Press Release

Commercial Spaceflight Federation Highlights Some Recent Achievements in the Commercial Space Industry

By SpaceRef Editor
June 1, 2012
Filed under , ,
Commercial Spaceflight Federation Highlights Some Recent Achievements in the Commercial Space Industry

Washington D.C. – The Commercial Spaceflight Federation released the following statement from President Michael Lopez-Alegria today.

“This has been an incredible couple of weeks for the companies in the commercial spaceflight industry. Our members are working toward a common goal of opening spaceflight up to the public and expanding NASA’s reach, which will create high-tech jobs in the U.S. while building innovative technology that will improve life on Earth. The SpaceX achieved a historic first, and in just the ten days while they were in orbit, many other companies hit milestones or announced new initiatives.”

XCOR Aerospace announced on May 24th that their liquid oxygen piston pump is now ready for reusable spaceflight. XCOR engineers have successfully and repeatedly pumped liquid oxygen at flow rates required to supply the Lynx suborbital vehicle’s main engines, completing a key technical milestone. XCOR is now ready for main propulsion integration into the Lynx flight weight fuselage. For more details, please visit XCOR’s webpage.

Excalibur Almaz announced on May 27th that it plans to launch spacecraft to space stations they will place in orbit around the moon. Using proven Russian legacy hardware, Excalibur Almaz plans to create a transport system between Earth, low-Earth orbit, and the Moon. EA is now seeking partners, investors, and customers for this next generation space transportation system. For more details, please visit Excalibur Almaz’s webpage.

Sierra Nevada Corporation announced on May 30th the completion of several milestones for its Dream Chaser program and has successfully completed their captive carry flight test for their Dream Chaser Flight Vehicle on May 29th, marking the successful beginning of a flight test program that will continue this summer. Captive carry testing provided SNC with an early opportunity to evaluate and prove hardware, facilities and ground operations in preparation for Approach and Landing tests scheduled for later this year. For more details, please visit Sierra Nevada’s webpage.

Virgin Galactic announced on May 30th that its suborbital spacecraft, SpaceShipTwo, along with its carrier aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo, have been granted an experimental launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration. This launch permit will allow the vehicle’s manufacturer, Scaled Composites, to continue forward with the flight test program towards rocket-powered test. For more details, please visit Virgin Galactic’s webpage.

Moon Express announced on May 30th that it has acquired Next Giant Leap, LLC in the first team acquisition event of the $30M Google Lunar X PRIZE. The NGL acquisition by Moon Express will leverage and carry forward the substantial work done by NGL and its corporate partners. For more details, please visit Moon Express’ webpage.

Space Exploration Technologies completed their second COTS demonstration flight on May 31st with the successful splash down of the Dragon capsule in the Pacific Ocean. The Dragon capsule launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket on May 22nd and spent approximately six days berthed with the International Space Station, making it the first commercial vehicle in history to successfully attach to the ISS. Only four governments have achieved this challenging technical feat. For more details, please visit SpaceX’s webpage.

Blue Origin announced on May 31st the successful completion of a System Requirements Review of its orbital Space Vehicle on May 15-16 which will help Blue Origin finalize its vehicle design. The review assessed the Space Vehicle’s ability to meet safety and mission requirements, and evaluated the technical readiness of the design, the concept of operations, the feasibility of project development plans, and planned verification activities. The review also included results from recently completed wind tunnel tests of the biconic shape, validating the vehicle’s aerodynamic design, stability and cross-range. For more details, please visit Blue Origin’s webpage.

About the Commercial Spaceflight Federation

The mission of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) is to promote the development of commercial human spaceflight, pursue ever-higher levels of safety, and share best practices and expertise throughout the industry. The Commercial Spaceflight Federation’s member companies, which include commercial spaceflight developers, operators, spaceports, suppliers, and service providers, are creating thousands of high-tech jobs nationwide, working to preserve American leadership in aerospace through technology innovation, and inspiring young people to pursue careers in science and engineering. For more information please visit or contact Executive Director Alex Saltman at or at 202.349.1121.

SpaceRef staff editor.