Virgin orbit – Jenam 2011 Wed, 22 Sep 2021 22:04:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Virgin orbit – Jenam 2011 32 32 800,000 customers affected as Avro Energy and Green go bankrupt Wed, 22 Sep 2021 17:26:04 +0000

HThere is an updated list of all the energy providers that have collapsed since August.

1. Avro Energy

The Leicestershire-based company – which was voted Uswitch’s Best Value Energy Supplier in 2019 – has become the seventh energy supplier to collapse since August, leaving behind 580,000 customers.

2. Green supplier

The Newcastle-based company, which provides 250,000 homes, became the latest provider to collapse on Wednesday. Earlier this week, the company said: “Green is concerned that small energy providers are being left behind by the government.”

3. Service point

The Dorset-based company went out of business on September 14, blaming a “perfect storm” of factors which included “extreme weather conditions leading to a global gas supply shortage, inability to provide timely and necessary maintenance generators causing multiple sites to be taken offline simultaneously, lower exports from Russia and increased demand. ”

4. People’s energy

People’s Energy of Edinburgh closed last week as Ofgem appointed British Gas to service its 350,000 customers.

5. Energy PPP

The Lancashire PFP collapsed on September 7, affecting 80,000 domestic customers and 5,000 foreign customers.

6. MoneyPlus Energy

Around 9,000 UK customers were affected by the MoneyPlus collapse in early September.

7. Energy HUB

Preston-based HUB collapsed in August, with its 15,000 UK customers transferred to EON Next by Ofgem.

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Virgin Orbit signs AI software agreement with BigBear Wed, 22 Sep 2021 06:38:38 +0000

BigBear has already started working to support Virgin Orbit and its customers with the real-time deployment of AI-based software for mobile assets in the field., a provider of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud-based big data analytics and cyber engineering solutions, has entered into a transformational software deal that will generate annual recurring revenue with Virgin Orbit, a responsive launch and space solutions.

BigBear will support and enhance Virgin Orbit’s rapid launch capability with equally agile AI-powered space data insights for the US government, international defense and commercial customers.

As per the agreement, BigBear’s Decision Dominance platform has already started working to support Virgin Orbit and its customers through the real-time deployment of AI-based software for mobile assets in the field; the development of applications to identify objects, analyze soil materials, map land and monitor the climate in space; and the use of innovative products that merge data from multiple intelligence data sources, including satellites launched by – and, in some cases, owned by – Virgin Orbit.

Commenting on the partnership, Dr Reggie Brothers, CEO of, said: “ is delighted to support Virgin Orbit’s mission to open access to space and use space to provoke lasting change on Earth. We look forward to working with Virgin Orbit to make their space offerings even more powerful and help their customers dominate decisions in this important new frontier. “

Dan Hart, President and CEO of Virgin Orbit, added, “We are very excited to partner with as we bring our proprietary air launch technology to customers around the world. is a true leader in real-time intelligence gathering, monitoring, control visualization, analysis and reporting. By combining our launch capability, our satellite constellation partners, and the unmatched technology of, we can empower end users of space systems to interpret rich data, identify changes, take rapid decisions. informed decisions and take action. . The powerful combination of rapid launch, low cost satellite technology and powerful AI is having a huge impact and enabling us to turn capabilities that have been dreamed of for decades into a practical and achievable reality for our civilian customers. , national security and trade. “

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You can buy your entry into space on a billionaire’s ship. Did you get the same badge as the astronauts? Tue, 21 Sep 2021 13:35:28 +0000 This question, kind of like “What do we call non-NASA astronauts?” And ‘What is the real limit of space?’ – is driven by a new era where more people can buy tickets in space.

And if you’re paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for weightless minutes with Virgin Galactic or several million dollars to orbit Earth with SpaceX, you’ll probably want a pin to prove it.

“They want to be like the people they hope to become,” said Robert Pearlman, founder and editor of the Space History News site. “They want to be a full-fledged astronaut.”

NASA astronaut Victor Glover shows off his gold astronaut pin from space. Glover was launched to the International Space Station aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft on November 15, 2020.


Astronaut pins have a long tradition in human spaceflight. The army has a pin. NASA has a pin. The Federal Aviation Administration, which issues commercial launch licenses, has a pin.

It could appear that the FAA pin, which is part of the agency’s Commercial Space Astronaut Wings program, would go to anyone who boards a commercial spacecraft. But this is not necessarily true.

The FAA Pin was created in 2004 when SpaceShipOne flew over 100 km above the Earth’s surface twice in two weeks, winning the $ 10 million Ansari XPRIZE which aimed to make private space travel commercially viable.

SpaceShipOne pilots Mike Melvill and Brian Binnie received commercial astronaut wings from the FAA. Since then, only five other people have received FAA wings – and they’ve all been on SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Galactic’s successor to SpaceShipOne.

Then this summer, the same day billionaire Jeff Bezos flew to space, the FAA revised its eligibility rules.

In addition to being a crew member in a vehicle that flies at least 50 miles above the Earth, a person must now demonstrate activities during the flight that are “essential to public safety, or which have contributed to the safety of human spaceflight ”.

The FAA has yet to announce whether Bezos or Branson, the founders of Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic, respectively, will be getting commercial astronaut wings for their flights this summer. But this “Are they going?” Is not it ? the narrative drove much of the conversation around astronaut pins.

