Virgin Galactic delays its first commercial research space flight to mid-October

Jon Fingas

Virgin Galactic faces even more setbacks in its paid space travel. Reuters reports that Virgin has postponed its first commercial research flight, Unity 23, to mid-October. The mission was originally scheduled for late September or early October, but a supplier warned of a possible “manufacturing defect” in the flight control actuation system, Virgin said. It … Read more

Stoke Space stakes its claim in rush to reusable rockets

Stoke Space stakes its claim in rush to reusable rockets

Stoke Space subjects its “three-pack” of thrust chambers to a hot fire test. (Stoke Space Photo) In just six months, Kent, Washington-based Stoke Space Technologies turned empty ground in Moses Lake, Washington, into a bridgehead for the construction of a fully reusable rocket optimized for satellite launches. “As recently as April, it was a barren … Read more

NASA’s latest space station cargo includes a 3D printing system for lunar soil

Jon Fingas

NASA has come one step closer to building lunar and Mars colonies from the earth of the celestial bodies. Universe Today notes that NASA’s latest replenishment mission to the International Space Station included a machine designed to demonstrate the 3D printing of regolith (i.e., loose earth or rock) on the moon and similar alien surfaces. … Read more

Blue Origin’s space shots give tiny Texas town a boost

Blue Origin’s space shots give tiny Texas town a boost

A mural painted on an abandoned building in Van Horn, Texas shows Jeff Bezos and his brother Mark, who will ride the Blue Origin suborbital spacecraft on Tuesday. (GeekWire Photo / Alan Boyle) VAN HORN, Texas – The last time I visited this West Texas city in 2006, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin Space Venture planned … Read more

How Seattle tech titans gave a boost to suborbital space tourism

SpaceShipTwo / SpaceShipOne

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity and its mothership (left) are modeled after the SpaceShipOne launch system (right) built with the help of Seattle billionaire Paul Allen. (Photos by Virgin Galactic and Michael Pereckas) The suborbital spaceships built by Jeff Bezos’ space company Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic Spaceline may look completely different, but financially … Read more

Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson goes on suborbital space trip

SpaceShipTwo launch

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane, VSS Unity, launches its hybrid rocket engine to fly into space. (Virgin Galactic via YouTube) Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson took his company’s SpaceShipTwo rocket to the skies over New Mexico today and did something no billionaire has done before. Accompanied by five crew members, Branson became the first billionaire … Read more

Blue Origin fuels feud with Virgin Galactic over space trips

Virgin Galactic downplays talk about Branson vs. Bezos space race

How serious could the suborbital space race between Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos get? (GeekWire photos) Jeff Bezos has a longstanding rivalry with SpaceX’s Elon Musk, but now his space company Blue Origin is stepping up the stakes with future space traveler Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic – and the Twitterverse isn’t amusing. Today’s escalation from … Read more

Astronauts show how CRISPR gene editing works in space

Jon Fingas

CRISPR gene editing is no longer limited to Earth. Astronaut Christina Koch and scientist successfully demonstrated CRISPR-Cas9 in space for the first time and used it as part of a new technique to damage DNA and study how it is repaired in microgravity. “Technical and safety concerns” have prevented earlier studies like this one, the … Read more

Virgin Galactic plans to send Richard Branson to space on July 11th

Mariella Moon

Sir Richard Branson could visit space before Jeff Bezos. Virgin Galactic has announced that it will open the flight window for SpaceShipTwo Unity’s next rocket-powered test flight on July 11th, more than a week before Blue Origin’s first tourist flight is scheduled to take off on July 20th with Bezos on board. The Unity 22 … Read more