NASA has selected its first human-tended commercial suborbital research payload, clearing the way for the biggest advocate of such research to fly on a future Virgin Galactic mission.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle made its first flight in 10 months Oct. 13, carrying a dozen payloads for NASA and other customers to the edge of space and back.
PLD Space has taken a step closer to qualifying its Teprel-B rocket engine that will power the company's suborbital Miura 1 rocket.
Virgin Galactic has pushed the beginning of commercial flights of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle to no earlier than the first quarter of 2021 while announcing plans to sell additional stock to raise money.
Virgin Galactic showed off the interior of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane July 28 as the company prepares to wrap up the campaign of test flights of the vehicle and begin commercial operations.
Virgin Galactic conducted its second test flight of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle from its New Mexico spaceport June 25 and now says it is ready to resume powered flights of the spacecraft.
NASA is taking the first steps in a process that could lead to astronauts and other agency personnel flying on commercial suborbital vehicles by establishing a program office and seeking input from industry.
A White House official said June 22 that while the administration supports commercial space transportation, companies with ambitions of high-speed point-to-point suborbital spaceflight should focus on near-term goals instead.
Virgin Galactic executives said May 5 that the suborbital spaceflight company has taken measures to resume regular operations during the coronavirus pandemic, but said they didn’t yet know its overall impact on the business.
Virgin Galactic conducted the first test flight of SpaceShipTwo from its New Mexico spaceport May 1 as the company edges closer to finally beginning commercial flights of the suborbital spaceplane.
With SpaceShipTwo and Blue Origin’s New Shepard set to begin commercial service as soon as late this year, the focus has been on those vehicles carrying space tourists. But some believe that those vehicles are also ideal for research missions.
With NASA now allowing researchers to fly with experiments on commercial suborbital spacecraft, the agency is beginning a certification process that would allow its astronauts to also fly on such vehicles.
Virgin Galactic executives suggested Feb. 25 that the beginning of commercial flights of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle might slip again, even as the company starts planning to resume ticket sales.
Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane arrived at the company’s spaceport in New Mexico Feb. 13, ready for a final series of test flights before the company starts commercial operations.
NASA plans for the first time to allow researchers to fly with their payloads on commercial suborbital vehicles, ending years of debate and deliberation.