“(Pins) don’t establish you as an astronaut,” Pearlman said. “You are an astronaut, by definition, when you travel through space. You are an astronaut by the nature of your altitude.

Yet this bling has been awarded since Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to fly in space in 1961. He was awarded a medal identifying him as a pilot-cosmonaut of the USSR.

The silver pin that NASA astronauts receive after completing their training, which lasts about two years.

The silver pin that NASA astronauts receive after completing their training, which lasts about two years.

NASA, Photographer

In the United States, the military has developed wings for its servicemen who have flown over 50 miles above the Earth’s surface. The wings were different depending on the branch of the person’s army, but in the center was a star rising on a vector through a ring.

The first military wings were awarded in 1961 to Alan Shepard and Virgil “Gus” Grissom, NASA astronauts who performed the first two suborbital space flights. Shepard was a Navy aviator and Grissom was an Air Force pilot.

In 1963, at the suggestion of original Mercury astronaut Walter “Wally” Schirra, NASA took the center of these wings – the star rising on a vector through a ring – and created its own astronaut pin. .

For more than 50 years, a silver pin has been presented to NASA astronauts upon completion of their training, which lasts approximately two years. They earn a gold pin (which they have to buy themselves today) when they fly in space, Pearlman said.

For commercial flights, Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic have created their own pins to offer passengers. SpaceX did not respond to requests for comment on whether the Inspiration4 crew would get Pins.

But whether these passengers will receive the FAA pin remains a mystery. A main sticking point is the term crew member. According to the current definition, a crew member must be an employee of the company carrying out the launch. Those who purchase tickets to participate in a mission would normally be considered “space flight participants” and would not be eligible to receive the FAA pin.

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo has two pilots, but the back of the spacecraft can be filled with passengers.

Blue Origin’s New Shepard and SpaceX’s Crew Dragon are autonomous spaceships. Blue Origin announces that its suborbital flight does not require a pilot. And while SpaceX has a commander and a pilot – they’re trained in case they need to take control of the vehicle – the Crew Dragon flies on its own.

During the Inspiration4 mission launched last week, SpaceX listed its four passengers as spaceflight participants in FAA documents.

“When the program was first created in 2004, its purpose was to recognize flight crew members who advanced the FAA’s mission of promoting the safety of vehicles designed to transport humans,” said the FAA in an email.

The change made earlier this year “aligns more directly with the role of the FAA to protect public safety during commercial space operations.”

CJ Sturckow, left, receives wings from the FAA's Commercial Space Astronaut Wings program.  Sturckow received these wings because he was a pilot on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo and flew it over 50 miles above the Earth's surface.  To her right is Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson.

CJ Sturckow, left, receives wings from the FAA’s Commercial Space Astronaut Wings program. Sturckow received these wings because he was a pilot on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo and flew it over 50 miles above the Earth’s surface. To her right is Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson.

Galactic Virgo

George Nield, who was the FAA’s associate administrator for commercial space transportation from 2008 to 2018, said the wings were never meant to be distributed to anyone who flew on a mission. They were intended for crew members who had important tasks to operate the spacecraft.

He believes the FAA has changed its eligibility criteria to make a clearer distinction between those who control the spacecraft and those who participate in the trip.

Nield doesn’t think everyone who has flown with Virgin Galactic, Blue Origin, and SpaceX (especially the Inspiration4 mission) will qualify for FAA wings. Still, he said the FAA should consider awarding these people, who have performed one-of-a-kind flights, honorary commercial astronaut wings. These can be awarded to individuals whose contributions to commercial human spaceflight deserve “special recognition”.

“It’s a very dynamic and evolving situation,” Nield said. “And it’s good to review where we are and what may have changed since the original definitions and adjust them accordingly.”

There is an organization that will offer a pin to anyone who reaches the space. The Webster-based Association of Space Explorers created a pin this year, called the Universal Astronaut Insignia, to unite all the individuals who have been to space. It has a pin for people who perform fast suborbital missions and a pin for those who travel around the world.

“That was kind of the point,” Pearlman said, “to remove any questions about whether you are an astronaut or not. Everyone would be recognized and registered.

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Billionaires are so on Earth Sun, 19 Sep 2021 23:58:41 +0000

Editor’s Note: Dean Obeidallah, a former lawyer, is the host of the daily SiriusXM radio show “The Dean Obeidallah Show” and a columnist for The Daily Beast. Follow it @DeanObeidallah. The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers. See more opinion articles on CNN.

(CNN) – Another day, another billionaire in space. At least that’s what it feels like. On Saturday, we saw billionaire Elon Musk’s SpaceX spacecraft collapse after a three-day trip personally funded by Jared Isaacman, a billionaire who was joined on the flight by three other civilians. Prior to the trip, the estimated cost was $ 55 million per seat.

In July, we saw two more billionaires heading for the clouds aboard their own rockets: Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic flight was closely followed by billionaire Jeff Bezos on his Blue Origin spacecraft.

Billionaires are apparently so bored with planet Earth that they need to fly into space for fun. In the meantime, there are still parts of New Jersey that I haven’t visited yet!

Fueling today’s “space race” among the ultra-rich seems to be a combination of ego and potential profit. Branson’s Virgin Galactic has already sold around 600 tickets to people willing to pay the cost of a house to be passengers on future flights. I’m serious: the price per Virgin Galactic ticket is between $ 200,000 and $ 250,000, which is not much less than the median price of a house in the United States.

