New Voyage News Circa 2006 -2007
What was New Voyage News?
New Voyage News was a site which promoted an age old human dream, to reach beyond our earthly constraints and to launch to space! To that end, it was a community based site for centralizing news about Space and Space Tourism. The best stories were voted on by the community thus making the best more visible to all.
The new owner of the site's domain, a space enthusiast himself, decided to offer some of the original content from the site's 2006 -2007 archived pages. Stephen Wight, the original creator of New Voyage News put so much time and effort into the original site, it would have been a shame to have all of it disappear from the web.
New Voyage News is maintained by Stephen Wight. Stephen is a life time space enthusiast and general tech geek. With the Space Tourism industry now becoming a reality, Stephen thought it was time for a community based site where all the news about the Space Tourism industry could be centralized. Considering how decentralized it is, the best way to accomplish this would be to have the news submitted by other space enthusiasts that have their own sources for keeping up to date. Stephen's goal is to bring these enthusiasts all together to a common place to share sources of news and to keep the excitement of this developing industry alive. NVN hopes to evolve over time to meet the needs of all the users that join the community.
First Flight Into Space
SpaceShipOne's First Suborbital Flight
Published on Feb 4, 2007
Officially labeled Flight 15P, this was the historic flight that gave the world the first privately backed person in space.
Blue Origin’s Test Flight of New Sheppard
Vertical Take Off and Landing Reusable Launch Vehicle
Published on Feb 8, 2007 Blue Origin Test Flight
Astronaut: The Next Generation
Published September 28th, 2007
Richard GarriotSpace Adventures, Ltd., the world’s leading space experiences company, announced today that famed game developer Richard Garriott, son of former NASA astronaut Owen Garriott, has begun preparations for a “commercially active” mission to the International Space Station (ISS).
Mr. Garriott’s spaceflight, currently planned for October 2008, will be the first in a series of missions that will accommodate commercial activity aboard the ISS. Involvement from the private sector can include scientific and environmental research and educational outreach programming.
“It has always been Space Adventures‘ goal to open the space frontier. Now, with Richard’s flight, we have designed a series of missions devoted to increase commercial involvement in manned space missions,” said Eric Anderson, president and CEO of Space Adventures. “It is a very rare occasion when so many commercial opportunities are available in one space mission. We encourage interested parties to contact us.”
Space Adventures made history in 2001 by organizing the mission of the first private space explorer. Now, the company continues to bring innovation to manned space flight by enabling corporate and non-profit entities to participate in commercial endeavors on the planet’s only orbiting outpost.
“I am dedicating my spaceflight to science,” said Mr. Garriott. “It is my goal to devote a significant amount of my time aboard the space station to science, engineering and educational projects. I understand the necessity for conducting research in extreme environments whether it is collecting microorganisms from deep sea hydrothermal vents to carrying out experiments in the continuous micro-gravity of Earth orbit.” He continued, “We need to be adventurous in mind and stimulate our intellects to answer today’s most daunting scientific questions and to invent tomorrow’s technological marvels.”
The first commercial research partner involved in Mr. Garriott’s mission is ExtremoZyme, Inc., a biotechnology company co-founded by Owen Garriott. The company plans to conduct protein crystallization experiments in space with proteins that have important cellular functions and are usually associated with common human diseases. Having access to these superior crystals will enable researchers to learn more about the molecular details of these proteins which is essential for protein engineering and structure-guided drug design.
“Because of my career, it was almost natural for Richard to be interested in space and exploration. I am so pleased that he is able to embrace this himself and that he is dedicating his flight to research. I am very proud of him,” said Owen Garriott, Mr. Garriott’s father and former NASA astronaut (Skylab II/SL-3, STS-9/Spacelab-1).
Interested parties, including commercial and non-profit entities and space enthusiasts, can get involved in Mr. Garriott’s spaceflight via his web site (http://www.richardinspace.com). Mr. Garriott will be updating the site continuously via photos, blog entries and individuals can submit questions and suggestions for his mission activities. “I want to involve as many people as possible in my mission,” said Mr. Garriott.
