Aabar Investments of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates agreed on July 28 to buy a 32 percent stake in Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism venture known as Virgin Galactic. The $280 million deal was inked on the grounds of the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual AirVenture fly-in event held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
As millions of Americans remember “where they were” 40 years ago when they first heard Neil Armstrong’s famous first words from the surface of the moon, the nation is poised between different possible futures for manned space exploration.
Neil Armstrong’s famous “small step” at the moon’s Sea of Tranquility on July 20, 1969 was among the defining moments of an entire generation.
A July 16 article posted to the online tech journal The Register entitled, “Former Astronaut Takes Control of NASA” was among the numerous reports of the U.S. Senate’s confirmation of Charles Bolden as the new administrator of NASA. Bolden was nominated by President Obama on May 26 to fill the position as head of the space agency.
“Obama's NASA selection is a boost for manned spaceflight” proclaimed the headline to the May 24 Los Angeles Times story. Apparently, “the choice of astronaut Charles Bolden as NASA administrator reassures many who feared that Obama was lukewarm on future manned missions,” and is being interpreted as supporting NASA’s goal of humans once again going to the moon by 2020.