- Ken Murphy, at Selenian Boondocks, has provided 25 Good Reasons to go to the Moon. He also has words with Bob Zubrin and Greg Easterbrook. Here is Mr. Easterbrook's article.
- After all the initial support between suborbital companies, the competition is beginning. Richard Branson pointed out yesterday that "Virgin is the only company in the world that has actually achieved [test flights in space]." I take that to mean real money is about to be made. It is all well and good to play nice and pat each other on the back in the preseason, but the gloves come on when the games start to count. (How many metaphors is that? --djs)
Virgin Galactic says it has received $13.1 million in deposits from more than 150 people while 45,000 people have an interest in the trip. That is 100 times as many people as have current gone into space in almost 50 years. That is a potential revenue (assuming a price drop to $100,000 after the first 150) of $4.5 billion dollars. That assumes no increased demand due to price drop and no repeat trips.
In other news, Virgin pilots are getting first shot at piloting the new space ships.
- NASA has released it new communications policy after the George Deutsch debacle.
- Allan Boyle reports that Blue Origin's new test facility in Kent, Washington and in Van Horn, Texas are moving quickly. Larry Simpson, the Editor at the Van Horn Advocate who broke the story of the test site in Texas, said "It's amazing how fast you can move when the government's not involved," Simpson said. (That is just funny -djs).
- Australia has successfully launched the Supersonic Combustion Ramjet which travels at 5,000 m/hr (Mach 10). The SCR project is in cooperation with JAXA.
- Masten Space Systems is looking for sponsors for the Lunar Lander Challenge. Good luck!
- The new NewSpace News is out.
- Business 2.0 has another article on the emerging space tourism market. (I may have to subscribe the that magazine -djs). The March issue on The Entrepreneur's Guide to the Galaxy is still available.
- Some members are Congress believe we are already in a space race with China and "the United States could lose if it doesn't spend more money on the civilian space program." Jeff Foust doesn't think much of it.
- Allison Bateman's hair is going to the ISS with Russian cosmonaut Pavel Vinogradov. But my favorite was this quote by her father
"By then," Daniel Bateman said, "we could fly the whole family up there for vacation since tourism will be there."From your mouth to reality.
- Here is an interesting article on how modern software practices and tools are making their way into the space exploration in both private and public arenas.
- US Space News has photos of the solar eclipse Wednesday from orbit.