To be frank, before Covid-19, maybe these billionaires fighting over building future space colonies or Mars naming rights wouldn’t have bothered me so much. But as Americans suffered from a deadly pandemic with shortages of basic needs, billionaires are said to have increased their fortunes by 54%.

Bezos, according to an analysis by the Institute for Policy Studies’ Inequalities Program, saw his wealth grow from $ 113 billion to $ 178 billion between March 2020 and March 2021. And even worse, a recent report from ProPublica has revealed that the richest among us weren’t paying. close to their fair share of taxes. Bezos, according to ProPublica, paid a “true tax rate” of 0.98% between 2014 and 2018, while Musk paid only 3.27% in taxes during the same period. All of this really makes this selfish space race even harder to encourage.

What a contrast to the original “space race” that began in the 1950s, which pitted the United States against its Cold War rival, the Soviet Union. In 1957, the Soviets made history by launching the first satellite into space. They quickly got past that in 1961 when Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first person to orbit the Earth.

The United States responded by creating its own space program in 1958, when President Dwight Eisenhower created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Then, on September 12, 1962, the race between the two Cold War warriors really took off when President John F. Kennedy gave his famous speech on America’s goal to send astronauts to the moon. here the end of this decade.

Kennedy told Americans that “we choose to go to the moon” not because it is “easy” but because it is “difficult”. Kennedy vowed “to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills” as the Americans embarked on “the most dangerous, the most dangerous and the greatest adventure that man has ever known” . Seven years later, that dream came true when American astronaut Neil Armstrong made history by stepping on the moon. It was a moment of great national pride.

Our country’s commitment to space travel, however, went far beyond competition with a Cold War enemy. In fact, it has benefited us all with groundbreaking discoveries in health and science. For example, space shuttle missions have helped develop better techniques for monitoring the heart as well as instruments for measuring bone strength. And for the past 20 years, astronauts aboard the International Space Station – orbiting some 250 miles above our planet – have worked for our good on Earth, including using cameras developed by NASA in the space station to support the response to natural disasters. both in the United States and abroad.

Compare that to the current “moon race” going on in federal court, pitting Jeff Bezos against Elon Musk. The two richest people on this planet (and I’m betting all the planets in our solar system) are fighting over a contract with NASA to send astronauts back to the moon. These two wealthy titans wanted their respective companies to get the contract, but NASA chose Musk’s SpaceX. This did not suit Bezos, which led his company to file a federal lawsuit in August, claiming that the contract was unfairly awarded to Musk’s company. There is currently an October 12 deadline for the court to respond to the allegations.

Maybe there will be benefits of the billionaire space race that trickle down to the rest of us. But the current battle of the billionaire boy’s club just makes us more aware that the gap between the rich and the rest of us is growing as wide as the distance between our planet and a billionaire’s flying spaceship. And that cannot be good for our society in the long run.

This story first appeared on ‘Billionaires are so on Earth

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SpaceX capsule with world’s first fully civilian orbital crew returns safely Sun, 19 Sep 2021 05:22:00 +0000

Sept. 18 (Reuters) – The newly created quartet of citizen astronauts including the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission splashed safely in the Atlantic off the coast of Florida on Saturday, completing a three-day flight of the first all-civilian crew ever sent in Earth orbit.

The successful launch and return of the mission, the latest in a recent series of rocket-propelled expeditions funded by their billionaire passengers, marked another milestone in the nascent commercial astrotourism industry, 60 years after the dawn of human spaceflight.

“Welcome to the second space age,” Todd “Leif” Ericson, mission director for Inspiration4, told reporters on a conference call after the crew returned.

SpaceX, the private rocket company founded by Elon Musk, CEO of electric automaker Tesla Inc (TSLA.O), supplied the spacecraft, launched it, controlled its flight and handled the recovery operation of the ditching.

The three-day mission ended when the SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule, dubbed Resilience, parachuted into calm seas around 7 p.m. EDT (2300 GMT), shortly before sunset, after an automated re-entry descent, as shown during a live webcast from SpaceX on its YouTube channel. .

In less than an hour, the four smiling crew members were seen emerging one by one from the capsule’s side hatch after the vehicle, visibly burnt on the outside, was hoisted from the ocean to the deck of ‘a SpaceX salvage ship.

Each of the four stood for a few moments on the deck in front of the capsule to greet and greet before being escorted to a medical station on board for examinations at sea. Then, they were returned by helicopter to Cape Canaveral for a reunion. with their loved ones.


The return from orbit followed a dive into the Earth’s atmosphere generating frictional heat that raised temperatures around the exterior of the capsule to 3,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,900 degrees Celsius). The astronauts’ flight suits, equipped with special ventilation systems, were designed to keep them cool if the cabin got warm.

Applause was heard from SpaceX’s flight control center on the outskirts of Los Angeles as the first parachutes deployed, slowing the descent of the capsule to about 15 miles per hour (25 km / h) before landing. , with another burst of cheers as the craft hit the water.

The astronauts were once again cheered as they climbed onto the deck of the salvage ship.

The first to come out was Hayely Arceneaux, 29, a medical assistant at St. Jude Children’s Research Center in Tennessee, herself a survivor of childhood bone cancer who became the youngest person to ever reach Earth orbit. during the Inspiration4 mission.

It was quickly followed by geoscientist and former NASA astronaut candidate Sian Proctor, 51, aerospace data engineer and Air Force veteran Chris Sembroski, 42, and finally billionaire benefactor and “mission commander. from the crew Jared Isaacman, 38.

