Think there’s nothing to learn through suborbital flight and that space science is only done in orbit? Think again. Recently, a group of school students in Canada asked the question: do Epi-Pens work in space? These are epinephrine-loaded injectors used to help people with allergies survive a severe attack. To get an answer, the class at St Brother André Elementary School worked with NASA, the University of Ottawa, and the non-profit Cubes in Space program to launch some Epi-Pens on suborbital flights aboard a rocket and a high-altitude balloon. The result? Post-flight analysis showed that the pens lost their efficacy in space. It was a surprise to NASA as well as to the students.Continue reading “The State of Suborbital Space Science”
Get an Inside Look at Space Perspective’s Stratospheric Lounge (With Bar)
Mood lighting, swanky seats, plants, a bar … and a restroom with an out-of-this-world view: Those are the sorts of perks you’d expect on a luxury cruise, but the cruise that Space Perspective plans to offer with those amenities will take you 100,000 feet up, lofted by a balloon.
The Florida-based venture has just unveiled the interior design for its Spaceship Neptune capsule, which is meant to carry up to eight passengers and a pilot into the stratosphere for a look at the curving Earth beneath the black sky of space.
Space Perspective says more than 600 customers have put in their reservations at a price of $125,000 for trips that are due to begin in 2024. And to whet your appetite for the adventure, the company is offering an interactive 3-D visualization of the capsule that you can wander through virtually.Continue reading “Get an Inside Look at Space Perspective’s Stratospheric Lounge (With Bar)”
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Japanese Billionaire Finishes Up Space Station Mission With Online Flourishes
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa and two crewmates have returned to Earth after an 11-day mission to the International Space Station that was marked by online innovations including an NFT drop and a lottery giveaway.
Maezawa, his production assistant Yozo Hirano, and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin took a 3.5-hour ride from the station on a Soyuz craft, climaxing in a touchdown amid the steppes of Kazakhstan around the appointed time of 0313 GMT (9:13 a.m. local time) Dec. 20.
After the landing, the three spacefliers were helped out of the capsule and given medical checks.
The short-duration stay was the first private astronaut trip to the space station brokered by Virginia-based Space Adventures in 12 years. In an interview with The Associated Press, Maezawa said reports that he paid more than $80 million for the adventure were “pretty much” accurate.
“Once you are in space, you realize how much it is worth it by having this amazing experience,” he told AP. “And I believe that this amazing experience will lead to something else.”Continue reading “Japanese Billionaire Finishes Up Space Station Mission With Online Flourishes”
NASA Gives Axiom Space Another Opening to Fly Private Astronauts to Space Station
Even though Texas-based Axiom Space hasn’t yet sent its first crew of customers to the International Space Station, NASA is giving the company an opportunity to send a second crew, potentially just months later.
NASA says it will begin negotiations with Axiom on a space station mission scheduled sometime between the autumn of 2022 and the late spring of 2023. Under a pricing policy laid out earlier this year, NASA would charge $10 million to support each private astronaut during their stay in orbit, plus extra charges for food and supplies.
It’ll cost tens of millions more for the ride to the space station and back. The three customers who have signed up for Axiom’s first space station mission in February are reportedly paying $55 million each, which includes the fare for a trip in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule.Continue reading “NASA Gives Axiom Space Another Opening to Fly Private Astronauts to Space Station”
‘I’m Truly Happy’: Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa Floats Into Space Station
Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa has begun his first space adventure — an 11-day visit to the International Space Station that could serve as the warmup for a round-the-moon trip to come.
Maezawa, production assistant Yozo Hirano and Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin rode a Soyuz capsule into orbit from Russia’s Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, with launch coming at 0738 GMT December 8 (12:38 p.m. local time, 2:38 a.m. EST).
Hours later, the Soyuz docked with the station, and the trio floated inside to meet the orbital outpost’s seven other spacefliers. Maezawa was all smiles as he greeted family and friends back on Earth over a video link.
Before liftoff, the 46-year-old entrepreneur and art collector said he was looking forward to his journey.
“I feel excited like an elementary student waiting for a school trip,” he said at a news conference. “I want to see the Earth from space, float in zero gravity, and see how I will change through this experience. I was blessed with this opportunity, and I’m truly happy I can go.”Continue reading “‘I’m Truly Happy’: Japanese Billionaire Yusaku Maezawa Floats Into Space Station”
Mother and Daughter Win Tickets for Suborbital Space Ride With Virgin Galactic
A wellness coach from Antigua and her daughter are getting tickets for a suborbital space trip, thanks to the latest in a line of out-of-this-world sweepstakes going back 20 years. And although not a single spaceflight sweepstakes winner has flown yet, there’s still significant value to such contests, financially and otherwise.
