The Troubled Future of the World's First Commercial Spaceport

Completed in October 2011, Spaceport America is an 18,000 acre commercial spaceport—the first of its kind in the world—that was going to be a major hub for SpaceX and Virgin Galactic, as each company toils away on developing the future of private spaceflight. It's been more than three years since opening, and New… » 2/22/15 9:01am 2/22/15 9:01am

Most Americans Wouldn't Take a Trip to Space, Even If It Was Free

If you grew up during the space race of the 1960s, you probably thought that tourist flights into space would be common by now. Sadly, nobody is honeymooning on the moon just yet. But a new poll shows that most Americans actually have no desire to go to space — even if the trip was free. » 2/20/15 1:25pm 2/20/15 1:25pm

SpaceShipTwo's Surviving Pilot Ejected Into -70 Degree Air at 50,000…

Investigators are still trying to figure out exactly what went wrong with the tragic crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo. While the National Transportation Safety Board has been looking into an issue with the braking system, the agency has released details from surviving pilot Peter Siebold about how he managed to… » 11/12/14 1:12pm 11/12/14 1:12pm

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Deployed Its Braking System Prematurely

Following the tragic accident on Friday which saw Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo fail catastrophically, engineers are now scrabbling to understand the cause. In a new briefing, the National Transportation Safety Board has explained that the craft deployed its braking system prematurely. » 11/03/14 6:14am 11/03/14 6:14am

Why Space Travel Matters More Than Ever

Yesterday, somewhere in the Mojave desert, investigators began the long process of understanding the events that led to the tragic accident that killed one pilot and left another injured. And even after they finish, plenty of questions about the future of the commercial space industry will remain. But the one we'll… » 11/01/14 10:26am 11/01/14 10:26am

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Has Crashed, One Pilot Confirmed Dead

Virgin Galactic is reporting that there has been an "in-flight anomaly" aboard SpaceShipTwo. The suborbital flight took off at 9:19am PDT from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. Update: Virgin Galactic has confirmed that SpaceshipTwo has crashed and the California Highway Patrol has confirmed that there is » 10/31/14 2:18pm 10/31/14 2:18pm

Virgin Galactic Has Delayed Its First Flight

Things don't always run smoothly for Virgin Galactic, though it is increasingly making progress. Now,those eager to make it into space on a plane may have more of a wait than they'd like though—because the company has had to push back its maiden voyage. » 9/12/14 5:20am 9/12/14 5:20am

DARPA'S Turning to Bezos and Branson For Help Building Its Spaceplanes

We've known about DARPA's plan to build a reusable, unmanned space plane for quite some time, but the agency just announced the companies that will help. Unsurprisingly, two feature famous billionaires who love space. » 7/16/14 3:31pm 7/16/14 3:31pm

Report: Google in Talks to Buy Stake in Virgin Galactic

Google is apparently in talks to buy up part of Virgin Galactic, but not to take a leisure cruise: Sky News claims that it will buy "crucial access to satellite-launch technology" to help put its new low-Earth orbiters into the sky. » 6/13/14 3:45am 6/13/14 3:45am

Virgin Galactic Is Finally Cleared for U.S. Take-Off

It came to light earlier this year that, despite promising to fly you through space, Virgin Galactic didn't actually have Federal Aviation Administration approval to take off from the U.S.. Now, it's struck a deal which should see it able to take to the skies. » 5/30/14 8:01am 5/30/14 8:01am

15 Years of Virgin Galactic's Failed Space Age Promises

Back in 2012, I saw a sign outside of a travel agency in Western Australia that filled my cold, black heart with glee. It was an ad for Virgin Galactic, with the implied promise that if I stepped inside that door, I could buy a flight to space from an "accredited space agent." » 5/13/14 4:42pm 5/13/14 4:42pm

Virgin Galactic Might Not Technically Get You Into Space (Updated)

A new report about Virgin Galactic has taken a look at the small print in the customer contract that Virgin Galactic will give to those who choose to fly in the most ridiculous commercial aircraft ever—and it seems that they can't promise you'll make it into space. » 5/13/14 6:30am 5/13/14 6:30am

Virgin Galactic Doesn't Have FAA Permission to Fly You to Space

If you're one of the 700 or so people who bought tickets to fly to outer space on Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic rockets, don't pack your space bags just yet: Smithsonian notes that the company doesn't have the Federal Aviation Administration permit required to take passengers to space. Hope you folks got… » 1/22/14 1:00pm 1/22/14 1:00pm

Spectacular photos of SpaceShipTwo breaking the sound barrier

SpaceShipTwo just finished its third rocket-powered test and reached the highest altitude its ever been at 71,000 feet by hitting a maximum velocity of Mach 1.4. You can see the new reflective coating on the rocket plane's tail booms which perfectly reflects the flame and our Earth. Lovely. Cant wait to book my ticket! » 1/10/14 10:45pm 1/10/14 10:45pm

Oh Good, You Can Now Use Your Fake Money to Fly in a Space Plane

Congratulations to all aspiring crypto-currency cosmonauts out there; you'll soon be able to use Bitcoin, everyone's favorite pseudomonetary bubble, to book flights on Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic space boats. » 11/22/13 2:57pm 11/22/13 2:57pm

Would You Be on a Reality TV Show That Sends You to Space?

It's everyone's fantasy to get strapped to a giant rocket and blasted into the heavens. Right? Well, except for the space sickness, the difficult-to-operate space toilet, the inevitable contingency that your trip could turn out like the movie Gravity. » 10/04/13 1:20pm 10/04/13 1:20pm

Watch a Virgin Galactic Test Flight from Onboard the Engine

This is what a Virgin Galactic supersonic flight with the SpaceShipTwo looks like, up close and personal. It's not quite space, but it's still damn gorgeous to watch. » 9/06/13 9:58am 9/06/13 9:58am

Look at SpaceShipTwo's Rocket Ablaze

In case you missed it earlier today, Virgin Galactic successfully performed its first rocket-powered test flight of the SpaceShipTwo. In other words, space tourism is nigh. » 4/29/13 3:18pm 4/29/13 3:18pm

Today Marks Virgin Galactic's First Rocket-Powered Test Flight

Earlier this month, Virgin Chairman Richard Branson announced at the launch of Virgin America's new route through Newark that his other flying endeavor would be hitting a huge milestone this month: Its first rocket-powered test flight. » 4/29/13 1:20pm 4/29/13 1:20pm