Taber MacCallum is New CSF Chairman

Taber MacCallum and Jane Poynter (Credit: World View)

DENVER (CSF PR) — The Commercial Spaceflight Federation (CSF) announced today that Taber MacCallum, Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of World View Enterprises, will serve as the new Chairman of the Board of CSF.

George Whitesides, Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company, and Karina Drees, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Mojave Air and Space Port, will continue in their current roles as Vice Chairman and Treasurer, respectively.

(more…)

NASA Flight Opportunities Program Selects 15 Space Technologies for Tests

New Shepard booster over the landing pad. (Credit: Blue Origin)

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Flight Opportunities program has selected 15 promising space technologies to be tested on commercial low-gravity simulating aircraft, high-altitude balloons and suborbital rockets. These flights will help advance technologies for future spaceflight, taking them from the laboratory to a relevant flight environment.

During an Aug. 28 visit to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, where the Flight Opportunities program is managed, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said the agency will focus on funding more of these payload flights in the future.

(more…)

NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program Adds New Flight Provider to its Roster

One of Raven Aerostar’s Super Pressure Balloons. (Credit: Raven Aerostar)

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program has selected four companies to integrate and fly technology payloads for demonstration on commercial suborbital reusable platforms. The list includes a new flight provider: Raven Aerostar.

In addition, three companies currently working with Flight Opportunities renewed their IDIQ contracts:

  • Blue Origin Texas, LLC, Van Horn, Texas
  • Up Aerospace Inc., Littleton, Colorado
  • World View Enterprises, Inc., Tucson, Arizona

Based in Sioux Falls, SD, Raven Aerostar specializes in long-duration and navigational stratospheric missions through its fleet of high-altitude balloons.

Through these new NASA awards, selected companies will receive a five-year indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract for integration and flight services.

To learn more, read the full NASA news release.

Former SSL CTO Matteo Genna Joins World View

Matteo Genna

TUCSON (World View PR) — World View is pleased to announce that former SSL Chief Technology Officer and Vice President, Dr. Matteo Genna, has joined the company to lead engineering and manufacturing. Dr. Genna will provide executive leadership and direction in shaping World View’s future in pursuit of the company’s mission to pioneer a new economy in the stratosphere.

In his new role as Senior Vice President of Engineering and Manufacturing, Dr. Genna will be responsible for leading the continued technical progress and development of all flight services and vehicles, including World View’s hallmark Stratollite platform, a balloon-borne vehicle analagous to a satellite that operates over cusotmer-specified areas of interest for long duration missions. He brings more than 20 years of experience in leading engineering, product development, and manufacturing teams to World View.

“World View is honored to welcome Matteo to the team,” said Jane Poynter, World View co-founder and CEO. “Throughout his career, Matteo has demonstrated remarkable success in building and developing high performance teams and products. He is a great fit with our organizational culture and will be an exceptional leader for our innovative and growing team and mission.”

Please join us in welcoming Dr. Genna to the World View team! We look forward to a bright future under his guidance and leadership.

NASA Selects US Firms to Provide Commercial Suborbital Flight Services

NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program has selected four companies to integrate and fly technology payloads on commercial suborbital reusable platforms that carry payloads near the boundary of space. The selection is part of NASA’s continuing effort to foster a viable market for American commercial reusable suborbital platforms that allow testing of new space technologies within Earth’s atmosphere.

Through these new awards, selected companies will receive an indefinite-delivery, indefinite-quantity contract for integration and flight services, drawing from a pool of commercial space companies. The five-year contracts have a combined potential contract value of $45 million. The flights will carry a variety of payloads to help meet the agency’s research and technology needs.

The selected companies are:

  • Aerostar International (Raven Aerostar), Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Blue Origin Texas, LLC, Van Horn, Texas
  • Up Aerospace Inc., Littleton, Colorado
  • World View Enterprises, Inc., Tucson, Arizona

NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) is charged with maturing crosscutting technologies to flight readiness status for future space missions. The agency’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, manages the Flight Opportunities Program for STMD.

During the coming year, STMD will make significant new investments that address several high priority challenges for achieving safe and affordable deep space exploration. It continues to solicit the help of the best and brightest minds in academia, industry, and government to drive innovation and enable solutions in important technology thrust areas. These planned investments are addressing high priority challenges for achieving safe and affordable deep space exploration.

For more information on the program, visit:

https://www.nasa.gov/flightopportunities

Jane Poynter & World View Making the Stratosphere Accessible

Jane Poynter and Taber MacCallum are both veterans of Biosphere 2. (Credit: World View)

TUCSON (PISCES PR) — Jane Poynter is no stranger to big ideas. World View, the Tucson-based stratospheric flight and technology company, is just the latest game-changing venture for Poynter, the biospherian turned entrepreneur/CEO and humanitarian.

Most wouldn’t describe Ms. Poynter’s journey in life as ordinary. Quickly after primary school, Poynter developed an early and insatiable appetite for audacious projects. This gravitational force led her on an international trek of self-exploration and education that concluded with her earning a spot on the eight-person roster of Biosphere 2, a project widely regarded as the first large-scale, terrestrial space colonization experiment.

(more…)

World View Executes NASA Flight Opportunities Program Mission

Balloon launch. (Credit: World View)

TUCSON, Ariz. (World View PR) – World View, the stratospheric exploration company, announced today that it has successfully executed a Z-Class high-altitude mission commissioned by the NASA Flight Opportunities program office (FOP) for two principal customers, the NASA Ames Research Center  and Space Environment Technologies, both of whom are studying radiation detection and its energy levels at different altitudes.

