News / Science & Technology

Private Space Race Heats Up

Dragon V2 spacecraft, undated file photo provided by SpaceX.
Dragon V2 spacecraft, undated file photo provided by SpaceX.

Related Articles

NASA Observes Moon's Tidal Bulge from Lunar Orbit

Earth’s gravity is strong enough to create a 51 centimeter-high bulge on both the near and far sides of the moon

Russian Rocket Blasts Off to Space Station

Soyuz rocket taking a multinational crew to ISS has blasted off successfully from Baikonur

Massive Martian Volcano Could Have Hosted Life

The volcano Arsia Mons, while still active, was covered by an enormous glacier around 210 million years ago
VOA News
Privately-funded, manned space exploration and tourism received two boosts on Thursday.
 
SpaceX unveiled its Dragon V2 spacecraft, which the company hopes will one day take astronauts to and from the International Space Station.
 
SpaceX founder Elon Musk presented the new spacecraft at a company facility in California.
 
Dragon V2 could "land anywhere on Earth with the accuracy of a helicopter,” Musk said.
 
He added that the craft could be used up to 10 times before needing servicing.   
 
The craft could also be turned around quickly after landing under propulsion on land, he said.
 
"As long as we continue to throw away rockets and spacecraft, we will never have true access to space," Musk said adding that continuing to do so “will always be incredibly expensive."
 
Meanwhile SpaceX competitor Virgin Galactic announced it had signed an agreement with Spaceport America and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, which the company says will help “clear the path for commercial flights” on its SpaceShipTwo.

 
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo is seen flying over the Mojave Desert in California on Sept. 5.Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo is seen flying over the Mojave Desert in California on Sept. 5.
x
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo is seen flying over the Mojave Desert in California on Sept. 5.
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo is seen flying over the Mojave Desert in California on Sept. 5.
According to Virgin Galactic, the agreement “sets out the parameters for how “routine space missions launched from Spaceport America will be integrated into the National Airspace System.”
 
“Our team is working hard to begin routine and affordable space launches from Spaceport America and this agreement brings us another step closer to that goal,” said Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides in a statement. “We are grateful to the FAA and New Mexico for their partnership to achieve this milestone.”
 
Virgin Galactic currently has agreements with Edwards Air Force Base and the FAA’s Joshua Control Facility for test flights in California.
 
The company said the agreements “provide coverage for the company’s airspace needs through the remainder of the test flight program in California and into commercial service in New Mexico.”
 
The company is planning to begin commercial flights by the end of the year and says more than 600 people have already agreed to pay $250,000 for the trip.

Virgin Galactic is owned by British billionaire Richard Branson.

Here's a video of the unveiling of the Dragon V2:
 

You May Like

Video On The Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime bombardment, VOA correspondent finds More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid