Odyssey Moon's "MoonOne" (M-1) lunar lander will be based on the Modular Common Spacecraft Bus (MCSB) developed at the NASA Ames Research Center. The video below shows test flights of the Hover Test Vehicle, used for ground testing of the MCSB, under compressed air propulsion.
...is that a British accent I hear at about 0:38? :-)
He explained that until now, the California-based foundation's activities have been mostly U.S.-centric. "We have partnered with BT to take the X Prize to Europe and Asia, and South America, and we have an incredible partnership," he said.
Over the next three years, British Telecom will be providing $7 million in operating funds to the foundation, and also sharing its scientific and technological expertise as new X Prizes are rolled out.
Promotional video from the X-Prize website:-
Virgin Galactic Heralds ‘The Year Of The Spaceship’ With The Unveiling Of The Designs Of Spaceshiptwo And White Knight Two
New York, New York, 23rd January 2008:
Virgin Galactic today unveiled the design of its new, environmentally benign, space launch system based on the X Prize winning technology of SpaceShipOne, which successfully flew into space for the third time in October 2004 and won the $10m Ansari X Prize.
The construction of the White Knight Two (WK2) mothership, or carrier aircraft, is now very close to completion at Scaled Composites in Mojave, CA and is expected to begin flight testing in the summer of 2008. It is the world’s largest, all carbon composite aircraft; it has a unique high altitude lift capacity, capable of launching SpaceShipTwo and its eight astronauts into sub-orbital space flight. The WK2 mothership is powered by four Pratt and Whitney PW308A engines which are amongst the most powerful, economic and efficient engines available. The WK2 mothership has also been designed to be capable of lifting other payload and launching it into space. Both Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic believe the system has sufficient lifting capability to launch unmanned vehicles designed to carry small satellites and other scientific payload into low earth orbit. While the first priority for Virgin Galactic is developing the market for human spaceflight, the Company is already assessing the potential for unmanned launch capability.
SpaceShipTwo is now nearly 60% complete. It incorporates both the lessons learned from the SpaceShipOne program and the market research conducted by Virgin Galactic into the requirements future astronauts have for their space flight experience. It also has built-in flexibility to encompass future requirements for other scientific and commercial applications. Continue reading...
New Scientist has a two-page interview with Bob Bigelow of Bigelow Aerospace. There's not much new information for those already familiar with the project, and the interviewer's preoccupation with Bigelow's interest in UFO's and the paranormal is slightly annoying.
There are student vacancies on the pre-graduate training programme at ESAC, the European Space Astronomy Centre at ESA Vilspa near Madrid. Young scientists can contribute to XMM-Newton, ISO, Integral and Virtual Observatory(VO) missions amongst other projects. For more infornmation, see the ESAC Trainee Project website, and the 2008 Project Guide. Deadline for applications is February 8th.
Space.co.uk is a news aggregator site which includes a regular spotlight on UK space history.