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.
Virgin Galactic is making progress in the development of its next SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane, although the company is saying little about when its existing SpaceShipTwo will be ready to resume test flights.
Blue Origin’s New Shepard suborbital vehicle made its first flight in more than seven months Dec. 11 as the company inches closer to flying people to the edge of space.
Exos Aerospace said the failed launch of a reusable suborbital sounding rocket last month was caused by a structural failure of the rocket shortly after liftoff.
The chief executive of Blue Origin said Oct. 2 it was increasingly unlikely the company would start flying people on its New Shepard suborbital vehicle by the end of this year as it ensures the vehicle is safe enough.
Virgin Galactic signed a contract Oct. 2 with the Italian Air Force to fly a set of research payloads, and three people, on a future SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceflight.
A reusable suborbital rocket developed by Exos Aerospace suffered a loss of attitude control seconds after liftoff on a test flight June 29, but the rocket was still able to glide safely back to Earth.
Blue Origin successfully launched its New Shepard suborbital vehicle on its latest test flight May 2, a flight that the company says brings it one step closer to flying humans later this year.
Blue Origin plans to conduct the latest test flight of its New Shepard suborbital vehicle May 2 as the company, and others in the industry, seek ways to allow NASA-funded researchers to fly with their payloads on such missions.
Virgin Galactic’s chief pilot believes the company will be able to go through the remainder of its SpaceShipTwo test program fairly quickly once test flights of the suborbital spaceplane resume.