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WASHINGTON — Space Exploration Technologies Corp. released an 80-second video July 22 showing the Falcon 9 rocket’s first stage making a “soft landing” in the Atlantic Ocean following the July 14 launch of six Orbcomm satellites into low Earth orbit.

With a pair of geostationary-orbit-bound launches next up on the manifest — both for Hong Kong-based satellite telecommunications fleet operator AsiaSat — SpaceX said it will take a short break from additional booster recovery testing until a planned mid-September launch of a cargo-laden Dragon capsule to the international space station...

  • Stock Xcor Photo

Britain has joined the race to become a leading hub of commercial space flight, announcing eight potential sites for a potential “spaceport” within the UK.

There are numerous questions surrounding this nascent form of tourism. Many focus on the technology in place to deliver it, the legislation that is necessary to safeguard it and, most recently, the pragmatic questions of where spaceports should be placed. But, often overlooked is the issue of exactly what the industry will look like and who it will target, which isn’t as clear cut as you might assume. The plan is to start space-...

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. — After a series of delays, a robotic spacecraft built by the private company Orbital Sciences is counting down to launch today (July 13) on a mission to deliver experiments and supplies to the astronauts living aboard International Space Station.

You can watch the launch live on Space.com, courtesy of NASA TV. The webcast will begin at 12 p.m. EDT (1600 GMT), and liftoff from the Eastern Shore of Virginia is set for 12:52 p.m. EDT (16:52 GMT). Weather permitting, the huge rocket may be visible over parts of the U.S. East Coast as it streaks out over the Atlantic...

The search giant is in talks about a deal to take a stake in Sir Richard Branson's space tourism venture, Sky News learns.

Google is in talks with Virgin Galactic about a deal that will hand it crucial access to satellite-launch technology and an equity stake in Sir Richard Branson’s $2bn (£1.2bn) space tourism venture.

Sky News can exclusively reveal that the discussions with Virgin Galactic are part of Google’s ambitious project to put hundreds of satellites in low-Earth orbit in an attempt to extend internet access to billions of people.

Negotiations between the two...

MOJAVE, CA, June 30, 2014 (XCOR PR) — XCOR Aerospace announced today that it has closed the acquisition of all operational subsidiaries of Space Expedition Corporation, the previously independent Dutch company also known as SXC. SXC served as XCOR’s general sales agent for XCOR® Lynx® flight sales and as their lead wet lease customer. The new sales entity, XCOR Space Expeditions, will continue to focus on sales, commercial partnerships and participant (customer) training on a global level, and will serve as an open sales channel available for all future XCOR Lynx wet lease clients.

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Somebody had the good sense to strap an HD camera to a Falcon 9 Reusable rocket, SpaceX's most powerful Vertical Takeoff/Vertical Landing vehicle. Here's what that camera saw on Tuesday, at the company's latest test launch.

We're pretty pleased with whoever's been tasked with filming SpaceX's test-launches. When the company conducted the first test flight of its Falcon 9R rocket back in April, they chose to film it from a hexacopter hovering near the launch pad. The video was stunning. Now, newly released footage from a test flight on Tuesday lets us watch the rocket launch from the...

The private space industry is a billionaire boys club. Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Paul Allen and Jeff Bezos have all founded companies that have spent tens of millions of their own and investors’ money to get into orbit.

Then there’s XCOR Aerospace, a startup in Mojave, Calif. Its founders aren’t rich, and they’re so thrifty they often buy machinery on surplus websites for pennies on the dollar. Its every milestone has been bootstrapped with side contracts and presales of tickets to space tourists. Yet if all goes to plan, the underdog XCOR may be the first company to take a paying...

  • Photo of the moon from the International Space Station. Credit: NASA

Space tourism firm Space Adventures says two customers have paid deposits for a flight around the moon on a Soyuz spacecraft, but the trip requires major changes to the Russian crew capsule, a vehicle that has seen only incremental upgrades in recent decades. While the Virginia-based company works with Russian engineers to make the venerable Soyuz ferry craft ready for a lunar voyage, Space Adventures president Tom Shelley said last week he expects prices for tourist trips to the International Space Station to fall once U.S.-built capsules begin flying astronauts into low Earth orbit....

The final frontier is finally being…frontiered. Last week both Virgin Galactic and Elon Musk’s SpaceX made large strides in their quest to privatize space for both civilians and astronauts alike.
 
Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic was cleared by the FAA for takeoff last Thursday. Branson’s commercial space airliner expects to launch its first flights out of New Mexico by the end of 2014. Nearly 600 people have paid $250,000 to board the shuttle, which will orbit 60 miles above Earth.
 
SpaceX also...
  • And here's what the capsule looks like without all the flashing lights. It's kind of gumdrop-shaped:
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk unveiled the next version of the company's Dragon spacecraft — Dragon V2 — on Thursday night at the company's manufacturing facility in Hawthorne, California.
 
The Dragon V2 is designed to ferry NASA astronauts to and from the International Space Station. It's an upgraded version of the Dragon cargo ship, which has successfully delivered food and other supplies to the space station three times since 2012.
 
NASA has been entirely dependent on Russia's Soyuz spacecraft to get American astronauts to and from the space...

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