Virgin Galactic says FAA has cleared it for further flights
Virgin Galactic says the Federal Aviation Administration has cleared it to resume launches after an investigation into why its spaceship veered off course while descending during a July flight over New Mexico with founder Richard Branson aboard.
SpaceX launches 4 amateurs on private Earth-circling trip
.SpaceX’s first private flight has streaked into orbit with two contest winners, a health care worker and their rich sponsor. It was the first time a spacecraft circled Earth with an all-amateur crew and no professional astronauts. SpaceX’s recycled rocket soared Wednesday night from the same Kennedy Space Center pad used by the company’s three previous astronaut flights for NASA. But this time, the Dragon capsule aimed for an unusually high orbit, 100 miles higher than the International...
Virgin Galactic rolls out latest generation of spaceship
In this undated photo provided by Virgin Galactic is the VSS Imagine, the first SpaceShip III in the Virgin Galactic Fleet in Mojave, Calif. Virgin Galactic rolled out its newest spaceship Tuesday, March 30, 2021, as the company looks to resume test flights in the coming months at its headquarters in the New Mexico desert. (Virgin Galactic via AP). ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Virgin Galactic rolled out its newest spaceship Tuesday as the company looks to resume test flights in the coming months at its headquarters in the New Mexico desert. Virgin Galactic is one of a few companies looking to cash in on customers with an interest in space. “We expect as we get going on this to see a much quicker turnaround time and that really will help us grow the business.”AdFirst, Virgin Galactic needs regulatory approval for the current generation and that means successful rocket-powered test flights.
US billionaire buys SpaceX flight to orbit with 3 others
A female health care worker for St. Jude already has been selected for the mission. Anyone donating to St. Jude in February will be entered into a random drawing for seat No. SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk expects the flight to last two to four days. Isaacman’s $100 million commitment to St. Jude in Memphis, Tennessee, is the largest ever by a single individual and one of the largest overall. While Isaacman and wife, Monica, managed to keep his space trip hush-hush over the months, their daughters couldn’t.
GOP signals unwillingness to part with Trump after riot
But as the Senate prepares for an impeachment trial for Trump's incitement of the riot, few seem willing to hold the former president accountable. “The political winds within the Republican Party have blown in the opposite direction,” said Ralph Reed, chair of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and a Trump ally. After Michigan Rep. Peter Meijer backed impeachment, Republican Tom Norton announced a primary challenge. “We’re getting ready for an impeachment trial — that’s really the focus,” said Trump adviser Jason Miller. And that his political activism or whatever role he would play going forward would be with the Republican Party, not as a third party,” Cramer said.
1st private space crew paying $55M each to fly to station
On Tuesday, Jan. 26, 2021, Axiom announced they will be the first private space station crew, a year ahead of the planned launch. (Courtesy Axiom Space via AP)CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – The first private space station crew was introduced Tuesday: Three men who are each paying $55 million to fly on a SpaceX rocket. “This is the first private flight to the International Space Station. It’s never been done before," said Axiom's chief executive and president Mike Suffredini, a former space station program manager for NASA. Russia has been in the off-the-planet tourism business for years, selling rides to the International Space Station since 2001.
Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit reaches space on 2nd try
(AP Photo/Matt Hartman)LOS ANGELES – Richard Branson's Virgin Orbit reached space on Sunday, eight months after the first demonstration flight of its air-launched rocket system failed, the company said. “According to telemetry, LauncherOne has reached orbit!” Virgin Orbit tweeted later. Virgin Orbit touts the flexibility of its capability to begin its missions by using airports around the globe. Virgin Orbit attempted its first demonstration launch in May 2020. Virgin Orbit is separate from Virgin Galactic, the company founded by Branson to carry passengers on suborbital hops in which they will experience the sensations and sights of spaceflight.
World's space achievements a bright spot in stressful 2020
The European and Russian space agencies skipped the 2020 Mars launch window, their life-sniffing Mars rover grounded until 2022 because of technical issues and COVID-19 restrictions. Three weeks later, SpaceX launched its biggest cargo shipment yet to the space station for NASA. If the repairs work and the capsule finally reaches the space station, the first Starliner astronauts could be flying by summer. The actor was in talks with NASA this year about filming a movie at the space station. “Whatever else can be said about the four years of the Trump administration, they have been positive for the U.S. civilian space program,” noted John Logsdon, professor emeritus at George Washington University’s Space Policy Institute.
Window opens for Virgin Galactic test flight from spaceport
Virgin Galactic is celebrating the second successful glide flight of its spaceship over Spaceport America in southern New Mexico. Virgin Galactic posted on social media that the flight crew is ready but do not plan to fly before Saturday. Officials with Virgin Galactic and the state-financed spaceport said the test flight will mark another key milestone in the march toward commercial flights. The impending flight will be the third space flight for Virgin Galactic and the first from New Mexico. In addition to those who have put down deposits for a ride with Virgin Galactic, several thousand more have registered their interest online.
Hillary, Chelsea Clinton to tell unheralded heroes' stories
LOS ANGELES – Hillary Rodham Clinton and her daughter, Chelsea, are forming a film production company that they say will tell the stories of people whose voices are often overlooked. There have been generations of change-makers who have shaped and will continue to shape our world — often quietly, flying under the radar,” Hillary Clinton said in a statement. The son of business tycoon Sir Richard Branson is the founder of the boutique production company Sundog Pictures. HiddenLight says it also has plans to produce other documentaries as well as scripted and unscripted entertainment for TV, film and digital platforms. “The stories we tell and the experiences we share shape the way we see each other and help us understand our own unique place in the world," said Chelsea Clinton.