About Richard Garriott:
Richard Garriott is best known as a key figure in the computer gaming field. He was one of the earliest and most successful game developers. Mr. Garriott developed the Ultima series which remains the longest running computer game franchise, and with his brother, Robert, he founded Origin Systems, one of the most respected PC game developers and publishers. Richard also created Ultima Online, which ushered in the new massively multi-player online (MMO) genre, the fastest growing segment in computer gaming today. More recently, he co-founded the North American arm of NCsoft, the world’s largest online game developer and publisher. In October, his latest game, Richard Garriott’s Tabula Rasa, will ship in North America and in the European Union. For more information, please visit http://www.rgtr.com.
About Space Adventures:
Space Adventures, the company that organized the flights for the world’s first private space explorers: Dennis Tito, Mark Shuttleworth, Greg Olsen, Anousheh Ansari and Charles Simonyi, is headquartered in Vienna, Va. with an office in Moscow. It offers a variety of programs such as the availability today for spaceflight missions to the International Space Station and around the moon, Zero-Gravity flights, cosmonaut training, spaceflight qualification programs and reservations on future suborbital spacecrafts. The company’s advisory board includes Apollo 11 moonwalker Buzz Aldrin, Shuttle astronauts Sam Durrance, Tom Jones, Byron Lichtenberg, Norm Thagard, Kathy Thornton, Pierre Thuot, Charles Walker, Skylab/Shuttle astronaut Owen Garriott and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Usachev. Please visit us at http://www.spaceadventures.com/.
BOOK: ‘Tourist’s Guide’ details challenges of space tourism/images
Published September 16th, 2007
Zoom a little zoom in a rocket ship, Off we go, on a trip! Headin’ for the moon at a rocket clip, We’re gonna zoom-zoom … rocket! — from the song “Zoom a Little Zoom (Rocket Ship)” sung by Tom Glazer.
The era of space tourism is upon us. At least four well-heeled businesspeople have already forked out millions to visit the International Space Station, and billionaire Richard Branson’s new company Virgin Galactic has just cemented a partnership with the State of New Mexico to build a commercial space port in that state. The goal — affordable (i.e., $200,000 a ticket) suborbital flights for ordinary folks by 2010. And as technologies continue to advance, most observers agree that longer flights, to the moon and perhaps even to Mars and the moons of Jupiter, could be available within 50 years.
For those who find the prospect of being lofted free of Earth’s surly bonds intriguing, not to say irresistible, any preflight research should include reading Neil F. Comins’s handy new book, “The Hazards of Space Travel: A Tourist’s Guide” (Villard, $19.95). In clear and accessible prose, Comins, a physicist at the University of Maine and the author of nine previous popular science titles, presents a no-nonsense broad overview of the multitudinous risks that the new space tourists will face.
Not Satisfied with Earth, Google Moves to Conquer Moon/images
Published September 13th, 2007 /images
The X PRIZE Foundation and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) today announced the Google Lunar X PRIZE, a robotic race to the Moon to win a remarkable $30 million prize purse. Private companies from around the world will compete to land a privately funded robotic rover on the Moon that is capable of completing several mission objectives, including roaming the lunar surface for at least 500 meters and sending video, images and data back to the Earth.The Google Lunar X PRIZE is an unprecedented international competition that will challenge and inspire engineers and entrepreneurs from around the world to develop low-cost methods of robotic space exploration. The X PRIZE Foundation, best known for the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE for private suborbital spaceflight, is an educational nonprofit prize organization whose goal is to bring about radical breakthroughs to solve some of the greatest challenges facing the world today.
“The Google Lunar X PRIZE calls on entrepreneurs, engineers and visionaries from around the world to return us to the lunar surface and explore this environment for the benefit of all humanity,” said Dr. Peter H. Diamandis, Chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation. “We are confident that teams from around the world will help develop new robotic and virtual presence technology, which will dramatically reduce the cost of space exploration.”
