AmericaSpace Launch Countdown

Next Launch ATV-5 on a Ariane 5 rocket from Kourou, French Guiana scheduled for 29 Jul 14 23:47:38 GMT

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Opinion: Which Way Toward the Red Planet? Current Plans for Mars Colonisation and the Need for Maturity

Artistic rendering of Mars, made from images taken with NASA’s Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft. Private space companies have announced plans for the colonisation of the Red Planet within the next decade. How close are those plans to becoming a reality? Image Credit: Kees Veenenbos/MOLA Science Team/NASA

“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about [...]

Chasing the Dream of Suborbital Space Tourism: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two Successfully Conducts Third Powered Test Flight

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two—pictured here—recently conducted its third successful flight test in a row, reaching its highest altitude to date of 71,000 ft. Image Credit: Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic, the private space company that aims to become the first commercial spaceliner in the world, kicked 2014 into high gear with the third successful powered [...]

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Roars Through Second Supersonic Flight

On Sept. 5, 2013, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo was released from its carrier aircraft and proceeded to conduct its second supersonic flight. Photo Credit: Mars Scientific / Clay Center Observatory

At 8 a.m. PDT, over the deserts of Mojave, Calif., Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo (SS2), ferried aloft by the WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft, was released, and [...]

A Brief History of Spaceplanes

Spaceplanes are not a new concept, having been thought up years before the space age even began. Image Credit: NASA

A spaceplane is quite simply a vehicle that can fly as both an airplane in the atmosphere—generating lift from its wings—and as a spacecraft in a vacuum using rocket propulsion. No spaceplane has yet [...]

Former Astronaut Joins Virgin Galactic's Flight Team

Rick “C.J.” Sturckow (center), pictured during training for the STS-128 mission. Photo Credit: NASA

Only days after triumphantly testing SpaceShipTwo on its first powered flight above the Mojave Air and Space Port, Calif., Virgin Galactic has announced that former astronaut Rick “C.J.” Sturckow has joined its commercial team of pilots. Sturckow left NASA earlier [...]

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Ignites Engine, Thunders Through Sound Barrier

Photo Credit: MarsScientific.com / Clay Center Observatory

Virgin Galactic activated SpaceShipTwo’s (SS2) rocket motor for the first time in flight Monday morning, sending the space plane supersonic and paving the way for customers to fly into space.

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SpaceShipTwo Conducts Glide Test

Photo Courtesy of Bill Deaver

SpaceShipTwo conducted a successful glide test yesterday at the Mojave Air and Space port in Mojave, Calif. Lifted into the air a little after 7 a.m. local time, SpaceShipTwo was carried into the sky, released, and landed around 8:40 a.m. PDT, according to a report on the website Parabolic [...]

Report: Lack of Adequate Precautions Caused Accident That Killed Three During SpaceShipTwo Test

Photo Credit: The Spaceship Company

In July 2007, a test of a hybrid nitrous oxide-fueled rocket engine that Scaled Composites planned to use on its SpaceShipTwo space plane failed. The resulting explosion killed three and injured three more. The California Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or Cal/OSHA, has released its investigation report which was [...]

Opinion: On Baumgartner's Opinion of NASA

Austrian daredevil Felix Baumgartner. Photo Credit: REX

I woke up Saturday morning to coffee and Felix Baumgartner’s first interview since his 120,000 foot jump in the Telegraph. I was curious to read what he had to say. He’s become rather famous in the last two weeks, and with comments across Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ [...]

Virgin Unveils Air-Launched Booster, Confirms SpaceShipTwo Customers

Artist’s concept of LauncherOne, ferried to altitude beneath the twin-fuselage WhiteKnightTwo aircraft. Image Credit: Virgin Galactic/Scaled Composites

Four years from now, a powerful new rocket will be lifted to altitude by Scaled Composites’ WhiteKnightTwo aircraft, carrying with it the promise of bringing down the cost of delivering payload into orbit to a fraction of [...]