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Image Credit: NASA/HMX

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Russian Cosmonaut Mikhail Tyurin will hit a long drive golf shot Wednesday 6:28 PM ET 22 November that may literally go around the world. The Russian will swing knocking a lightweight golf ball off a tee placed on the top of the Russian docking port on the International Space Station.

Club maker Element 21 Golf Co. of Toronto is paying the Russians an undisclosed amount for Tyurin's time, which included plenty of practice swings aboard the space station. Tyurin's drive is expected to be one for the record books, though not everyone agrees on how long the ball will fly. NASA figures it will fall into Earth's atmosphere and be incinerated within three days. Element 21 Golf is betting on three years 2.1 billion miles, and several orbits of Earth.

The last golf shot in space was on the Moon by the late Apollo 14 Commander Alan B. Shapard, Jr. in 1971 going "miles and miles and miles" above the lunar surface (see video here).

Posted by JackKennedy at 12:12 AM  of Spaceports Blogspot
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Space Tourism
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Soyuz Rides to Space Sell Out!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Anatoly Perminov, the director of the Russian Federal Space Agency, has announced that all Souyz rocket rides to the International Space Station by orbital 'tourists' have been sold out until 2009. A waiting list is available for subsequent space flights in 24-to-30 months.

With demand running high for Souyz orbital flights, the price was raised from $20-million to $21-million recently to meet materials cost. The tourist may also pay an additional $15-million for a space walk.

To try and meet the growing appetite for space travel, Miassishchev, a Russian aerospace firm, is developing a suborbital spacecraft for perhaps as low as $100,000. Anousheh Ansari is involved with the development of the suborbital spacecraft.

Posted by JackKennedy at 12:00 AM  Spaceports Blogspot
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Royal Princess Bea Planning Suborbital Space Trek
Sunday, November 12, 2006

British Princess Beatrice has accepted a suitor's offer to become the first member of the Royal family to fly into space aboard Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo in 2009.

To Bea or not to Bea?
The 18-year-old daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York (Prince Andrew and his ex-wife, Sarah Ferguson) and fifth in line to the United Kingdom throne, has reportedly accepted the invitation of David Clark, 24, son of wealthy New Yorker Michael Clark and a favorite young protege of Virgin billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson.

Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrice of York may be the first British Royal in space and help bring about greater social acceptance of space.

Posted by JackKennedy at 12:22 PM  Spaceports Blogspot
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Cargo Shipments

More freight will be delivered shortly by the new European Space Agencie's "Jules Verne" Robot Ship... Like the Progress they will be unmannes, but have a much larger cargo capacity
 

Image Credit: ESA Click Image for Larger View

"Jules Verne" Robot Cargo Ship

More information is available in the library. These new ships will greatly increase the deliveries and fill in when the Shuttles are retired

Europe Launches Jules Verne Robot Space Freighter
Mar 09, 2008
Robot_Ships_ESA_Jules_Verne
 

 New Space Station Robot Asks to be Called "Dextre the Magnificent"
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Image Credit: NASA Click Image for larger view

"Dextre the Magnificent"

April 01, 2008

"In a surprising and potentially troubling request, the new space station robot known as Dextre demanded that astronauts refer to it in the future at "Dextre the Magnificent." Brandishing power tools that would make any handyperson blush, the mobile servicing system thanked humans for creating it and promised a glorious future where humans would retain an important role in the new robot order. Happy April Fools Day from the folks at APOD. The classic fable of humans mistakenly creating technological evildoers dates back to Frankenstein and includes famous fictitious villains such as HAL and the Terminator. Dextre, although real, is no Frankenstein, since its computer intelligence is mainly geared toward allowing astronauts to control it remotely. Dextre was deployed last month to help build and service the International Space Station. As seen in the above picture, Dextre is truly a technological marvel, wielding long arms capable of handling both small tools and large modules with precision dexterity."

Source: NASA APOD

Well...Isaac Asimov warned us.....

Spaceship One
Scaled Composites

3 Killed, 3 Critically Injured In Mojave Airport Explosion
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July 26, 2007

MOJAVE, Calif. -- A fatal explosion at a Mojave Desert airport during testing of a propellant system for a new space tourism vehicle has shaken a small community that prides itself as the hometown of the first private space launch.

The blast Thursday at a remote test facility belonging to Scaled Composites LLC killed three workers and critically injured three others.

Emergency responders found a tanker truck overturned by the force of the blast, according to KNBC news.

Scaled Composited employees, Eric Blackwell, Charles May & Todd Ivens were all killed in the blast, KNBC news reported. Blackwell and May died at the scene, Ivens died after being transported to Kern Medical Center.

All three were at a test pad while pressure-testing the flow of nitrous oxide in a tank. For an unknown reason, the tank exploded. 

SOURCE: KNBC News

Letter from Scaled Composites
http://www.scaled.com/

29 July 2007

Dear Friends,

On Thursday, July 26, 2007, Scaled suffered a tragic accident. In a routine test of rocket motor components, an unexplained explosion occurred that took the life of three of our family and injured many others.