“Being able to give people of all ages and backgrounds equal access to space, and in turn, the opportunity to lead and inspire others back on Earth, is what Virgin Galactic has been building towards for the past two decades,” Virgin Galactic’s billionaire founder, Richard Branson, said in a Nov. 24 news release.
Branson himself broke the good news to Keisha Schahaff at her home on the Caribbean island of Antigua. Schahaff had entered a contest arranged in collaboration with the Omaze online sweepstakes platform and a nonprofit group called Space for Humanity this summer. She ended up winning the random drawing. Her grand prize? Two tickets for a ride on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo Unity rocket plane, plus terrestrial travel expenses.Continue reading “Mother and Daughter Win Tickets for Suborbital Space Ride With Virgin Galactic”
Virgin Galactic Wins FAA’s OK to Fly Space Passengers: Which Billionaire Will Go First?
Virgin Galactic says it’s received the Federal Aviation Administration’s go-ahead to fly customers on its SpaceShipTwo rocket plane, marking a significant step in a commercial rollout that could also feature dueling space billionaires.
The FAA’s clearance came in the form of an update to Virgin Galactic’s five-year-old commercial space transportation operator license, the company said in a news release. The upgrade was based on an analysis of the results from Virgin Galactic’s most recent suborbital test flight, conducted in May at Spaceport America in New Mexico.Continue reading “Virgin Galactic Wins FAA’s OK to Fly Space Passengers: Which Billionaire Will Go First?”
Axiom Space Reveals the Crew for Its First Space Odyssey in 2022 (Sorry, Tom Cruise)
Axiom Space’s first privately funded trip to the International Space Station will be as notable for who’s not on the crew as for who is.
Sorry, Tom Cruise: Your filmed-in-space movie will have to wait.Continue reading “Axiom Space Reveals the Crew for Its First Space Odyssey in 2022 (Sorry, Tom Cruise)”
Virgin Galactic Sends Three People to the Edge of Space. Flights with Paying Customers Around the Corner Now
Virgin Galactic has reached another milestone in their fight test program. The VSS Unity spacecraft carried a third crew member on board, in its fifth rocket-powered test flight. It was the second time that the spacecraft reached space.Continue reading “Virgin Galactic Sends Three People to the Edge of Space. Flights with Paying Customers Around the Corner Now”
Elon Musk Reveals New SpaceX Spacesuit
SpaceX CEO and founder Elon Musk made public the first official photo of the commercial space company’s spacesuit design with a post on Instagram today. He indicated he’ll have more details soon and said this first ‘reveal’ isn’t just a prototype design; it’s a real, working spacesuit.
“Worth noting that this actually works (not a mockup)” Musk said. “Already tested to double vacuum pressure.”
The person inside the suit – in what looks to be a computer generated photo – looks much like Musk himself, although the face is rather hard to make out.
Following the design of many previous spacesuits, it comes in white. Musk said in designing the suit, it was “incredibly hard to balance esthetics and function. Easy to do either separately.”
There has been some discussion on social media about the orientation of the flag, as it appears to many to be “backward.” However, this follows US military custom of flags on uniforms, positioned on the right shoulder in this same orientation, with stars facing forward. This gives the effect of the flag “flying in the breeze” as the person in the uniform/spacesuit moves forward.
These are the spacesuits that will be worn by the astronauts who make the first flights on the Dragon Capsule to the International Space Station as part of the commercial crew program. The target for the first humans aboard Dragon is next year, mid-2018.
If you are looking for a spacesuit that has a little more pop of color — as well as a heart-felt mission — NASA also held a special news conference from the International Space Station today revealing a colorful new spacesuit created by children around the world who are suffering from cancer.
Touched…what an inspiring project @spacesuitart is.These children are such an amazing example of the strength of humanity working together pic.twitter.com/6HfucuWoJc
— Jeremy R. Hansen (@Astro_Jeremy) August 23, 2017
The Space Suit Art Project is a collaboration between NASA, spacesuit maker ILC Dover and children in hospitals around the world. This suit, called Unity, is the third in a series of suits. The suits are made of colorful patches made by young cancer patients, giving the kids an opportunity to be part of a lasting and out-of-this-world project.
Astronaut Jack Fischer donned the special (non-functioning) spacesuit and said it was tricky to get into, just like a real spacesuit. But this suit, Fischer said, “gives you the honor to represent the bravest kids in the world, who put it together.” Fischer’s daughter Bethany, is a cancer survivor.