July 28, 2005

SIGH. The shuttle fleet’s grounded again. California Yankee has a roundup, with photos. And here’s much more, including a reminder that the foam that’s causing the problems was reformulated for environmental reasons, which seems to have been a mistake. Meanwhile, the Russians are offering a $100 Million flight to the Moon, which has to be kind of embarrassing.

Meanwhile, Rand Simberg offers useful perspective. And on a more positive note, there’s this:

British entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson, has teamed up with aerospace designer, Burt Rutan of Scaled Composites to form a new aerospace production company. The new firm will build a fleet of commercial suborbital spaceships and launch aircraft.

Called The Spaceship Company, the new entity will manufacture launch aircraft, various spacecraft and support equipment and market those products to spaceliner operators. Clients include launch customer, Virgin Galactic—formed by Branson to handle space tourist flights.

Cool.