“Having Google fund the purse and title the competition punctuates our desire for breakthrough approaches and global participation,” continued Diamandis. “By working with the Google team, we look forward to bringing this historic private space race into every home and classroom. We hope to ignite the imagination of children around the world.”
About Lunar Exploration:
In the 1960s, the United States and the Soviet Union engaged in a historic superpower Moon race, which culminated in 12 men exploring the surface of the Moon. The first era of lunar exploration reached a dramatic conclusion in December of 1972 as Apollo 17 Astronauts Captain Gene Cernan and Dr. Harrison Schmitt became the last men on the Moon.
Moon 2.0, the second era of lunar exploration, will not be a quest for “flags and footprints.” This time we will go to the Moon to stay. The Moon is a stepping stone to the rest of the solar system and a source of solutions to some of the most pressing environmental problems that we face on Earth – energy independence and climate change. Already, governments from around the world recognize the importance of lunar exploration, and national space agencies from the United States, Russia, China, India, Japan, and the nations of Europe plan to send probes to the Moon in the coming decade.
Today, the frontier of private enterprise is the halo of communications satellites in geostationary orbit 24,000 miles above our planet. The Google Lunar X PRIZE now challenges private enterprise to reach 10 times beyond its present limits to participate in this great exploration adventure.
About the Prize Purse:
• The $30 million prize purse is segmented into a $20 million Grand Prize, a $5 million Second Prize and $5 million in bonus prizes. To win the Grand Prize, a team must successfully soft land a privately funded spacecraft on the Moon, rove on the lunar surface for a minimum of 500 meters, and transmit a specific set of video, images and data back to the Earth. The Grand Prize is $20 million until December 31st 2012; thereafter it will drop to $15 million until December 31st 2014 at which point the competition will be terminated unless extended by Google and the X PRIZE Foundation. To win the Second Prize, a team must land their spacecraft on the Moon, rove and transmit data back to Earth. Second place will be available until December 31st 2014 at which point the competition will be terminated unless extended by Google and the X PRIZE Foundation.
• Bonus prizes will be won by successfully completing additional mission tasks such as roving longer distances (> 5,000 meters), imaging man made artifacts (e.g. Apollo hardware), discovering water ice, and/or surviving through a frigid lunar night (approximately 14.5 Earth days). The competing lunar spacecraft will be equipped with high-definition video and still cameras, and will send images and data to Earth, which the public will be able to view on the Google Lunar X PRIZE website.
Why the Moon?
In a recent Gallup poll, more than two-thirds of Americans (68%) support a return to the Moon, and further missions to points beyond. Some practical benefits to lunar exploration include:
• Enabling exploration of the solar system and beyond. Space exploration is expensive because every ounce of propellant and spacecraft must be launched out of the Earth’s strong gravity field. A natural storehouse of materials, lunar soil is more than 40% oxygen by weight and oxygen makes up most of the mass of rocket propellant. Because of its shallower gravity well, the Moon is the stepping stone to the universe.
• The Moon can help save the Earth. For more than 30 years, NASA and the US Department of Energy have experimented with ways to capture abundant clean solar energy in space for use on Earth. Although the technology for doing this is well understood, the high cost of launching materials out of the Earth’s deep gravity well has prevented the implementation of these systems. However, if lunar material is used for space construction, clean energy could be supplied on a 24-hour basis without carbon dioxide or other hazards to the biosphere.
• We can learn about the Earth’s geologic past. Thanks to the Moon rocks and other information returned by Apollo astronauts, scientists now believe that the Moon was created by a collision between a planet-sized object and the early Earth. By exploring our nearest neighbor we are also exploring a remnant of ancient Earth.