“It was a hell of a ride for us,” said Isaacman, managing director of e-commerce company Shift4 Payments Inc (FOUR.N), inside the capsule moments after landing on the water. “We’re just getting started.”

The newly created quartet of citizen astronauts comprising the SpaceX Inspiration4 mission splashes safely in SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule off the coast of Kennedy Space Center, Florida, USA on September 18, 2021. SpaceX / Handout via REUTERS

He had paid an undisclosed sum – estimated by Time magazine to be around $ 200 million – to his billionaire colleague Musk for the four seats aboard the Crew Dragon.

The Inspiration4 team took off from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral on Wednesday on top of one of SpaceX’s reusable double-stage Falcon 9 rockets.


Within three hours, the crew capsule had reached a cruising orbital altitude of 585 km, or just over 363 miles – higher than the International Space Station or the Hubble Space Telescope, and farther than a human. has flown from Earth since the end of NASA’s Apollo lunar program in 1972..

It also marked the first flight of Musk’s new space tourism business and a leap forward over its competitors also offering rocket rides to well-heeled customers willing to pay a small fortune to experience the exhilaration of flights. space and earn amateur astronaut wings.

Musk’s company already ranks as the most established player in the burgeoning constellation of commercial rocket companies, having launched numerous payloads of cargo and astronauts to the NASA space station.

Two rival operators, Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc (SPCE.N) and Blue Origin, have launched their own space tourism services in recent months, with their respective founding executives, billionaires Richard Branson and founder of (AMZN. O) Jeff Bezos, each accompany for the ride.

These suborbital flights, lasting a few minutes, were short leaps from the three days of Inspiration4 in orbit.

Isaacman designed Inspiration4 primarily to raise awareness and donate for St. Jude, one of his favorite causes, where Arceneaux now works. Ericson said the theft has so far raised $ 160 million for the cancer institute, including $ 100 million initially donated by Isaacman.

The Inspiration4 crew played no role in piloting the spacecraft, which was controlled by ground flight crews and on-board guidance systems, although both Isaacman and Proctor were licensed pilots.

But Ericson insisted the crew had “the same training and control and authority as NASA astronauts” to intervene in the Crew Dragon operation in an emergency.

SpaceX manned spaceflight chief Benji Reed marveled at the few issues that arose during the flight, citing just two issues he described as minor and easy to fix – a faulty fan in the system. crew toilet and a faulty temperature sensor on one of the spacecraft’s engines.

The level of “space adaptation syndrome” experienced by the crew – dizziness and motion sickness upon acclimatization to a microgravity environment – was “roughly in line with what NASA astronauts do,” said Ericson said.

All four had appeared relaxed and energetic in a number of live video appearances they had made for a terrestrial audience during their flight, ranging from zero-G somersaults in the cabin to the strumming of a ukulele.

Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Daniel Wallis, David Gregorio and William Mallard

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Meet Melissa Thorpe, the woman who leads the South West space race at Spaceport Cornwall Sun, 19 Sep 2021 03:00:00 +0000

The P3 hangar just off the runway at Cornwall Newquay Airport has hosted Spaceport Cornwall’s Story of a Satellite exhibition throughout the summer. Now closed to the public, it will host as many schools as possible until the end of September before the exhibit is dismantled and relocated to the Royal Cornwall Museum in Truro and the Eden Project later this year.

Launcher One, the rocket that will be used by Virgin Orbit to send small groups of satellites into space from the wing of a Boeing 747 taking off and landing in Newquay, and was to be prepared quickly before the G7 summit in June, is the star of the show. It’s huge and while it will never fly because it doesn’t have avionics on board, it is the real one and many more like this are currently being assembled at Sir’s business base. Richard Branson in California.

For new boss Melissa Thorpe and everyone at Spaceport Cornwall, the goal is to see rocket manufacturing come to Cornwall.

“We have a great launch facility here in Cornwall,” she said. “We are in talks with Virgin Orbit to see if they could build it here as well. For us, it’s about having an end-to-end approach of the entire space sector.

“We already have these incredible assets. All of the building blocks are in place from Newquay Commercial Airport to Goonhilly, with training providers working to build industry skills to all of those companies working in the aerospace industry. Our role is to improve what already exists. We’re here to connect the dots and create a whole industry and help it grow and prosper.

From satellite assembly, design and programming to manufacturing or big data analysis, Spaceport Cornwall’s goal is to create 150 jobs by 2025 and 240 more in the supply chain. The public sector organization believes the installation of the spaceport could generate £ 250million in Cornwall’s economy. It has already generated more than £ 2million in research and development in the space, aerospace and data sectors in the Duchy.

“To me, it’s not about Branson and Bezos in their race to space. They’re great for headlines and for generating publicity,” Melissa said. “And yes, it’s a gang. billionaires spending their own money on big toys But if that also makes it easier to do real science experiments and helps fund science and projects like the one we have here in Cornwall, then so what?

“If that helps put Cornwall on the world map and attract more investment and jobs, then let them run their p *** ing competition.”

Spaceport Cornwall is one of the first in the world to appoint a woman to the highest office, Melissa Thorpe

For Melissa, who arrived in Cornwall 12 years ago and watched Spaceport Cornwall move from a concept to a reality backed by hard cash and big names in the space and aerospace industry, what matters is it he role Cornwall must play in providing answers and solutions. to real problems with its emerging satellite and data technology.

