Commercialization: December 2004 Archives

21 December 2004: Boeing Delta IV Heavy Achieves Major Test Objectives in First Flight

"The Boeing Delta IV Heavy made its first flight today achieving the major test objectives despite placing its demonstration satellite in a lower than expected orbit.The Delta IV Heavy lifted off from Space Launch Complex 37B, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., at 4:50 p.m. EST, on a demonstration launch for the Air Force's Evolved Expendable Launch Vehicle (EELV) program. The demonstration satellite was deployed following a 5-hour and 50-minute flight."

Not quite out of this world, The Economist

"Next month Sanswire Networks, a company based in Atlanta, Georgia, is planning to launch the first airship satellite, or stratellite. Floating in the stratosphere at an altitude of about 20km (13 miles), the airship will behave just like a geostationary satellite, hovering over a particular spot and relaying radio signals to and from the ground. Such airships will, however, be much cheaper to launch and maintain than satellitesand can do things that satellites cannot."

Sanswire Networks, LLC

Contracts Awarded

Delta IV Heavy Demonstration Launch Live Webcast, Boeing

"Join us December 12, 2004 at 2:00 p.m. EST as our live webcast coverage begins. The launch will take place from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, with a 2 hour 56 minute launch window scheduled to open at 2:32 p.m. EST."

SpaceflightNow coverage

H.R. 5382 Passes Senate

Editor's note:H.R. 5382, "The Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act", was passed by the Senate this evening by unanimous consent.

Is it time to dump the t-word?, Jeff Foust (The Space Review)/Futron Corp.

"Space tourism has come a long way in the last several years. Five years ago, the phrase was still subject to the "snicker factor": say the word in a public setting, and someone sitting in the back was sure to unsuccessfully stifle a giggle.

Rick Tumlinson, a co-founder of the Space Frontier Foundation and a self-appointed spokesman of the "alt.space" movement, said in a talk during the Space Frontier Conference in October in Long Beach, California. " 'Tourist' is somebody in a flowered shirt with three cameras around his neck."

"Black Sky", Discovery Channel

"Pretty nice kick off for space tourism", Burt Rutan, spoken as the second (X-Prize winning) flight touches down, with his arms around the shoulders of Microsoft sponsor Paul Allen and Virgin's Richard Branson.

Editor's note: when it comes to terminology, I'll let the people who actually do these stupendous things - and the billionaires who back them - decide how to coin the results of their exploits - rather than allow inside the beltway wonks and a 'self-appointed spokesman' to sit in the bleachers and pass judgement. 'Space tourism' is just fine by me.


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