Khonde Makuala SPACE TOURISM

A wonderful article, space tourism is defenetely the future of tourism, I would love to be in one of those launches if I had the cash.
Posted: 12 November 2009 at 08:56

Anton Berkovitz Space race

Is Elon thinking of a deal with the space station to offer his tourists a short stay there - it might help fund the station
Posted: 12 November 2009 at 09:13

Doug Vining RE: Space race

Good suggestion. I'm not sure if the price for Mark Shuttleworth's visit included some money for NASA. (Remember these are fictitious scenarios set in the future)
Posted: 13 November 2009 at 11:32

Doug Vining Space: capitalism’s final frontier

Space Adventures, the company that placed Mark Shuttleworth on a Russian Soyuz in 2002, has until now been the world’s only private firm to offer commercial space travel. On Monday, Richard Branson unveiled the competition. By Kevin Bloom
http://www.thedailymaverick.co.za/article/2009-12-08-Space-capitalisms-final-frontier
Posted: 9 December 2009 at 07:22

Doug Vining Virgin failure to launch

Virgin Galactic stalls on launch dates, but flights to space still selling
SpaceShipTwo, Richard Branson's relatively cheap answer to otherwise exorbitant commercial space travel ($200,000 a ticket vs. $21 million), is going to take off later than expected. The customers don't seem to care, though.
http://www.thedailymaverick.co.za/article/2010-03-04-virgin-galactic-stalls-on-launch-dates-but-flights-to-space-still-selling
Posted: 5 March 2010 at 08:13

Doug Vining RE: Virgin failure to launch

Burt Rutan Explains Why Space Tourism Matters
The aerospace engineer talks about bringing space flight to the general public. (Video)
http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/deltav/24885/?ref=rss
Posted: 12 March 2010 at 12:48

Doug Vining SpaceX takes a giant leap

On Friday 4 June 2010, SpaceX demonstrated the future of privately funded commercial space travel. The first (test) launch of the Falcon 9 rocket operated flawlessly, putting a Dragon spacecraft into orbit at about 260km altitude.
This is the same craft that will be used for sending cargo and crew to the International Space Station under contract to NASA, and could conceivably develop into a space tourism opportunity.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science_and_environment/10209704.stm
Posted: 7 June 2010 at 15:25

Doug Vining Russia going commercial?

This MindBullet talks about "the recently privatized Russian effort" in 2015. Could this news story about Russia's new commercial spaceport be the start of that process?
http://www.psfk.com/2010/07/russia-to-build-new-commercial-spaceport.html
Posted: 25 August 2010 at 18:33

Doug Vining Boeing enters space tourism partnership

Big commercial players are joining the upstart entrepreneurs in the contest for a piece of this pie. Will it become Boeing vs Space-X in the US?
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-boeing-space-20100916,0,1157716.story
Posted: 16 September 2010 at 11:31

Doug Vining Ben Bova is singing my tune

I have long been in favour of commercial enterprise getting into the space transportation business in a primary way. I have watched the founding and development of SpaceX (http://www.spacex.com) with keen interest, not only because their CEO Elon Musk is a fellow South African, but because I believe, like Richard Branson, that space is a great place for entrepreneurs to create their futures, while simultaneously advancing global technology.

Ben Bova is an old-time space enthusiast and writer, and is greatly encouraged by the recent success of the SpaceX launch. His ultimate vision is a honeymoon hotel in orbit. An interesting idea, which we explored in a light-hearted MindBullet called PARIS HILTON OPENS THE STELLA FOR CHRISTMAS. (http://www.mindbullets.net/Subscription/MindBulletsIssueView.aspx?MindBulletID=73)

But on a more serious note, space tourism is going to be big business in the future. Which dreamy-eyed teenager would NOT want to take a trip into space one day?
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Posted: 17 January 2011 at 10:14

Doug Vining Three inventions will change the world

Elon Musk was brought up in South Africa and is now changing the world from his base in California. He talks about three inventions that will change the world. Actually, any one of them would, and he's involved in two of them.

Some of my colleagues don't think that space flight is of primary importance to business executives formulating their strategy today. I think that, in the future, it could mirror the attitude towards the first flying machines - seemingly of little consequence then, but look how air travel shapes our world today!

The same could be said for DNA sequencing and fusion power. Both are problematic, but the impacts will be profound, if they are fully solved. One thing's always certain - our future world will be changed.
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Posted: 23 March 2011 at 13:18

Doug Vining The final Shuttle mission

I've just watched the final launch of the Space Shuttle live on CNN, something which has intrigued me ever since we landed on the moon in 1969. It's an historic occasion, and worthy of respect. Despite all its problems and huge budget, the Shuttle was enormously successful, by making trips to orbit a routine affair. That's 135 launches in total.

