We live in the future, folks. We're looking up into the sky like never before, and we've got our sights set on the red planet, Mars, and with SpaceX development making great strides, and you can (virtually) take a tour of Mars in this 360-degree viewer courtesy of Curiosity.
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane crashed during its fourth powered flight test last year, but they're still in the space tourism game, and a second SpaceShipTwo is nearing completion.
Hey, you! Yes, you—person who watches Star Trek and Star Wars all the time and generally just seems to love anything to do with stars—you know where all those stars come from? Space! And you can win a trip there—that is, provided that you promise to use your experience to help your community and fellow humans and not to set up a galactic empire to rule with space wizard powers.
World View Enterprises would like to send people to the edge of Earth's atmosphere with balloons and their special parafoil craft. They're one step closer to that goal thanks to a recent record-setting test flight of a to-scale model of their Tycho craft.
Ever tried to buy something, only to realize your wallet is sitting on your kitchen counter a billion miles away on another planet? No need to worry. PayPal has decided now is the perfect time to address that very serious problem. The online payment service is joining forces with the SETI Institute, a leader in the search for alien life in the universe, to create PayPal Galactic, a money transfer system that boldly goes where no money transfer system has gone before.
Your dream vacation to space --come on, you totally have one of those, right? -- may be a little closer to reality after today's test flight of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo. This morning, the company completed a successful rocket powered test flight of the new ship it hopes to start sending tourists into orbit in later this year.
For anyone who isn't up on their superheroes at the moment, Captain Marvel is the current alias of Carol Danvers (yes, a Marvel superhero, not like that guy who shouts Shazam, and now also goes by the name Shazam), an Air Force pilot turned superhero with a love for high altitudes, space, and saving the day.
We didn't immediately make the connection between Ms. Danvers and Kate Winslet when we heard that the latter was getting a free trip to space courtesy of uncle-in-law Sir Richard Branson, but then we dug into the details of the story and the details took a surprisingly heroic tint. The gift of the £124,000 ($200,000) ticket is partly a wedding present (Winslet married Branson's nephew earlier this month), and partly a gift of thanks for... saving his ninety-year-old mother from a fire. Really.
Although it's been a few years since Lance Bass tried to travel to outer space, and it will probably be a few years until space tourism is viable, NASA is already looking into ways to preserve and protect U.S. lunar artifacts from unruly tourists. You know, the ones that wear fanny packs and touch things they're not supposed to?
This is a fan-made take on the recent Dark Knight Rises posters which featured Batman, Catwoman, and Bane. Only Guilherme Zanettini decided to spotlight some of the secondary characters like Alfred, Commissioner Gordon, and Deputy Commissioner Foley. And well, it is raining in these posters afterall... (via MTV Splash Page)
Science-fiction has long held onto the notion that colonization of Earth's Moon was inevitable. Turns out they were probably right but before you strap on your personalized rocket to set up your new vacation getaway, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration would like a word with you.
A new generation of space travel is happening as we speak. You could, perhaps, call it the next generation of space travel. Private space flights are going to start happening more and more often and we'll get closer to the future science fiction stories have told us to much about. But before all that, one Star Trek alum will experience space a very different way. Actor James Doohan's ashes will make their way into outer space when a privately owned rocket is sent up this week.
Meet Richard Garriott -- space tourist, video game designer, millionaire, filmmaker. While on board the International Space Station for some light sightseeing, he used his own money and spare time to produce an eight-minute short film, a sci-fi horror movie called Apogee of Fear. But NASA is refusing to let it see the light of day. Why? Because it's chock full of NASA's stuff, used without their permission. What about an executive producer credit, NASA? ... No? Come on, your astronauts can totally make a cameo! ... Oh, they did. And that's the problem. (They're not in the Screen Actors Guild.) (Not really.)
Venture capitalist Alan Walton paid $200,000 to become one of the first-ever space tourists, hoping to fly into space on the Virgin Galactic spaceship. This was seven years ago. And as of this writing, he has not gone into space. So, he'd like his money back, please. Honestly? We would have to agree. If one buys a ticket on a spaceship, one should be able to fly into space. This has not happened, and it's not going to be for a while, and at 75, Mr. Walton isn't getting any younger.
Last week, Copenhagen Suborbitals achieved a major milestone in their quest to be a grass-roots, independent space company. Their Heat 1X rocket took off from the floating Sputnik platform in the Baltic Sea, and splashed down a few minutes later after reaching 2.8 kilometers. Just getting the rocket off the ground is a big step for the company, but the launch was not without issue. Firstly, mission planners hoped to get some 13 kilometers higher than they did. Also, as you can see in the videos, there were some issues with the Tycho Brahe capsule's parachutes.
These are not insubstantial problems, and Copenhagen Suborbitals clearly has a lot of work ahead of them. But as they've shown in the past, this group of scrappy and devoted Danes can work fast, and have proved they can overcome huge obstacles.
Though this flight was unmanned, a dummy with a camera did ride aboard the Tycho Brahe. Read on after the break to see what a trip with Coppenhagen Suborbitals would be like.
Do any of you remember the 1990's cartoon The Tick? The show featured a tertiary character called The Human Bullet, who would fly into action by having his son fire him out of the large artillery canon housed in the Bullet's backyard. If you've ever wanted to do the same, then Danish company Copenhagen Suborbitals might be able to give you the lift you need. And what's more, they're aiming to launch a major test flight this week.
The flight will be unmanned, launched from northern Europe, one of the many unusual tactics used by this fiercely independent company. The launch window is sometime between June 1st and the 14th, and will be streamed live from their website. This testflight will be another step for the company, bringing them closer to the ultimate goal of launching space tourists 100km up from the earth and landing them safely.
But what can you expect from a ride in their Tycho Brahe capsule?
The "spaceship," called the VSS Enterprise, made it up to 45,000 feet before it glided back to the Mojave Air and Space Port. The Enterprise is carried up to the designated altitude by the Eve carrier before it is released and glides back down to Earth. The entire process took about 25 minutes, though hopefully after paying $200,000, passengers will get a little more space for their buck.
Video after the jump: (warning: autoplay)