Space Thread

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
29,031
1,172
113
Virgin Galactic moves one step closer to commercial space flights
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Rich Mckay
Publishing date:May 22, 2021 • 1 day ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity, piloted by CJ Sturckow and Dave Mackay, starts its engines after release from its mothership, VMS Eve, on the way to its first spaceflight after launch from Spaceport America, N.M., May 22, 2021 in a still image from video.
Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity, piloted by CJ Sturckow and Dave Mackay, starts its engines after release from its mothership, VMS Eve, on the way to its first spaceflight after launch from Spaceport America, N.M., May 22, 2021 in a still image from video. PHOTO BY VIRGIN GALACTIC /Handout via REUTERS
Article content
Flying at Mach 3 and reaching more than 55 miles above the Earth Saturday, British billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s private spaceship company Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc completed its first manned space flight from its new home port in New Mexico.

This is a milestone in Branson’s near two-decades effort to create a commercial “spaceline” to take paying customers into outer space.


Touted as the first human spaceflight from the state, Branson’s SpaceShipTwo craft lifted off in the desert about 45 miles northeast of Las Cruces, New Mexico, about 10:35 a.m.

About 50 minutes later, traveling at more than 2,300 miles an hour, it reached a height NASA recognizes as space and attained suborbital flight status.

“Welcome to space” the company posted on Twitter.


Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
Branson shared videos of the flight on social media and said on Twitter, “Delighted to be on the flightline to Virgin Galactic’s first human spaceflight from the majestic Spaceport America.”


Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
On the flight deck were CJ Sturckow and Dave Mackay who reached space, while Kelly Latimer and Michael Masucci piloted a carrier plane that helped the craft lift off, the company said.

The space plane, which can hold six passengers, glided to a landing on a runway safely with its two pilots about 11:45 a.m.

“The crew experienced extraordinary views of the bright, blue-rimmed curvature of the earth against the blackness of space … Their experience today gives Virgin Galactic’s future Astronaut customers a glimpse of what lies ahead,” the company said in a release.

Branson founded the company in 2004 and this is the third time his company reported reaching space.


The Washington Post reported that this flight comes at a critical time for Branson as his space venture is facing competition from billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, the Amazon founder’s own efforts to create a commercial spaceline.

MORE ON THIS TOPIC

Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos addresses the media about the New Shepard rocket booster and Crew Capsule mockup at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, April 5, 2017.
Blue Origin's first space tourism flight will be July 20
Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos addresses the media about the New Shepard rocket booster and Crew Capsule mockup at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States April 5, 2017.
Musk trolls Bezos as space race between world's richest men heats up

Saturday’s flight is the first time Branson’s crafts have reached space in more than two years, when the company moved its operations from Mojave, California, to New Mexico.

Michael Colglazier, the CEO of Virgin Galactic, said in a statement: “Today’s flight showcased the inherent elegance and safety of our spaceflight system, while marking a major step forward for both Virgin Galactic and human spaceflight in New Mexico.”
1621806679270.png
 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
29,031
1,172
113
Wealthy entrepreneur the latest civilian to buy his way into space
John Shoffner said he is a lifelong space fan who dreamed of being an astronaut when he was a kid

Author of the article:Washington Post
Washington Post
Christian Davenport
Publishing date:May 26, 2021 • 1 day ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
Former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and entrepreneur John Stoffner are preparing for a trip to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft in a mission arranged by Axiom Space. MUST CREDIT: Axiom Space

ONE-TIME USE ONLY
Former NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson and entrepreneur John Stoffner are preparing for a trip to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon spacecraft in a mission arranged by Axiom Space. MUST CREDIT: Axiom Space ONE-TIME USE ONLY PHOTO BY HANDOUT /Axiom Space
Article content
He’s sky-dived or base-jumped some 3,000 times. An avid cyclist, he hang glides, white-water kayaks and flies jets in airshows.

Now John Shoffner is preparing to go to space.

Producer defends casting Kevin Spacey in Italian movie
Trackerdslogo

As the latest wealthy entrepreneur to book passage to the International Space Station, Shoffner is scheduled to fly alongside veteran NASA astronaut Peggy Whitson in the second half of next year.

The flight would mark the second mission arranged by Axiom Space, a Houston-based company that is training private citizens to become astronauts and flying them to the space station on SpaceX rockets and spacecraft.

The company hopes to fly private missions about every six or seven months, and is working toward its first flight in January, when three billionaires, who are paying US$55 million each, will spend about a week on the station. They’ll be accompanied by former NASA astronaut Michael Lopez-Alegria.

Axiom would not disclose what Shoffner has paid.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
That flight is one of several private astronaut missions coming to fruition in the months ahead. Jared Isaacman, the billionaire entrepreneur who founded Shift4 Payments, is funding an all-civilian flight to space that would raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Instead of flying to the station, the SpaceX Dragon capsule would stay in orbit for a few days before coming back to Earth.

After that, Russia is planning to fly two civilian missions to the space station. First, a Russian actress and director would launch to the station in October to film scenes for a movie. Then, in December, Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and his production assistant Yozo Hirano are scheduled to fly to the station, where they would film segments for Maezawa’s YouTube channel. Maezawa has also chartered a flight on SpaceX’s Starship spacecraft that would orbit the moon.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content

It is unclear who might join Whitson and Shoffner on their mission. An Axiom spokesman said that would be revealed at a later date. But recently, the Discovery Channel announced it was hosting a competition for a seat on a future Axiom mission to the space station. Former NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine also said last year that Tom Cruise was working with the company to shoot scenes for a movie on the station.

Shoffner said he is a lifelong space fan who dreamed of being an astronaut when he was a kid and got his pilot’s licence when he was 17. Now, he flies in airshows and also races sports cars.