Now it's the turn of "the commercials" to fill in the gap - getting to the Space Station and returning crew. The Russian program, which is incredibly reliable, will also provide this service, which is a staple source of revenue for them. Will this historic occasion also herald the push for entrepreneurial space travel by SpaceX and Virgin Galactic? I hope so.
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Posted: 8 July 2011 at 17:41

Wolfgang Grulke The final Shuttle mission

It's obvious that NASA has other things on it's mind - have a look at this report form last year.

http://intransit.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/21/nasa-announces-designs-for-personal-flying-suit/
Posted: 10 July 2011 at 16:32

Wolfgang Grulke SpaceX builds cheapest launch system

Elon Musk, in a Sunday Times interview today, says they managed to design and build the Falcon 9 launch rocket and the Dragon escape system from scratch in four years - and for just GBP370m - that's half the amount Toyota spent on the Prius and 30 times less than Boeing spent on their next generation 787. By 2014 they plan to send the first privately-launched astronauts to the space station.
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Posted: 31 July 2011 at 10:21

Neil Jacobsohn A million-buck space holiday offer you can't refuse!

Space is steadily moving out of the hands of governments and into the commercial realm. So, if you have a million bucks spare, here's an offer you can't refuse!
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Posted: 22 August 2011 at 16:31

Doug Vining Frontiers to be explored

Richard Branson echoes our thinking in this blog post which picks up on many issues from this MindBullet on space tourism.

Is this coincidence or has he been reading our stuff? I wonder!
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Posted: 8 January 2012 at 15:43

Doug Vining Going up to that place in space

We've published a number of MindBullets about the business of space travel - and that's what it's becoming - a business.

Whether it's Virgin Galactic or SpaceX, the entrepreneurs are taking over, and as I've said a number of times, I think former South African Elon Musk is going to win the new space race.

What better way to mine the market of space than by providing the delivery vehicle?
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Posted: 3 May 2012 at 21:38

Doug Vining Re-inventing space travel

We've long been punting the fact that SpaceX is the real entrepreneur's approach to conquering space. Elon Musk's vision for a completely reusable rocket system, where each stage, including the initial booster, can land back at the launch site under its own power, and be refuelled, is one of the most radical concepts yet.

At first glance, I thought it was a crazy idea. It probably is, but just imagine if they can make it work! Then it will be just like a jet airliner in operation - book your flight, and the rocket takes you on a trip, landing back on earth to be refuelled for the next departure.

It's an even greater leap from that concept to private trips to Mars, but there's no limit to Elon's vision! First though, he has to get Dragon to successfully dock with the Space Station. I have no doubt that he'll succeed with that, even though the launch has been postponed by a couple of weeks. Here's to the new (business) frontier!
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Posted: 8 May 2012 at 09:41

Doug Vining Success for SpaceX, trouble for Tesla

It's been a difficult week for our local techno hero Elon Musk. SpaceX had a brilliant first launch from Vandenberg in California, putting a satellite into orbit for a commercial customer. I just love the description of the eyewitness report in the attached news link. I remember spending a frustrating couple of hours overlooking the Vandenberg launch site, many years ago, waiting for a military launch in perfect weather, only to hear it had been scrubbed for technical reasons.

On the other hand, Tesla is in a bit of trouble. One of their Model S sedans caught fire after hitting a 'metallic object' in the road. The company claims it wasn't a spontaneous fire, so the batteries are not to blame, but the share price dropped anyway. Lithium ion batteries are know to overheat and even catch fire, in devices from Apple laptops to Boeing jets, but this is the first time it has happened in a production electric car.

Read more:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/industry/10352809/Tesla-shares-fall-after-car-fire-and-rating-downgrade.html
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Posted: 3 October 2013 at 15:00

Doug Vining Mission accomplished - again

In another first for technopreneur Elon Musk, SpaceX has launched a satellite into geostationary orbit. This really sets the cat among the pigeons for this market, previously dominated by EU and Russian launch vehicles. Not only is SpaceX a private, entrepreneurial company, it's changing the game by substantially reducing the launch cost.

Soon SpaceX will face the 'problem' of demand far exceeding it's capacity!

Here's a wonderful picture of the Falcon 9 launch trajectory, courtesy of the BBC article alongside.