This is why the launch of Cornwall’s first satellite next year – scheduled for the Queen’s Jubilee – is vital.

This will be an achievement in itself but also the start of a new chapter in the technological history of the Duchy.

“We are not allowed to launch aimlessly,” explained Melissa, detailing the type of satellites that will fit into the head of Launcher One next year and, hopefully, for years to come. “We’re a public sector taxpayer funded organization, so this launch next year will have a real payload. It will not be a question of blank firing just for the show, which would be a waste.

Kernow Sat 1 will be the first satellite to be launched from Cornwall. It will be designed and built in Cornwall with actual applications for Cornwall. It must be sustainable and have as low a carbon impact as possible on the environment. This is also our message to other companies and to space ports around the world. We want to be socially and environmentally responsible. I don’t think there is another site in the world that looks at it like we do.

Applications in the Kernow Sat series could include crowd and resource management for the high season tourism sector so that Cornwall Council and organizations like Visit Cornwall can better distribute the flow of tourists, avoid overcrowding and help reduce the impact so many visitors have on localities and their meager resources.

Other applications will be looking at kelp farming which is notoriously difficult to establish without aerial views and a full analysis of currents and sea conditions, and of course the weather. Satellites can help provide the necessary panoramic view and data sets. Kelp helps sequester more carbon in the atmosphere than trees and can be used to produce animal feed, cosmetics, as well as biofuel – and potentially rocket biofuel.

In addition to working with Virgin Galactic, Spaceport Cornwall is also working with ESA and some big names like Airbus or NASA to see if Cornwall can meet their needs for clusters of satellites launched into space, with science and technology being based here. in Cornwall.

Learn more about Cornwall’s space industry

Spaceport Cornwall is also in talks with Dream Chaser, a reusable space plane developed by Sierra Nevada Corporation Space Systems. The idea behind Dream Chaser is that its space planes transport payloads in space such as science experiments, fuel or food to the International Space Station and bring the results of the experiments back to laboratories anywhere on the planet. the planet.

“Our goal,” explained Melissa, “is for Dream Chaser to use the Newquay runway, land its cargo and deliver it directly to any lab or factory off the Aerohub runway, then return to Nevada for the. next launch. We will have the capacity to do this as our new integration hangar is starting up and should be ready, hopefully, before Christmas. “

Medical research is increasingly turning to space science to conduct experiments on cancer or other diseases released from Earth’s gravity. Vaccine experiments or trials may take as little as a few weeks to conduct in space while on the planet they may take months. For Spaceport Cornwall, being able to offer the facilities and the end-to-end industry that goes with it will hopefully be an attractive proposition for research labs, universities and global technology and space companies.

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Spaceport Cornwall is already working with the University of Exeter, Truro and Penwith College and Goonhilly to develop the skills and jobs that will be needed, whether in manufacturing or data science and anything that will support and grow around the booming space sector of the Duchy.

Melissa Thorpe isn’t your average space geek. While she can hold a conversation with British astronaut Tim Peake, the mother of two 37-year-old girls, won’t know the answers to questions about the Big Bang or quantum physics.

“I grew up in British Columbia and on Vancouver Island in the middle of the forest,” she says. “My father was a firefighter pilot. I have loved airplanes ever since and I love wildlife. So for me my dad and others like him were the real heroes, trying to save the forest and wildlife with seaplanes. I wanted to be a pilot. But I have poor eyesight so that puts an end to it.

“I was also interested in astronomy, but there wasn’t a lot of support for that in an area of ​​Canada where logging and fishing were the main industries. I studied STEM subjects and economics at university and I did a master’s degree at the London School of Economics on space clusters created around Boeing or Airbus and the economic and social impact they have on these areas.

It was around this time that Cornwall Council purchased the runway at what is now Newquay Airport from the Department of Defense. Melissa, who lives in Truro, has been asked to examine Cornwall’s strengths in the aviation and aerospace sector to see how more jobs could be created in the Duchy.

Spaceport Cornwall CEO Melissa Thorpe poses in front of the Virgin Orbit Launcher One rocket on the opening day of the Story of a Satellite summer exhibit at Spaceport Cornwall on August 2, 2021 in Newquay, England. Spaceport Cornwall aims to launch its first satellites in spring 2022. (Photo by Hugh Hastings / Getty Images)

She worked with her predecessor Miles Carden for 12 years, on projects such as Bristow taking over search and rescue on behalf of HM Coastguard after the role ceased to be played by RNAS Culdrose. Then, in 2014, the UK Space Agency announced plans to have space ports scattered across the country and Newquay became a designated site for horizontal launches with places like the Shetlands or the Scottish West Isles becoming venues. vertical launchers.

“I’ve been here since day one,” Melissa said. “It was a long journey that involved a lot of hard work and a lot of conversations with people. Humans are hungry for satellites and the applications they can make. Whether we like it or not, more of them will be launched into space, so you might as well do it here in Cornwall, but do it in a way that sets the standard in terms of benefit to our region and its communities. inhabitants, in a way that is socially and ecologically sustainable.

“It’s not about space tourism. It was a bit racy and exciting 10 years ago. But now it’s all about science and data. It is much more exciting. My role is to make sure that technology and data really helps Cornwall and the people of Cornwall. Otherwise, whatever we send, there will be another space debris.

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Melissa is keen to be the face of Spaceport Cornwall, as a woman, as she wants to inspire young people, especially girls, to take an interest in STEM subjects at school.

