Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch unveils plans for new family of rockets (and a space plane)

BY ALAN BOYLE | GeekWire

Artwork shows Stratolaunch’s giant carrier plane and several classes of launch vehicles, including Northrop Grumman’s Pegasus rocket, a medium-class rocket and its heavy-lift variant, and a fully reusable space plane. (Stratolaunch Illustration)

(This article first appeared on August 20, 2018)

Stratolaunch, the space venture created by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in 2011, today provided the first details about a new family of launch vehicles it has in the works, including two types of rockets and a reusable space plane that could someday carry astronauts to orbit.… Read the full article.

SpaceX wins $130 million Air Force launch contract, marking a first for Falcon Heavy

BY ALAN BOYLE | GeekWire

An automated camera documents the Falcon Heavy rocket’s first ascent from Kennedy Space Center in February with SpaceX’s hangar in the foreground. (GeekWire Photo / Kevin Lisota)

(This article first appeared on June 21, 2018)

The U.S.… Read the full article.

Space Force? Space Corps? Space Guard? Experts study ways to patrol final frontier

BY ALAN BOYLE | GeekWire

Workers in protective suits check out the Air Force’s X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle after its touchdown at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center Shuttle Landing Facility in May 2017. (U.S. Air Force Photo)

(This article first appeared on June 1, 2018)

Two months after President Donald Trump said the United States may create a new military branch to focus on national security space activities, Politico is reporting that CNA Corp., a federally funded research and development center, is studying ways to make it so.… Read the full article.

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg foresees busy commercial ‘ecosystem’ in Earth orbit

BY ALAN BOYLE | GeekWire

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg speaks at Northwestern University, with a model of NASA’s Space Launch System rocket standing in front of him. (Boeing via Facebook)

(This article first appeared on May 2, 2018)

Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg predicts that the number of space destinations will grow from one — the International Space Station — to 10 or 12 over the next couple of decades, creating an “economically viable marketplace” in Earth orbit.… Read the full article.