New Mexico Governor Signs Spaceport Liability Legislation Into Law
The AP (4/3, Clausing) reports, “Gov. Susana Martinez on Tuesday signed into law liability-waiving legislation aimed at saving the state’s nearly quarter-billion-dollar investment in a futuristic spaceport and retaining its anchor tenant, British billionaire Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic.”
Martinez said the new law shows the state is “not only reaffirming the major commitment New Mexicans have made to Spaceport America but we now have an even stronger opportunity to grow the number of commercial space jobs at the spaceport and across our state. This legislation will prevent lawsuit abuse and make it easier for businesses related to the space travel industry to thrive and succeed right here in New Mexico.” The article notes that previously Virgin Galactic had protested its rent payments and had threatened to leave if the law was not passed. In a statement yesterday, Virgin Galactic said it was always committed to the project but now more needs to be done to bring other customers to the spaceport.
Two magazines arrived in my mailbox last week. Both had “Space Tourism” as their cover story. one was Ad Astra (Summer 2009), the quarterly magazine of the National Space Society. The other was Aviation Week (September 7, 2009). On their cover, both magazines had photographs of Virgin Galactic’sWhite Knight Two, built by Scaled Composites in Mojave, California.
While the Virgin Galactic / Scaled Composite venture (at $200,00 per flight) is the best known, there are a lot of other private spacecraft in development.
XCOR – Augustine Commission member, Jeff Greason is CEO of XCOR. Their Lynx vehicle will carry one pilot and one passenger to an altitude of 38 miles (61 km). Total flight time is around 30 mijnutes from takeoff to landing. Propulsion is a liquid oxygen / kerosene rocket engine (Lynx 5K18). The Lynx Mark 2 is designed for 68 miles (110 km). Cost is $95,000 per flight.
Rocketplane Global – Having spent in excess of $24 million on their XP suborbital space plane, the financial mess has made it difficult to raise capital. Chuck Lauer, CEO, said that more than $100 million of additional costs would be needed to get to first flight.
Blue Origin – Jeff Bezos’ company has been conducting test flights of its New Shepard suborbital vehicle since 2006. “Flight opportunities in 2011 may be availablefor autonomous or remotely-controlled experiments on an un-crewed flight test”, according to the website.
Talis Enterprise – Testing of the BlackSky prototype is scheduled for 2010. Maximum altitude is 28 miles (46 km). A larger six passenger craft, Enterprise, is scheduled to begin flying passengers in 2013. Cost is estimated to be between $30,000 and $50,000 per flight.
EADS Astrium – The winged space plane for suborbital tourism has been put on hold, pending the current economic situation.
Space Adventures – Having announced plans in 2006 to build a suborbital vehicle, the company is focusing instead on trips to the ISS aboard Russian Soyuz space craft.
Armadillo Aerospace – Having already won the Level 1 $350,000 prize in the Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge, John Carmack (DOOM and Quake) and his company are in the lead to capture the Level 2 prize of $1,000,000. However, they have announced that a deal to build a suborbital tourism vehicle will not happen.
This committee is charged with the responsibility of fostering productive relations between chapters and between chapters and the National Space Society at large. The committee monitors programs for and of chapters and makes recommendations on projects and programs to serve the mutual interests of NSS and its chapters.
The Chapters’ Assembly will report to the NSS Board through the Chapters Committee.
This committee shall be comprised of board members who volunteer their services to the committee, regional board members, and appointed members from the chapters’ community who are willing to serve in established committee posts established to conduct the business of the committee. Appointments are subject to the approval of the NSS Executive Committee.
The Chair of this committee is the NSS Vice President of Chapters.
The general membership of the committee also includes the following individuals:
Jim Spellman, Bryce Walden, Claire McMurray, George Howard, Harry Reed, Elaine Walker, Craig Ward, John Strickland, Bill Higgins, Mike Fulda, Don Doughty, Mark Hopkins, Greg Allison and Bruce Mackenzie, Fred Becker, Peter Kokh
For additional information about the Chapters Committee, please contact Candace Pankanin
The National Space Society is proud to present the Space Settlement 2008 Calendar. This amazing, 14×11-inch, full-color wall calendar features twelve original works of art illustrating humanity’s future in space.
Also featured throughout the calendar are dates for major 2008 space conferences and events. Also included are key dates in space history and U.S. and major international holidays.
The National Space Society undertook this project as a means of promoting awareness of the benefits to humanity of a spacefaring civilization and to make people aware that they can play a role in creating this future.
Show your support for human space exploration and the National Space Society by ordering your copies of the Space Settlement 2008 Calendar today for only $14.95 each! The National Space Society receives a portion of the proceeds from the sale of this calendar.
“In the Shadow of the Moon,” a film presented by Ron Howard, brings together surviving crew members from every single Apollo mission that flew to the Moon for the first, and possibly the last time. NSS proudly supports “In the Shadow of the Moon” for bringing the message of Apollo to the public in an inspiring and educational way. Participating astronauts include Jim Lovell, Dave Scott, John Young, Gene Cernan, Mike Collins, Buzz Aldrin, Alan Bean, Edgar Mitchell, Charlie Duke and Harrison Schmitt. The film is open in limited release. Click here to find a theater near you.For more information on the film, click here