“I see it as my responsibility to get involved with young people in Cornwall schools. I love it. I never saw women come to my school and inspire me to be a scientist when I was a child. I want them to be inspired to become the pioneers of tomorrow.

“This first launch next year will be a fantastic time after all these years of hard work. It will shine the world spotlight on Cornwall. For us here it is Cornwall. We are all passionate about where we live and developing its potential. It will be a launch for the space technology, skills and people of Cornwall. It will be a launch for Cornwall’s future and I hope we can all be proud.

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3 rocket stocks that explode – both right and wrong Sat, 18 Sep 2021 11:00:00 +0000

Investors have flocked to space stocks over the past year, and for good reason. Space wasn’t just the last frontier on Star Trek, it represents a whole new potentially lucrative market for a wide range of businesses.

Morgan stanley estimates that the global space industry could generate up to $ 1 trillion in revenue by 2040.

But there are serious risks that accompany this opportunity. Space technology tends to be volatile, sometimes literally exploding on the launch pad. And just as some rocket designs turn out to be better than others, some of those companies that investors love today are likely to be well below expectations in years to come.

It is too early to say for sure who the ultimate winners and losers will be. But we’ve seen enough of these companies to at least get a sense of who might have the right things.

Here’s why three contributors think Rocket Lab United States (NASDAQ: RKLB), Virgin Galactic Holdings (NYSE: SPCE), and World Spire (NYSE: SPIR) have the potential to defy the law of gravity and stay dizzying.

Image source: Getty Images.

The least risky of a risky group

Lou whiteman (Rocket Lab United States): Rocket Lab has been public for less than a month, joining the Nasdaq Stock Market on August 25 after completing a merger with a special purpose acquisition company. And meanwhile, it has exploded in a good way, with stocks rising more than 50% in just a few weeks.

I have expressed a lot of skepticism about the new generation of commercial space start-ups, and given the somewhat questionable total addressable market and the massive number of companies – and fresh capital – that are looking for this. opportunity, I’m not sure any of the space geniuses who have gone public in recent years will be long term winners. But Rocket Lab has better odds than most.

On the one hand, although the company is new to public procurement, it has a strong history of putting satellites into orbit. Since May 2017, it has launched 21 missions, putting more than 100 satellites into orbit for clients including the US government and large corporations. He also has a solid book of future business, including deals with NASA.

I’m concerned that we will reach a point where there is too much launch capacity for the number of customers trying to get things into orbit, which could lead to pricing issues for all of the companies involved. But RocketLab is focused on small satellites in low Earth orbit, the fastest growing segment of the market.

The company is developing a second, larger launcher that should allow it to serve longer and heavier missions, including jobs classified by the U.S. government. RocketLab also intends to be more than just a launcher, adding satellites, components and services with the goal of becoming an end-to-end supplier to the space industry. Armed with the cash from its PSPC merger and a solid plan to break even, RocketLab is expected to have over $ 500 million in excess cash to use on acquisitions in an attempt to consolidate a still young and fragmented market.

RocketLab is no bargain, posting a market cap of $ 7 billion despite having only $ 55 million in revenue in the past 12 months. And given the uncertain size of the market and the number of competitors, there is always a real risk that it could explode the wrong way. Investors should keep stocks like this in a small portion of a well-diversified portfolio.

But there is great potential in the space, and there will be winners to accompany any losers. RocketLab appears to be one of the best candidates for reaching and maintaining orbit.

Deferred gratification will pay off for investors

Rich Duprey (Galactic Virgo): The market has serious doubts about Virgin Galactic, and they are not totally unjustified. The company that wants to be the leader in space tourism has overturned more expectations than Rian Johnson of Star Wars fans by The Last Jedi, but there is good reason to believe that Virgin will eventually accomplish its mission, and not as far as its critics suggest.

Virgin’s decision to delay its Unity 23 flight with the Italian Air Force is a disappointment, but entirely reasonable after being told by a third-party supplier of a potential part defect. As the spacecraft company is already under scrutiny for alleged laxity with security protocols, not least because it strayed from its flight plan during the Unity flight on July 22 , which led the Federal Aviation Administration to halt Virgin flights until it investigates the incident, Virgin will likely exercise great caution in the future.

This will lead to disappointments every now and then, but should translate into a better business overall that can become a trusted name in commercial spaceflight.

Virgin Galactic's Unity spacecraft takes off into space.

Image source: Virgin Galactic.

In the meantime, Virgin Galactic’s stock is left on the launch pad. Stocks are down 61% from their all-time high in February and analysts have lowered their own price targets to the low to mid range of $ 30, which is still over 40% for the year. coming to the midpoint of consensus.

Commercial space flight is a long-term pursuit, although Elon Musk’s SpaceX seems to make it seem almost effortless these days. Yet even its launch of Inspiration4 the other day gave Virgin’s inventory a little boost because of the huge promise it holds.

It’s a safe bet that Virgin will soon be able to put the problems the rocket launcher faced and resume its mission in space. A schedule for Unit 23’s flight is now expected in mid-October and Virgin founder Rich Branson believes his company will herald a new era of space tourism, which he says can begin as soon as possible. next year.

While reservations on Virgin flights currently stand at $ 250,000, analysts expect that to double, which should be when the company really takes off. Buying now will take patience, but should pay off in the years to come.