• We can see more deeply into space. The Moon provides a large stable platform for astronomical observation unhindered by atmosphere. The far side of the Moon is the one “quiet” place in the Solar System that is shielded from the Earth’s cacophony of radio, television and data broadcasts. The body of the Moon itself provides this shielding, and a radio telescope on the lunar far side can detect energy from the beginning of the universe.
• Driving new technologies and devices. The Moon may be the most hostile environment we face in the near future. Surviving and exploring will require major advances in technology. Many of those technologies will also have practical use back home.
Educational materials are now available online at www.googlelunarxprize.org. Educators can sign up for regular updates, classroom plans and news about the teams.
Strategic alliances that support this new competition include:
• Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX),run by entrepreneur and X PRIZE Foundation Trustee Elon Musk, which is offering competing teams an in-kind contribution, lowering the cost of its Falcon Launch Vehicle. (SpaceX), is the first preferred launch provider for this competition;
• The Allen Telescope Array (ATA), operated by the SETI Institute, will serve as a preferred downlink provider for communications from the Moon to the Earth; operated by SETI, which will provide downlink services at no cost to competing teams;
• The Saint Louis Science Center serves as the Foundation’s official education partner and the coordinator of an international network of museums and science centers; and
• The International Space University (ISU), based in Strasbourg, France, will conduct international team outreach and facilitate an unbiased judging committee.
ABOUT THE X PRIZE FOUNDATION
The X PRIZE Foundation is an educational nonprofit prize institute whose mission is to create radical breakthroughs for the benefit of humanity. The Google Lunar X PRIZE is the third prize the Foundation has announced since its inception in 1995. In 2004, the X PRIZE Foundation captured world headlines when Mojave Aerospace Ventures, led by legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan and Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen, built and flew the world’s first private spaceship to win the $10 million Ansari X PRIZE. The Foundation has since expanded its mission beyond space exploration. In 2006, the X PRIZE Foundation launched the Archon X PRIZE for Genomics, a $10 million competition in which the winning team will demonstrate the ability to sequence 100 human genomes in 10 days. This will reduce the cost of genome sequencing and herald a new era of personalized medicine. The X PRIZE Foundation will continue to offer new prizes for breakthroughs in the areas of life improvement, equity of opportunity and sustainability and is widely recognized as the leading model for fostering innovation through competition. For more information, please visit www.xprize.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT GOOGLE, INC.
Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia. For more information, visit www.google.com.
Google is a trademark of Google Inc. All other company and product names may be trademarks of the companies with which they are associated.
Genesis I & II Tracking
Current Position of Genesis I
Current Position of Genesis II
New Currency Suggested for Space Tourists
Published October 8th, 2007
Foreign exchange specialist Travelex today unveiled a unit of currency that has been created for use in space. It is the first currency of its kind in the universe and has been developed in partnership with a team of scientists from the National Space Centre and the University of Leicester.
With Virgin Galactic making its maiden voyage in 2009 and with the signing in April this year of the Global Exploration Initiative, an agreement between the US and the UK to work together on future planetary explorations to the Moon and beyond, Space Tourism is soon to become commonplace. Recognising that tourists could soon be heading further than Spain and Greece Travelex has teamed up with the National Space Centre to create the Quasi Universal Intergalactic Denomination or QUID.
The QUID has been designed to withstand the stresses of space travel and the extreme environment found in orbit around the Earth. It has also been created so that it can be purchased on earth in any one of the 176 currencies used around the glob
ISS To Be Used As Orbiting Drug Lab?
Published October 8th, 2007
A swaggering Texas investor with a famous name wants Big Pharma to pick up the tab for the International Space Station when NASA eases off. Thomas Pickens III thinks the pharmaceutical industry and the space station need each other.
Drug discovery is an arduous and extremely expensive project. But in space, molecules do miraculous things. Disease-causing proteins crystallize so well — growing larger and clearer — that finding a drug to stop the protein’s damaging activities could happen months, if not years, faster.
