American manned spaceflight in 2018?

As readers of a previous post will know, since the retirement of the Space Shuttle in July 2011, America has been unable to put any astronauts into orbit around the Earth. Instead, it has been reliant on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS). This situation may… Continue reading American manned spaceflight in 2018?

Spaceport UK?

I was very pleased to hear a couple of weeks ago that the UK government plans to introduce a piece of legislation called the Modern Transport Bill.  This may not sound very exciting, but behind the uninspiring name is the intention to ultimately establish the UK's first commercial spaceports, from which space tourists as well as scientists… Continue reading Spaceport UK?

Space the Final Frontier- but where does it begin?

On 24 October 2014 a senior Google vice president 57 year old Alan Eustace (shown below) broke the world altitude record by jumping from a balloon from an altitude of 135,890 feet (41.4 km). When he was interviewed, after he had safely landed, he said: "..It was beautiful. You could see the darkness of space... " This made me… Continue reading Space the Final Frontier- but where does it begin?

Virgin Galactic: what next ?

Like many people, I was was saddened to hear about the crash of Virgin Galactic's Space Ship Two on a test flight yesterday, which resulted in the death of one of the pilots and the serious injury of the other.   It is far too soon to say what caused the crash. That will have to wait… Continue reading Virgin Galactic: what next ?

Space Tourism into Orbit and Beyond

Getting Into Orbit Although Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo is likely to be the first spacecraft to offer mass space tourism, it only offers space tourists a short hop into space for a few minutes. (See my previous post from 5 August "The Virgin Galactic Experience" for more information.) To remain in space, a spacecraft must travel at… Continue reading Space Tourism into Orbit and Beyond

The Virgin Galactic Experience

The era of mass space tourism is about to begin.  Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo is about to launch. It is based upon SpaceShipOne, which was an experimental spacecraft which won a $10 million dollar prize for being the first privately built spacecraft to travel to an altitude of 100 km.  This, as you may remember from my… Continue reading The Virgin Galactic Experience

Space Tourism

This post is about  space tourism, which means ordinary people travelling into space for leisure purposes and paying to do so.  This is a subject which has always been of great interest to me and although the market is very small at the moment I think it will grow over the coming decades. With the… Continue reading Space Tourism