We are working closely with government investigators to determine the cause of this accident. In addition, we are engaging several outside experts to help us ensure that we precisely understand what went wrong and how we might prevent a future occurrence. The safety and well-being of our employees is our highest priority and we intend to share the appropriate lessons learned from our investigation with the industry so others may learn from our experience.

Words cannot express the appreciation we feel for all of you who have extended your prayers and good wishes to us during this time of hardship. The outpouring of comfort and support has done much to bring some healing. As you know, we lost three of our own; three more were critically or seriously injured and are in various stages of recovery in local hospitals; and several others retained less serious physical injuries but face the emotional healing that follows tragedy.

Memorial services are scheduled for the families and friends of the deceased. Todd Ivens' parents have arrived in California and will be having a memorial for their son with his Scaled family, Tuesday, July 31, at Noon. This will be followed by a burial service with his family in Oregon in the days ahead.

The funeral for Glen May is Friday, August 3, 2007, in Collierville, TN. The family would love to hear from anyone who has special memories of Glen; please email them to aprildmay@aol.com. They will be sharing many stories with all those gathered in Glen's memory.

Eric Blackwell's services will be August 11, 2007, in Ridgecrest, CA. There will be a gathering afterwards for those close to Eric to share their memories.

The three who were critically or seriously injured in the accident remain hospitalized. Gene Gisin and Keith Fritsinger remain in critical condition, but are progressing in their rehabilitation. Each day shows improvement, and our hope for a complete recovery becomes more and more visible. Keith Fritsinger will be taken later Tuesday afternoon to a burn unit in Southern California to continue his recovery.

Jason Kramb is making great progress. He is no longer listed as serious, and he has been in good spirits and surrounded by many friends and loving family. To continue his recuperation, he has been transferred to a burn unit in Southern California. Although he has recovered to a great extent, he still has some weeks to go in his rehabilitation.

All three of the hospitalized are surrounded by loving family, who are also in need of our strength and support. Many of you have extended your desire to help them in their time of need. Letters and cards of sympathy can be sent care of Scaled at the address below. 

Scaled Family Support Fund
c/o Scaled Composites
1624 Flight Line
Mojave, CA. 93501

As many can understand, this accident has left an emotional wound in our Scaled family. We ask for your continued prayers and good wishes that all those hurting can find strength and solace in the days ahead.

With grateful hearts,

The Scaled Composites Family

http://www.scaled.com/archived.htm

The Amroc - SpaceDev Connection
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"The NSS mourns the death of a valued and visionary member of the Board of Directors, George A. Koopman, president and co-founder of the American Rocket Company. Mr. Koopman died Wednesday of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. He was forty-four years old. 

AMROC officials affirmed that preparations for the company's first space launch, scheduled for August 14, 1989, will continue as planned. James Bennett, AMROC's vp for External Affairs, said "This represents an enormous loss to AMROC. Koopman was a true space pioneer, not only by virtue of his key role in founding and sustaining AMROC, but also his long support of and participation in organizations such as the National Space Society. The
realization of George Koopman's dream of creating affordable access to space will be his memorial."

Koopman's family has requested that in lieu of flowers, contributions to one of several charitable organizations be made. NSS has been selected and will set up a trust fund in his name to continue the visionary goals he pioneered. Contributions will be excepted by the NSS to the George A. Koopman Memorial Fund.

This has been the National Space Society's Space Hotline updated SpaceDay, July 20th, 1989."

SOURCE

The Proof Of The Pudding: SET-1

"The date for the first launch of Amroc's test vehicle, the Single Engine Test-1 (SET-1) slipped from July to August, 1989. In July, traveling to the test site, George Koopman was involved in a single-car accident along an isolated stretch of highway and was killed. He was 44 years old. The launch of SET-1 was scheduled for weeks hence on August 14.

In the words of friend, and Amroc partner and VP of External Affairs James Bennett, This represents an enormous loss to AMROC. Koopman as a true space pioneer, not only by virtue of his key role in founding and sustaining AMROC, but also his long support of and participation in organizations such as the National Space Society. The realization of George Koopman's dream of creating affordable access to space will be his memorial."

SOURCE: Space Aquarium

The reason that American Rocket is important to our research is that their launch vehicle was named the AQUILA. See our pages on the significance of that name... 

"George Koopman, one of the cofounders of the American Rocket Co., and the president and chief executive officer of Amroc since its creation, died July 19, 1989, of injuries sustained in an automobile accident. He was 44. Mr. Koopman was an example of one of those people who have literally built America - the entrepreneur. It was Mr. Koopman's dream, and the dream of his fellow American Rocket Co. cofounders and financial backers, to found a company that would create affordable access to space.

---snip---

In August 1998 SpaceDev, the world's first commercial space exploration company, acquired exclusive rights to intellectual property including the three patents originally issued to American Rocket Company (Amroc) for their hybrid rocket motor technology. In addition, SpaceDev acquired exclusive possession of and access to a large quantity of Amroc engineering documents, plans, designs, test results, manufacturing data, and other materials related to the rocket motors and Amroc launch vehicles."

SOURCE: Global Security.org
 

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