He founded Dura-Line Corp. and developed materials and methods for the placement of fiber-optic cable, with operations in more than a dozen countries.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

This advertisement has not loaded yet, but your article continues below.
Article content
When the opportunity to go to space came along, he jumped at it.

“My activities in life have, I think, prepared me for this mentally and physically. I’m ready to go.”

As a NASA astronaut, Whitson broke all sorts of records. She spent 665 days in space, more than any other American; she was the first female commander of the International Space Station and the first woman to serve as chief astronaut; and the first person to hold that position who hadn’t served in the military.

She completed 10 spacewalks, more than any other female astronaut. And when she retired in 2018, she figured she had spent enough time in space. “I wasn’t sure I would ever get to fly again,” she said.
 

Blackleaf

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 9, 2004
46,411
1,353
113

Dark Matter findings suggest Einstein’s Theory of Relativity “may be wrong” - BBC News​

 

Blackleaf

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 9, 2004
46,411
1,353
113

How do we know we're not at the centre of the universe? - Professor Brian Cox​

 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
29,031
1,172
113
NASA plans two new missions to Venus, its first in decades
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Jun 02, 2021 • 4 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson speaks during a "State of NASA" address, as he announces the new DAVINCI+ and VERITAS space missions to study Venus, at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., June 2, 2021.
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson speaks during a "State of NASA" address, as he announces the new DAVINCI+ and VERITAS space missions to study Venus, at NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C., June 2, 2021. PHOTO BY AL DRAGO /REUTERS
Article content
LOS ANGELES — NASA on Wednesday announced plans to launch two new scientific missions to Venus between 2028 and 2030 – its first in decades – to study the atmosphere and geologic history of Earth’s closest planetary neighbour.

The U.S. space agency said it was awarding about $500 million for development of each of the two missions, dubbed DAVINCI+ (short for Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble Gases, Chemistry and Imaging) and VERITAS (an acronym for Venus Emissivity, Radio Science, InSAR, Topography and Spectroscopy).

Mexico accuses three fashion brands of cultural appropriation
Trackerdslogo
DAVINCI+ will measure the composition of the dense Venusian atmosphere to improve the understanding of how it evolved, while VERITAS will map the planet’s surface to help determine its geological history and why it developed so differently than Earth, NASA said.

DAVINCI+ is also expected to return the first high-resolution images of unique geological features on Venus called “tesserae,” which may be comparable to Earth’s continents and suggest that Venus has plate tectonics, according to NASA’s announcement.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Blackleaf

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
29,031
1,172
113
Virgin Galactic to fly researcher to space for conducting experiments
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Jun 03, 2021 • 14 hours ago • < 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Virgin Galactic co-founder Sir Richard Branson, CEO George Whitesides and Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya pose together outside of the New York Stock Exchange n New York, Oct. 28, 2019.
Virgin Galactic co-founder Sir Richard Branson, CEO George Whitesides and Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya pose together outside of the New York Stock Exchange n New York, Oct. 28, 2019. PHOTO BY BRENDAN MCDERMID /REUTERS
Article content
British billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s spaceship company, Virgin Galactic Holdings, said on Thursday it will fly researcher Kellie Gerardi to space for testing new health-care technologies.

Gerardi, a researcher with the International Institute for Astronautical Sciences, will serve as a payload specialist and experiment with wearable sensor systems and syringe designs for use in space, among other things.

A night in the life of real-life heroes
Trackerdslogo
Following its first manned space flight in May, Virgin Galactic is expected to conduct more test flights, including in partnerships with the Italian Air Force and NASA scientist Alan Stern.

Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content

The company’s shares rose about 4% in premarket trading on the news.
 

Blackleaf

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 9, 2004
46,411
1,353
113
1622850225800.png

Kepler-90 - The star system with the biggest number of planets that we know of

Located 2,840 light years away in the constellation Draco, this star system has eight known planets - like our own

 

spaminator

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 26, 2009
29,031
1,172
113
Jeff Bezos to fly to space on Blue Origin rocket
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Publishing date:Jun 07, 2021 • 12 hours ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos addresses the media about the New Shepard rocket booster and Crew Capsule mockup at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States April 5, 2017.
Amazon and Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos addresses the media about the New Shepard rocket booster and Crew Capsule mockup at the 33rd Space Symposium in Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States April 5, 2017. PHOTO BY ISAIAH DOWNING /REUTERS
Article content
Amazon.com Inc founder Jeff Bezos brother will fly to space next month on the first space flight from his rocket company Blue Origin, the billionaire said on Monday.

“Ever since I was five years old, I’ve dreamed of travelling to space. On July 20th, I will take that journey with my brother,” Bezos said in an Instagram post.


Advertisement
STORY CONTINUES BELOW

Article content

Blue Origin closed the first round of the auction last month and said it had received more than 5,200 bidders from 136 countries, without disclosing the highest bid from the round.

The current highest bid stood at $2.8 million in the ongoing second round of auction, according to Blue Origin’s website.

The process will last until June 10 and conclude in a final phase on June 12, with a live online auction.


The company is targeting July 20 for its first suborbital sightseeing trip on its spacecraft, a landmark moment in a competition to usher in a new era of private commercial space travel.

Reuters reported in 2018 that Blue Origin was planning to charge passengers at least $200,000 for the ride, based on an appraisal of rival plans from billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc and other considerations, though its thinking may have changed.
1623112786427.png
 

Blackleaf

Hall of Fame Member
Oct 9, 2004
46,411
1,353
113
S4714: The fastest star ever seen is moving at 8% the speed of light - 15,000 miles per second!