So 12 December is the big day for the final Ares I crew launch vehicle contract award announcement about who wins the cash for the rocket's avionics. Best of luck everybody for that, I'm on holiday that day so don't expect any blogging on the outcome from moi
NASA has confirmed to Flight that it is considering an alternate launch abort system telling me that: "NASA is sponsoring the M-LAS as a risk mitigation effort for Orion. We are retaining the current "tower" concept as the baseline launch abort system design."
While NASA is deciding whether to kill its block one International Space Station mission only Orion crew exploration vehicle or keep ISS going to 2020, Transterrestrial Musings has linked to Thomas James' Marsblog and his ruminations on a way round the dastardly plots to spike NASA manned Mars mission research funding
Perhaps not quite as impossible a mission but Mojave air and spaceport is apparently having troubles with its spaceport licence
I spoke to Stuart Witt, Mojave air and spaceport manager, at the 2006 Personal Spaceflight executive summit in New Mexico and he said they were going to apply for a new licence to ensure they could extend the number of suborbital test flights in preparation for Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo
I have kept checking back with the FAA on whether Mojave has put in for a new licence but until recently they hadn't. Obviously flying White Knight II won't require suborbital flight appproval but come 2009 they are going to have to get going with those.
As its becoming clear that Galactic won't be flying commercially until well into 2010 and will operate its first customer flights from Spaceport America and not Mojave, as was originally intended, Mojave doesn't necessarily need the licence it once did but still regulatory problems for Witt and his team could become a real problem for Galactic and its partner Scaled Composites
And finally, Hobbyspace.com has various links including one about the latest Space Investment Summit