Scientists have known for decades that some science works better in space — but it hasn’t been easy to get experiments up there. Now, with NASA planning to reduce its $2.6 billion annual investment beginning in 2015, the agency is throwing the space station open for private enterprise. And the Texas financial scion and multimillionaire is ready to transform space science with an injection of capitalism.
“If people knew what I already know, the International Space Station would be considered one of the most valuable resources our world possesses,” Pickens said at the ISS National Laboratory Workshop last week. “There are things you can only do in microgravity that will eventually lead to products that could save millions of lives.”
Pickens is chairman of the board of Spacehab, a company that provides equipment and services for scientists who want to send experiments into space. He has an obvious vested interest in getting scientists, and the entities that fund them.. But all the bias in the world doesn’t matter, if there are experiments worth doing in space.
Scientists have sent all kinds of things into space with unique results. One 2000 experiment found that 1,600 kidney-cell genes were expressed differently in space than on the ground. Another found colon-cancer cells showed unique metabolic changes in microgravity. But with so many possible avenues of discovery, it has been difficult for scientists to make much progress, given how limited time in space has been.
Still, one area of research has had results that can lead scientists down a clear path of drug discovery: protein crystals.
“Up in space, the crystals grow bigger and better,” said Tim Osslund, who specializes in protein formulation at Amgen. “The end result is higher resolution.” And that resolution is a very valuable thing.
Osslund sent some of the company’s proteins to the Mir space station in 1998. His crystals grew 32 times larger in space than in an earth-grown control environment. Larger, better crystals allow scientists to see a protein at the atomic level. That kind of detail can significantly accelerate drug discovery.
Pickens, who also manages a $100 million nanotechnology fund, believes that getting paid to grow these proteins in space will be the killer app for keeping the $130 billion International Space Station alive. Increased traffic to the ISS could drive down the cost of space flight and open up the station to all kinds of commercial applications, which would come in handy as NASA’s financial support wanes.
Sex in Space is Less than 10 Years Away
Published October 7th, 2007
Wouldn’t it be lovely if life imitated art – if the zero-gravity love-in depicted in the sci-fi flick Supernova happened every day men and women ventured into the stratosphere? But it doesn’t. Sex in space has happened only once, officially, and it involved two small freshwater fish. From Japan. Spacemen and spacewomen have been entering and re-entering the Earth’s atmosphere for the past 25 years, but there’s been no reported extraterrestrial sexual activity. That, however, is all about to change. Space hotels are taking bookings, and, according to Gene Meyers, president of the Space Island Group, “the main reason people want to spend a week in space is the fabulous sex”. For around £500,000, Meyers’s group hopes to offer, by 2015, a honeymoon suite. And there’s no shortage of takers.
On the original space shuttles, there was just no room for sex. The other astronauts wouldn’t have known where to put themselves. According to NASA, the astronauts just got on with analysing soil samples. But the public weren’t convinced. They pointed to The Final Mission, a book by the French astronomer Pierre Kohler. It dealt with “Document 12-571-3570”, a supposedly secret NASA report about sex experiments in space. Of 10 different male-female positions tested, only four were possible without harnesses. NASA denounced it all as a hoax, but people started to wonder, asking why sex hadn’t happened. After all, Spacelab modules were more roomy, with private bunks and sliding doors. Whatever NASA said, it’s possible a spaceman and woman, at some point, had decided to forget the soil samples for a night.
When the International Space Station introduced pregnancy tests into medical packs in 2001, the public concluded that sex in space had become a reality. And if, owing to overcrowding, we end up colonising the universe, sex in space will be a necessity, and we need to understand its workings. Gravity affects everything, including the movement of sperm. Even if a sperm reaches an egg, it will have to endure radiation and incredible acceleration on re-entering Earth’s orbit. There are statistics concerning pregnant lab rats (in zero gravity, the fetal skeletons were 13% to 17% smaller), but nothing about humans. Truth is, we need more sex.