jr., Times Staff Writer
Xcor Aerospace Inc. announced Wednesday that it would enter the space tourism market with a rocket plane that would carry passengers for about $100,000 a ride. The Lynx will take off under its own power, carrying just a pilot and a single passenger, the Mojave, Calif., company said at a news conference in Beverly Hills. Each flight will reach an altitude of 200,000 feet, close enough to space that passengers will experience about 90 seconds of weightlessness.
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