Near Space

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The X-15 Pilots: The Original X-Men

By |September 23rd, 2017|

There have been numerous histories of the X-15 rocket plane research program published over the decades.  It took author Michelle Evans several decades of research, writing and waiting before finally publishing The X-15 Rocket Plane—Flying the First Wings into Space. What makes this book particularly interesting and different from previous titles is the emphasis on […]

World View and the Nearspace Experience

By |April 29th, 2017|

World View Enterprises recently opened its new headquarters building at Tucson, Arizona. The company specializes in stratospheric balloon flights for research and passengers. For several years now, it has been working on the design and development of its Voyager craft.  This sleek craft will take individuals by balloon filled with lighter than air gas up to an […]

Europe’s Wealthy and the Suborbital Spaceflight Experience

By |March 5th, 2017|

My previous blog post was titled, The World’s Wealthy Will Travel to North America for Suborbital Spaceflight. I wrote about the only two companies developing spacecraft for commercial suborbital spaceflight. They are Virgin Galactic in New Mexico and Blue Origin in Texas. With ticket prices for these flights in the vicinity of a quarter of […]

The Dawn of a Commercial Space Golden Age

By |February 17th, 2017|

Of all the space-faring nations in the world, the United States clearly has the largest number of commercial space businesses.  While there have been  legacy companies that have built rockets like the Delta and the Atlas, and satellites by companies like Raytheon, within the last ten years there has been a very healthy growth in […]

Women in the Commercial Spaceflight sector

By |October 29th, 2016|

In the 21st century, women have risen to the top echelons of the aerospace industry. The commercial space sector has some of the most prominent women as presidents or CEOs in the United States. The space shuttle era shattered the glass ceiling to women astronauts and dozens of women flew on or commanded the shuttle […]

England’s SABRE Engine and Skylon Jet

By |July 16th, 2016|

For over half a century, commercial passenger jet travel has operated in the subsonic realm.  The British/French Concorde supersonic jet was the exception to this and it flew for 20 years before being retired. Boeing and Airbus never ventured into supersonic passenger flight, choosing to remain in the lucrative conventional jet technology market and production.

From […]

Human Spaceflight in Science Fiction Films

By |June 11th, 2016|

Many who are intrigued today about personal spaceflight can usually point to at least one film that is their favorite science fiction film. The films may gloss over the realities of human spaceflight, or the films might portray as much as possible those same realities.

Forbidden Planet
A perennial favorite and classic of the genre in […]

The XCOR Lynx will not fly–for now

By |May 31st, 2016|

The three companies pursuing suborbital spaceflight for humans are Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic (VG) and in a distant third place, was XCOR. Both Blue Origin and VG have the financial resources to continue the expensive phase of launch vehicle, propulsion and spacecraft development.

Jeff Bezos, founder of, has put several hundred million […]

Potential space tourism in Great Britain

By |May 20th, 2016|

In 2014, the British government announced plans for the establishment of a spaceport for commercial purposes. Roughly half a dozen sites were being considered, with the bulk of them in Scotland. Due to the nature of the business, sites away from urban centers and near the coastline were prime requirements.

In March 2015, the list […]

WorldView balloon flights will reach 100,000 feet

By |March 6th, 2016|

The successful suborbital flights—and landings—of the Blue Origin New Shepard rocket and the suborbital test flights of the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo are two ways spaceflight participants will be able to experience the spectacular view of the Earth below. There is a third that is under development and will launch in 2017. That third way will […]