Barely a month after its IPO, this space fund is already making acquisitions

Rich Smith (World Spire): As I type this, space company Spire Global is ending its second consecutive day of rising stock prices. Speyer’s stock rose 6.3% on Wednesday, but it turned out to be just the act of warming up. On Thursday, Spire exploded 16.9% higher – certainly the “right” kind of explosion.

What lit the candle on Spire stock this week?

On Tuesday, Spire announced it would acquire Toronto-based exactEarth in a $ 161.2 million cash and stock deal. Spire noted that the exact Earth price values ​​were only 9.1 times the leak revenue, which makes it a good deal, as Spire itself costs closer to 46 times the revenue.

Additionally, in exchange for this purchase price, Spire says it will grow its customer base by over 75%, adding 150 new commercial and government customers and creating “significant cross-selling opportunities.” [for] Spire’s data and analytics products. It will also give Spire a minority stake in Internet of Things satellite company Myriota. And that will accelerate Spire’s revenue growth. Illustrating the latter point, exactEarth reported its own earnings on Tuesday, posting 26% year-over-year revenue growth in its spatial maritime data and analysis business – and nearly triple the cash flow from operations. from last year.

In short, this is a decision that will intelligently develop the business of Spire and to an intelligent valuation.

As for Spire itself, the company is no slouch in the growth department either. While data on such a new company is necessarily limited so soon after its IPO, we do know that Spire’s sales increased 34% in the first half of 2021. The company is not currently profitable, however, and for this reason I must classify Spire as speculative stock. Although I own it myself, I would suggest investors consider this one risky until he has proven himself capable of making a profit from his business – and suggest not investing more than what you can afford to lose.

This article represents the opinion of the author, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a premium Motley Fool consulting service. We are heterogeneous! Questioning an investment thesis – even one of our own – helps us all to think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

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Brexit news: UKspace launches campaign to boost UK investment in satellites | United Kingdom | New Fri, 17 Sep 2021 17:41:42 +0000

SpaceX launches fully civilian crew into orbit

The government wants the UK to control 10% of the global space market by 2030. Spaceport Cornwall, Britain’s first spaceport, could make its first launch next year as there are plans for vertical rocket launch sites in Scotland.

UKspace, which represents the UK space industry, calls for more investment to maximize potential.

The industry body has launched a campaign, targeting Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, urging them to “invest to unleash the transformative potential of the space sector”.

A comprehensive review of government spending will be released later this fall.

Writing for Politics Home, Nick Shave, president of UKspace, pointed out that the growth of the UK space industry has slowed since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Children in front of a rocket at Spaceport Cornwall (Image: GETTY)


British astronaut Sir Tim Peake (Image: GETTY)

While it grew 2.8% in 2018/19, it only managed 0.8% in 2019/20.

Mr Shave wrote: “If we don’t invest in the space industry at the level necessary to unlock its potential, we can expect growth to slow further.

“It would prevent us from moving forward while other countries take great strides forward, catastrophic for the UK’s international position in the highly strategic space sector.

“It would also prevent the Prime Minister from making real progress in achieving his priorities here in the UK.”

READ MORE: “Do Your Homework! Andrew Neil bursts out in front of QT guest for “embarrassing” claims from GB News


Children celebrate the launch of Tim Peake in 2015 (Image: GETTY)

Spaceport Cornwall, based at Newquay Airport, is partnering with Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Orbit to launch satellites into space.

A modified Boeing 747, named Cosmic Girl, will take off from the airport with a rocket under its wing.

Once the plane is at sea, the rocket and its cargo of small satellites will be launched into space.

Mr Shave argued that space technology will be crucial to Britain’s battle against climate change, as the UK has pledged to cut emissions by 78% by 2035, from 1990 levels. .


Brexit Britain strengthens space nation status with historic mission to the Moon [REVEAL]
Raw ingredients found in space could lead to discovery of alien life [SHOCK]
SpaceX shares Inspiration4’s stunning view of Earth from space [INSIGHT]


Spaceport Cornwall hopes to have its first launch next year (Image: GETTY)


Melissa Thorpe is the head of Spaceport Cornwall (Image: GETTY)

He wrote: ‘It is only by investing in space that the UK will enable the journey to net zero and move on to other major priorities.

“Space technologies and space-derived information are at the heart of climate knowledge, science, monitoring and early warning.

“Indeed, 35 of the 45 essential climate variables as defined by the Chairs of the United Nations Committee on Climate Change can only be measured from space.

“The UK space industry is already providing policy makers with tools to help monitor and improve the environment like never before, but there is still a long way to go to enable the 2050 target to be met. “

According to a UKspace report published last year, the UK space sector could create an additional 15,000 green jobs by 2030.

Speaking to in August, Melissa Thorpe, director of Spaceport Cornwall, said the next two years will be crucial for the UK space industry.

She said: “We have a diminishing window of opportunity to ensure that [small satellite] market, which is why we are putting a lot of pressure on the government to get these regulations passed so that we can launch.


UK hopes to secure 10% of global space industry by 2030 (Image: GETTY)

“I think we have a year, maybe two years, to really secure this launch market here in the UK.

“More space ports are popping up all over the world, the growth of commercial space ports is booming as small satellites are booming and people want better access to space.”

Sites in Sutherland, the Western Isles and the Shetlands are under consideration for the UK’s first vertical rocket launch site.