Virgin Galactic plans 1st New Mexico space launch this month
LOS ANGELES – Virgin Galactic said Thursday that it expects to launch its first manned test flight into space from New Mexico this month. The company’s spacecraft, VSS Unity, conducted two previous test spaceflights from Mojave, California, before moving in to its facilities at Spaceport America in New Mexico. The spaceport will be Virgin Galactic's base for launching passengers on brief trips high above the Earth, starting with billionaire founder Richard Branson next year. In addition to passengers, Unity can carry small science experiments and will do so on this month’s flight, generating some revenue through a NASA program. Virgin Galactic also has made progress on a second spaceship in its planned fleet and plans to roll it out during the first quarter of 2021, CEO Michael Colglazier said in a statement.
How two blind brothers became Two Blind Brothers for a cause
Brothers, Bryan, left, and Bradford Manning, laugh as they tell the origin story of their clothing company, Two Blind Brothers, in their New York City loft on Friday, Oct. 23, 2020. That’s the question posed by two New York brothers who’ve lost much of their vision to a rare degenerative eye disorder and have dedicated their lives — and livelihoods — to raising money for a cure. Bradford Manning, 35, and his 30-year-old brother, Bryan, are the founders of the clothing brand Two Blind Brothers. With advice from friends in the fashion industry, two blind brothers became Two Blind Brothers. Brad was diagnosed at 7 after their mother, a nurse, found a doctor who determined that Stargardt disease was the cause of his declining vision.
New higher-speed Florida train has highest US death rate
The first death involving a Brightline train, which officially launched in January 2018, happened in July 2017 during test runs. That’s the worst per-mile death rate of the nation’s 821 railroads. A full-speed Brightline train takes a quarter-mile to stop. The railroad shares tracks with Florida East Coast, a freight line that had one death for every 160,000 miles (258,000 kilometers) during the past two years, compared to Brightline’s one death per 29,000 miles (47,000 kilometers). The Tri-Rail commuter service that runs nearby had one death about every 110,000 miles (177,000 kilometers).
Space tourism company could go public for investors Monday
Virgin Galactic(CNN) - Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic is set to become the first publicly traded commercial human spaceflight company. Galactic could be only months away from its first commercial space flight, according to Branson. About 600 people have already have reserved tickets on a Virgin Galactic at prices up to $250,000 apiece. Passengers, outfitted in specially designed spacesuits by Under Armour, will hurtle in a rocket-powered space plane to more than 50 miles into the atmosphere. The startup has notched successful demonstration flights of its rocket-powered space plane called SpaceShipTwo.
Virgin Galactic unveils luxury lounge at its airport for space tourism
(CNN) - Richard Branson's space tourism startup, Virgin Galactic, is showing off a luxurious lounge area and top-shelf amenities for its wealthy clientele. Hundreds of people are lined up to ride a short high-speed trip aboard a Virgin Galactic space plane. Branson, who founded the venture in 2004, plans to be the first tourist aboard a Virgin Galactic space plane. Virgin Galactic now says it's ready to fulfill its promise of making New Mexico a space tourism and flight viewing destination, offering a major boon for the local economy. The company is squared up to compete directly with Blue Origin, a space tourism venture founded by Amazon multibillionaire Jeff Bezos.
Space travel is possible, for the rich
FreeImages.com/bruno sersocima(CNN) - A space revolution is upon us so says the new wave of tech entrepreneurs pledging to colonize the cosmos. But the galactically curious should take heed: Space travel will probably remain prohibitively expensive for anyone outside the 1% for a long, long time. Most recently, Cirque Du Soleil billionaire Guy Laliberte paid $35 million to spend a couple weeks in space. On the cheapest end of the spectrum is Virgin Galactic. They've gained die-hard fans, as well as critics who question how equitable the future of space travel would be if it is built by the world's most affluent people.
Virgin Holidays stops marine tourism
(CNN) - Virgin Holidays is done promoting whales in captivity. Founder Richard Branson announced on the tourism service's blog that the company will no longer offer trips to parks that have whales, dolphins or porpoises captive for human entertainment. The company is ending partnerships with theme parks like SeaWorld, which has come under criticism for its treatment of cetaceans especially since the 2013 documentary "Black Fish." Branson said the move is part of a five-year campaign that works with activists, scientists, tourism operators, and organizations to raise standards in animal welfare in the tourism industry. Instead of seeking an immediate shutdown of existing theme parks, the plan is to support ethical sanctuaries and thereby encourage other parks to change their practices.
Virgin Orbit 'drop tests' a rocket from a 747 aircraft 35,000 feet
It's was part of a pre-planned test carried out by Virgin Orbit, the space startup backed by British entrepreneur Richard Branson. Wednesday's spectacle, during which a Virgin Orbit LauncherOne rocket was intentionally left to freefall back to the ground for a "drop test," was the final step toward reaching that goal. Once the plane reached about 35,000 feet, the typical cruising altitude for commercial aircraft, the rocket was released. Virgin Orbit was spun off from Branson's other space venture, Virgin Galactic, in 2017. In an email Thursday, Virgin Orbit spokesperson Kendall Russell added that the company is "financially comfortable."
Richard Branson plans to take Virgin Galactic public
The Virgin Galactic VMS Mothership "Eve," also known as "WhiteKnightTwo." MOJAVE, Calif. - Richard Branson is preparing Virgin Galactic for a public listing. The billionaire's space tourism company will go public as part of a deal with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings, according to the Wall Street Journal. Hundreds of people are lined up to ride a short high-speed trip aboard a Virgin Galactic space plane and have agreed to pay $200,000 to $250,000 per seat. Bezos has also spent years working on its space tourism plans, and Blue Origin is expected to compete directly with Virgin Galactic in that business.