30 Dec '11, 6pm

Private Spaceflight: Up, Up, and Away

Photo: Virgin Galactic FUN RIDE Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo , attached to its carrier, WhiteKnightTwo , should be making test flights this year. The 20th of February, 2012, will be the 50th anniversary of the first U.S. orbital manned spaceflight. To mark the occasion, retired pilot Craig Russell had an over-the-top idea: Reenact astronaut John Glenn's mission, but do it with private funding and off-the-shelf technologies. Ultimately, a lack of funding killed Russell's dream, but don't lose heart. Truth is, if you've got a more practical reason for putting a person in space, there's never been a better time to try. Over the last decade, a broad advance in the commercial availability of aerospace technologies has allowed small private entities to attempt feats that once had been the monopoly of major governments. In 2012 privately funded human spaceflight will advance fr...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/aviation/private-space...

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Nice overview of Commercial Space in 2012 by James Oberg #COTS #CCDev via @Suborbi_Science

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