The Z-Class mission launched from Spaceport Tucson at approximately 9:39 a.m. PT on Thursday, March 29, 2018.

(more…)

World View Raises $26.5 Million Series C Round Led by Accel

TUCSON, Ariz. (World View PR) – World View, the stratospheric exploration company, announced today that it has successfully closed a $26.5M Series C round of financing led by Accel. The Series C also included major investment by Canaan and Norwest Venture Partners, both of whom participated in World View’s previous Series B round of financing.

(more…)

World View Obtains High Resolution Imagery From Stratollite

Example of fleet management (Credit: World View)

TUCSON, Ariz. (World View PR) – World View, the stratospheric exploration company, released today the first-ever remote sensing imagery captured from their high-altitude Stratollite™ vehicle. The images were captured from altitudes ranging between 65,000 and 75,000 ft. with an off-the-shelf imaging sensor and show sub-meter resolution capability from the Stratollite.

(more…)

Update on World View Progress

World View Stratollite module. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

The Next Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference is being held in Colorado through Wednesday. I wasn’t able to attend this year, but the following folks are there tweeting away:

  • Jeff Foust‏ @jeff_foust
  • Rand Simberg‏ @Rand_Simberg
  • Colorado Space News‏ @CO_Space_News

Below is an update on the progress of World View based on their tweets.

Jane Poynter
CEO
World View

  • 2017 has been a seminal year for World View in which the company has flown many times
  • Helium-filled balloons can carry Stratollite platforms with 50-kg payloads to altitudes of 16-30 km
  • Stratollites can provide payloads with 250 watts of power
  • Plan to double mass and power capacity within the next year
  • Balloons can remain stationary over specific areas and maneuvered to a location of the client’s choosing
  • Expect to increase flight rate to 1 or 2 per month quite quickly
  • balloons can only descend to ground at night, but plan to change that in the future
  • The stratosphere (aka, “ignorosphere”) is a good destination destination for science investigation
  • Stratollites can be used to test experiments and technology for Mars because the atmospheric pressure at the altitudes they reach are similar to that on the Red Planet
  • “very close” to substituting hydrogen for helium in balloons
  • Spaceport Tucson is focused on stratospheric flights
  • Other balloon operators are welcome at Spaceport Tucson where World View operates

Andrew Antonio
Director of Marketing
World View

  • Can provide imaging coverage for longer periods of time and at lower costs than UAVs
  • Goal is to provide best of satellites and UAVs using balloons
  • Using off-the-shelf cameras got a resolution of about 50 cm
  • Believes company can reduce imaging system to 10- to 15-cm resolution next year and communications rate to 100- to 500 Mbps
  • Ultimate goal is have constellations floating over regions providing continuous imaging

Appeals Court Sides With Pima County in World View Case

Getting ready for launch. (Credit: World View)

Pima County, Arizona won a round in its fight over an incentives package it provided to near-space balloon company World View.

The state Court of Appeals on Thursday said competitive bidding laws do not apply when counties are trying to lure a specific company to the area.

In a unanimous ruling, the three-judge panel acknowledged the purpose of competitive bids is to ensure that the county — and, by extension, the taxpayers — gets the most money for the property. But Judge Peter Eckerstrom, writing for the court, said that does not apply when the real goal is not immediate income but longer-term economic development.

Thursday’s ruling drew criticism from the Goldwater Institute, which represented three taxpayers who challenged the lease between Pima County and World View for a launch pad from which it hopes to launch individuals to the edge of space in balloons. The $15 million deal includes not only the lease of a 12-acre county-owned site but also construction of a launch pad and headquarters for the company….

Thursday’s ruling, even if upheld by the Supreme Court, does not end the legal battle. Goldwater still has a separate claim against Pima County that the deal violates a provision of the Arizona Constitution that makes it illegal for governments to give or lend money to private enterprises.

The Goldwater Institute plans to appeal the appeals court ruling to the Arizona Supreme Court.

NASA Selects New Technologies to Flight Test on Parabolic Aircraft, Balloons & Suborbital Rockets


EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — NASA has selected nine space technologies to test on low-gravity-simulating aircraft, high-altitude balloons or suborbital rockets. The opportunity to fly on these vehicles helps advance technologies closer to practical use by taking them from a laboratory environment to a real-world environment. The selections were made by NASA’s Flight Opportunities program, which conducts a competition approximately twice per year for funding to fly payloads using flight providers selected by the proposers. These space technologies are being tested using relatively low-cost flights that simulate spaceflight or just reach the “edge” of space.

(more…)

World View Successfully Flight Tests Groundbreaking Altitude Control Technology

The World View Stratollite consists of a primary lift balloon (top), secondary balloons (middle), a solar panel power generation and distribution system, and a stratocraft payload-carrying structure (bottom). (Credits: World View)

EDWARDS, Calif. (NASA PR) — Long-duration stratospheric research missions could allow scientists to collect vast amounts of data continuously for their payloads. Such missions could benefit NASA by maturing future space technology as well as allowing for Earth observations, such as storm monitoring and forest fire tracking.

(more…)

World View Executes First Multi-day Stratollite Mission

Getting ready for launch. (Credit: World View)

TUCSON, Ariz. (World View PR) – World View, the stratospheric exploration company, today announced it has successfully executed its first multi-day development flight of the high-altitude Stratollite™ vehicle. After five days in the stratosphere, this milestone clearly demonstrates the viability of the world’s first-ever, long-duration, navigable stratospheric payload vehicle for commercial applications with global impact.

(more…)