January 24, 2013 |
So you're planning to blast off into outer space on a future commercial flight from New Mexico. What if things go south and you are injured or killed? Who do you or your survivors sue? New Mexico legislators have agreed to amend a state law that narrows who future space travelers can take to court if their venture goes ka-blooey. The new bill will protect spacecraft parts suppliers from damage lawsuits by passengers on space tourism flights launched from the state. In coming years, Virgin Galactic plans to fly tourists into space from Spaceport America near the community of Truth or Consequences, for $200,000 a ticket.
December 14, 2012 |
Virgin Galactic is already offering $200,000 tickets to intrepid tourists who want to take a suborbital flight on a craft called SpaceShipTwo. Start-up Golden Spike announced earlier this month that it would offer round trips to the moon for two starting at $1.4 billion. But having a couple of hundred of thousand (or million) lying around might not be the only requirement for folks wanting to take a jaunt in outer space. A team of researchers and physicians, led by University of California, San Francisco, surgeon Dr. S. Marlene Grenon, suggested Thursday that would-be space travelers also will need permission slips from their doctors.
November 27, 2012 |
If space truly is the final frontier, does that make Elon Musk a real-life Capt. Kirk? Musk, the founder of SpaceX -- which has a $1.6-billion contract with NASA to ferry cargo to the International Space Station using its private Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon capsule -- last week laid out an even bolder vision : a colony of 80,000 people on Mars. The price of a ticket? About $500,000 a colonist. (And no, this deal doesn't include a bridge in Brooklyn. The guy's already done the math.
October 15, 2012 |
Like a Dodgers fan showing up in the top of the fourth inning, Endeavour arrived noticeably late to Sunday's big party at the California Science Center in Exposition Park, delayed by the notorious unpredictability of using surface streets to get from one side of Los Angeles to the other. In that sense, the retired space shuttle seemed to confirm a familiar stereotype, but in other ways its trip across the city - and our collective excitement in seeing it live - efficiently demolished a series of myths about Los Angeles.
May 30, 2012 |
SpaceX's Dragon space capsule, which last week became the world's first privately built and operated spacecraft to dock with the International Space Station, is scheduled to return to Earth on Thursday morning. The unmanned capsule is set to splash down at 8:44 a.m. PDT in the Pacific Ocean hundreds of miles west of Southern California. It will be the culmination of a historic mission carried out by the Hawthorne-based company, officially known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp.
May 25, 2012 |
For the first time, a cargo-carrying spacecraft made by a private company arrived at the International Space Station. SpaceX's unmanned Dragon spacecraft was captured by the space station's 58-foot robotic arm by astronaut Don Pettit aboard the space station. The linkup took place about 250 miles above northwest Australia at 6:56 a.m. PDT. "Looks like we got us a Dragon by the tail," Pettit confirmed. At that moment, engineers watching at SpaceX's control center at their Hawthorne headquarters, as well as NASA mission control in Houston, began cheering, with rounds of high-fives and handshakes.
May 24, 2012 |
While orbiting Earth at about 17,000 mph, SpaceX's Dragon capsule Thursday came within 1.5 miles of the International Space Station in preparation for its historic hookup scheduled for later this week. The fly-by, confirmed by NASA in its webcast , is a crucial step for the company, officially known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., and its goal of becoming the world's first private firm to dock a craft with the space station. The Dragon's onboard sensors and flight systems are now undergoing a series of tests to determine whether the vehicle is ready to berth with the space station.
May 22, 2012 |
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket roared to life before dawn at Cape Canaveral, Fla., today and blasted into space on a column of fire that lit the night sky for miles around. The nine-engine rocket lifted off at 3:44 a.m. EDT carrying a cone-shaped space capsule that's set to berth with the International Space Station later this week. SpaceX, formally known as Space Exploration Technologies Corp., is the first private company to embark on such a mission. Up until now, sending a spacecraft to the space station has been a feat that has only been accomplished by four of the world's wealthiest and most technologically advanced governments: the United States, Russia, Japan and the European Union . The launch marked a major milestone in efforts to shift spacecraft development -- long dominated by governments and large, entrenched aerospace firms -- to privately funded firms such as SpaceX that so far have been funding their ventures largely on their own. About 10 minutes into the spaceflight, SpaceX confirmed that its gleaming, white Falcon 9 rocket had lifted the unmanned Dragon space capsule into orbit.
May 22, 2012 |
Billionaire Elon Musk, founder and chief executive of SpaceX, sent his Falcon 9 rocket into space early Tuesday morning with an unmanned Dragon capsule after an original mission was aborted over the weekend. How's he feeling? Extremely relieved. After the rocket blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla. at 3.44 a.m., Musk tweeted : “Falcon flew perfectly!! Dragon in orbit, comm locked and solar arrays active!! Feels like a giant weight just came off my back :)” He then followed with tweets thanking NASA, the Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration.
May 15, 2012 |
For the last half-century, space flight has been the domain of the world's superpowers. All that is set to change as soon as Saturday when SpaceX, the private rocket company in Hawthorne, will attempt to launch a spaceship with cargo into orbit and three days later dock it with the International Space Station. If successful, the mission could mean a major shift in the way the U.S. government handles space exploration. Instead of keeping space travel a closely guarded government function, NASA has already begun hiring privately funded start-up companies for spacecraft development and is moving toward eventually outsourcing NASA space missions.