Strictly speaking, the Netscape moment for the emerging commercial spaceflight industry, aka NewSpace, hasn’t yet arrived. While there have been smaller rounds of financing, including the nearly $300 million Abu Dhabi-based Aabar invested in Virgin Galactic three years ago, there has yet been no major IPO or other similarly large investment on the same scale that would qualify as that industry-shaping moment. However, at the Space Frontier Foundation’s NewSpace 2012 Conference last week in Santa Clara, California, there was considerable optimism that such a moment was in the offing.
See on www.thespacereview.com
(Sen) – Moon Express, one of the leading private companies competing to fly to our natural satellite, is supporting plans to plant a telescope in the lunar soil.
The firm is backing the International Lunar Observatory Association (ILOA), which wants to operate an astronomical observatory that would take images of the stars and Earth in pristine conditions, free of any atmospheric turbulence.
The telescope – brainchild of US businessman and educator Steve Durst – would broadcast its images back home to support the worldwide Galaxy Forum 21st Century Education program.
Moon Express, led by energetic CEO Dr Bob Richards, is one of a field of entrants competing for a cosmic version of an Olympic event – a race to land on the Moon and win the Google Lunar X PRIZE (GLXP).
See on www.sen.com
The competition judges have awarded Space Ground Amalgam, LLC first place in the 2012 NewSpace Business Plan Competition and presented them with the $100,000 prize. Digital Solid State Propulsion, LLC earned second place in the competition and the $10,000 prize. In a last minute addition, Honorable Mention is given to Terapio Corporation for providing an unusually commendable technology that will address one of the inherent risks of space settlement. The hosting organization, the Space Frontier Foundation, and judges congratulate the winners and thank all the finalists for their participation. The awards were presented on July 28th at the NewSpace Awards Gala, the culminating event of the NewSpace 2012 Conference.
See on spacefrontier.org
Armadillo Aerospace is one step closer to flying a rocket into space after receiving a launch license from the FAA on Thursday. During a brief presentation at the NewSpace 2012 Conference in Santa Clara, California, FAA associate administrator for commercial space transportation George Nield awarded Armadillo a suborbital reusable launch vehicle license for its STIG-B rocket. Nield noted that this is only the third such licensed awarded by the FAA, after ones given to Scaled Composites and XCOR Aerospace, and is the only currently-active suborbital RLV launch license.
See on www.newspacejournal.com
Neil Milburn of Armadillo Aerospace answered questions from reporters after the announcement that the FAA has granted the Texas-based company a reusable launch license for the STIG-B rocket. Here is a summary:
See on www.parabolicarc.com
SANTA CLARA, CALIF. — Armadillo Aerospace plans to conduct the first flight of its new reusable suborbital rocket in late August under a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) license awarded July 26. George Nield, FAA associate administrator for space transportation, awarded a two-year commercial operator launch license to Neil Milburn, Armadillo’s vice president of program management, at the NewSpace conference here.
During the first flight of the Suborbital Transport with Inertial Guidance (STIG) B rocket, Armadillo plans to carry two research payloads above 100 kilometers to provide the experiments with 2.5 to three minutes in microgravity, Milburn said. The launch is expected to occur Aug. 25 or Aug. 26.
See on www.spacenews.com
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (Armadillo PR) — At Newspace 2012 hosted by the Space Frontier Foundation in Santa Clara CA, Dr. George Nield, Associate Administrator for the FAA Office of Commercial Space Transportation, presented Neil Milburn, Armadillo Aerospace’s VP of Program Management,with an Operator Launch License for their STIG (Suborbital Transport with Inertial Guidance) class of reusable suborbital launch vehicles. This is Armadillo Aerospace’s first launch license although they have already received three launch permits for their lunar lander class vehicles.
See on www.parabolicarc.com