Will Commercial Space Travel Blast Off in 2014?

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Bags packed. Ticket in hand. Reserved seating and your rocket ship waits.

The longed-for dawn of private manned space travel appears near at hand. Virgin Galactic’s suborbital SpaceShipTwo, for example, aced its third supersonic test flight on Friday (Jan. 10), and company officials say they remain on track to begin commercial service later this year.

But as Niels Bohr, Nobel laureate in physics, once said: “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.” [See photos of SpaceShipTwo’s latest supersonic test flight]

SPACE.com surveyed a number of commercial space travel experts, asking them what developments we should expect in the field this year — including whether or not large numbers of paying customers will indeed make it to the final frontier in 2014. Read more…

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Obama Extends International Space Station Lifespan to 2024

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The United States is extending the International Space Station’s operations for an additional four years until at least 2024.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s announced on Wednesday that it approved the extension, and encouraged other countries to take similar action

The ISS is the most complex and challenging engineering endeavor in history,” according to a White House statement written by John P. Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Charles Bolden, a NASA administrator. “The key to its success has been the combination of NASA ingenuity and international cooperation.” Read more…

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