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Is space the new safari? Some wealthy travelers are ready to take the next step. Thu, 16 Sep 2021 19:55:00 +0000

A trip to space has risen to the top of travel lists for those who can afford it, following successful suborbital escapades from Blue Origin by Jeff Bezos, Virgin Galactic by Richard Branson and SpaceX launches four civilians into orbit Wednesday.

High-profile travel takes space travel up a notch in an extreme – and expensive – travel menu that already includes adventures such as climbing Mount Everest, skiing in Antarctica, and a nature safari. in Africa.

“For many extreme adventure travelers, we are now where space is as accessible as Mount Everest and other places,” said Joshua Bush, CEO of luxury travel agency Avenue Two Travel and space agent accredited for Virgin Galactic. “It will take a significant budget and a lot of planning, but the successful launches last summer indicate that all systems are working.”

Space is definitely opening up as an option for travelers looking for something more ambitious.

While many people who wish to book space travel are avid aviation and space enthusiasts, others see it as “the next big adventure to a place where less than 1,000 people have been,” said Bush. “Others see this as the dawn of a new industry and how they too can be pioneers.”

“These future astronauts all have unique and personal reasons for leaving. Their common thread is a passion just to go there, ”he said.

There are more ways than ever for people to get to space, said Geoff Nunn, assistant curator for space history at the Museum of Flight in Seattle.

“The space is definitely opening up. There are other options for those who might want something more ambitious, ”said Nunn, including space tourism company Space Adventures, which books flights to the International Space Station aboard a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. .

For suborbital flight tickets, Virgin Galactic has already has a waiting list of around 600 clients who booked flights for $ 250,000. However, the company recently increased its prices to $ 450,000 per seat and increased the deposit to $ 149,000, ”Nunn said.

Blue Origin has yet to release pricing, but the company has auctioned off a seat for its first space flight for $ 28 million.

There are cheaper options for getting a seat on a space flight.

Later this month, Virgin Galactic and charity fundraising platform Omaze will announce the winner of a contest held over the summer to offer a pair of seats on an upcoming commercial space flight.

But even with a ticket, the wait time to board a suborbital commercial flight can be long.

“For suborbital, the opportunities will be very limited over the next few years,” said Tom Shelley, president of Space Adventures. “Virgin and Blue Origin have demonstrated their long-spoken capability. But now they have to move on from showing that it can be done once to doing it safely and regularly. “

It could take years, Shelley said. “But this is the start of this transition from a dream and a possibility to becoming a reality of scheduled flight.”

While waiting and saving for their space flights, citizen astronauts have other issues to consider.

“Leaving the atmosphere is difficult, and you want to make sure you understand the danger and the safety precautions in place before you agree to go,” Nunn said. the moment.”

Even Amazon billionaire founder Jeff Bezos couldn’t get insurance for his space trip.

In 2012, Gregory Schneider won a ticket for a trip to suborbital space, presented by astronaut Buzz Aldrin, in a competition sponsored by Space Needle and Space Adventures Seattle. Competitors had to complete a series of challenges, including a captive outdoor walk to the top of the 520-foot-high Space Needle.

“The prize was for a flight that was going to be on a rocket being built by Armadillo Aerospace, which went bankrupt a few years later,” Schneider said. “Then one of Virgin Galactic’s spaceships blew up, and it looked like this space travel wasn’t going to happen anytime soon. “

Schneider demanded the cash value of $ 110.00 of the prize and paid off his law student loans.

Now that suborbital flights are a reality, Schneider says he is “a little nostalgic and a little disappointed” to no longer have a ticket.

“But I’m optimistic that the technology will improve and the price will come down,” he said.

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Float like an astronaut for a day Thu, 16 Sep 2021 15:09:05 +0000

By Angela Moore

SANTA MONICA, Calif., Sept. 16 (Reuters) – As space-loving billionaires soar into space, the best most people can do is gaze longingly.

There is, however, another way to feel what it would be like to float in space like an astronaut for just $ 7,500 per person for a 90 minute trip.

The Zero Gravity experience allows adventurers to turn, float, somersaults and hang upside down in the hollowed out cabin of a Boeing 727, said Matt Gohd, CEO of Zero G Corporation.

When the modified G-Force One aircraft reached an altitude of approximately 24,000 feet (7300 m), the pilots began to climb and then pushed the aircraft over a parabolic arch.

This leaves the passengers in a free fall – they feel weightless for 20 to 30 seconds until the plane descends to 24,000 feet. The pilots repeat the maneuver about 15 times during the flight.

On Wednesday, a SpaceX rocket lifted off from Florida carrying ecommerce billionaire Jared Isaacman and three other people he chose from the first all-tourist crew to orbit Earth.

It was the first flight for SpaceX owner Elon Musk’s new orbital tourism company. Isaacman paid an undisclosed sum to his fellow billionaire Musk for the theft; Time magazine put the ticket price for the four seats at $ 200 million.

Rival companies Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc and Blue Origin launched their own private astronaut services this summer, but those suborbital flights only lasted a few minutes.

Zero G has been flying since 2004 and counts Virgin founder Richard Branson, Musk, astronaut Buzz Aldrin and physicist Stephen Hawking among its customers.

This year, Gohd said there will be 65 to 70 thefts. Amid the increased interest in space travel, Gohd expects it to hit around 100 flights next year.

“When people get on the flight… everyone laughs,” Gohd said of the feeling of weightlessness. “They’ve never felt anything like it. And they’re like children again.” (Reporting by Angela Moore; Editing by Karishma Singh, Gerry Doyle and Diane Craft)))

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