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Posted: 4 December 2013 at 07:12

Doug Vining Mission accomplished - again

Yesterday SpaceX launched a second satellite into geostationary orbit, just a month after the previous mission. This is significant because it marks the start of routine, humdrum commercial space business. Here's a quote from their press release:
"The THAICOM 6 mission marks Falcon 9’s second flight to a geosynchronous transfer orbit and begins a regular cadence of launches planned for SpaceX in 2014. SpaceX has nearly 50 launches on manifest, of which over 60% are for commercial customers."
I think the MindBullet referred to here is proving to be very accurate in its scenario description for 2015.
Posted: 7 January 2014 at 09:29

Doug Vining Printing rocket engines for Dragons

It's interesting to see that 3D printing is having an impact on what's possible in space travel. Elon Musk says that their new super thrusters use direct metal laser melting to manufacture the combustion chambers and other parts. These thrusters will allow the capsule to land under thrust instead of parachutes, something that was not possible in the past.
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Posted: 30 May 2014 at 09:16

Neil Jacobsohn Space - the private frontier

Remember when space was the preserve of a handful of powerful governments? Power if shifting in the world, away from traditional institutions into the hands of smaller, nimble organizations, and ultimately, do to millions of connected individuals. The implications are truly enormous for society and for business. This is a theme we explore in several of our keynotes.
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Posted: 5 June 2014 at 23:40

Doug Vining Spaceflight becomes routine business

It was 45 years ago that Apollo 11 landed on the moon, an incredible feat of engineering. The Saturn V launch vehicle remains the most powerful rocket ever launched.

Ten days ago, SpaceX launched six satellites into orbit on Flight 12 of the Falcon 9 rocket, and it hardly got any press. Because it was routine, humdrum, maybe slightly boring. Nothing went wrong. But an interesting feature was a partially successful attempt to return the first stage of the rocket to earth under its own power, so that it could be used again.

"At this point, we are highly confident of being able to land successfully on a floating launch pad or back at the launch site and refly the rocket with no required refurbishment. However, our next couple launches are for very high velocity geostationary satellite missions, which don’t allow enough residual propellant for landing. In the longer term, missions like that will fly on Falcon Heavy, but until then Falcon 9 will need to fly in expendable mode."

When rocket boosters, and ultimately the space capsule itself, can fly back to the launch pad to be used again, prices will drop even further, and this type of space delivery will become seriously boring. And make no mistake, it is a business.
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Posted: 24 July 2014 at 16:09

Doug Vining SpaceX gets passengers

We offer our hearty congratulations to Elon Musk and SpaceX. The final frontier is in sight!
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Posted: 17 September 2014 at 11:03

Doug Vining One web for the whole wide world

Funded by Qualcomm and Virgin, OneWeb hopes to construct a giant constellation of microsatellites that will beam internet access to all corners of the globe. From O3B to Google Loon and Facebook drones, there are several initiatives aimed at getting increased internet access to under-served areas.

I'm all for increasing the options for a truly global wireless network, but the cynic in me says it will be a long time coming. All of these plans seem to be taking a lot longer to materialise than initially thought, and there's the added problem of using a launch system that hasn't been developed yet, let alone proven its capability.

Presumably the Virgin Galactic launcher would be even more cost effective than SpaceX, but for the time being it's Elon Musk who is winning the commercial space race, not Richard Branson.
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Posted: 19 January 2015 at 14:58

Doug Vining One web for the whole wide world

Or maybe more than one! I see Elon Musk has revealed that he has plans for a similar Space Internet that will be "an order of magnitude more sophisticated" than what OneWeb wants.
http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2015-01-17/elon-musk-and-spacex-plan-a-space-internet#p1
Oh, and he wants to connect up Mars as well.
Posted: 19 January 2015 at 15:33

Doug Vining Space cowboys

We've been saying for some time that space is the next area for tech start-ups to make an impact, and profits. Now even venture capitalists are starting to agree with us! Cheaper launch technologies make room for (financially) risky efforts to jump into space.

"At the same time, all those launches will provide lots of opportunity for satellite hitchhiking. Jumping into some available space for a ride to orbit didn’t make much sense when satellites were at least the size of cars. But the same kind of technology that’s put a touch-screen computer in your pocket is helping reduce satellites to the size of a loaf of bread. The cost of both making satellites and putting them up is crashing."
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Posted: 20 February 2015 at 16:12

Doug Vining Space cowboys

And look at the dateline of this MindBullet. I'd say we were pretty spot on with our 'future history' timeline!
Posted: 20 February 2015 at 16:14

Anton Musgrave Any bets that Hyperloop be a real project soon?

One thing we have learnt from Elon Musk it that whilst he may not be a nice guy he is a seriously driven individual, with massive dreams, that he seems to make real!
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Posted: 20 August 2015 at 16:37

Neil Jacobsohn Amazon founder joins the space race

Richard Branson is into space. Elon Musk is into space. And this weekend, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos joins them when his rocket blasts off. Space is truly being privatised.
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Posted: 17 June 2016 at 12:46

Doug Vining Stratolaunch megaplane for orbital rocket launches

We've been saying for years that space is the next big business frontier, and Elon Musk has been dominating the news in that area. But another entrepreneur, Paul Allen, has been behind building the world's biggest plane to launch space rockets from the stratosphere into orbit. After four years it has emerged from its hanger for testing and could demonstrate launch capability by 2019. Will this massive plane turn out to be Allen's Folly, or a whole new era of reusable launch platforms? The space business is getting busy!
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Posted: 20 June 2017 at 08:08
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