Suborbinomics: The Astronomical Cost of Getting From Point A to Point A

Richard Branson celebrates the first Virgin Galactic trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Credit Virgin Galactic)

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Resplendent in a blue Virgin Galactic flight suit, Richard Branson was in an exuberant mood as he sat at the New York Stock Exchange doing a TV interview on Oct. 28, 2019. His space tourism company had just gone public in a $774 million merger with billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital Hedosophia special purpose acquisition company.

Virgin Galactic now had an estimated market value of more than $2.2 billion despite never having flown a single passenger or earned any serious revenue in 15 years. Virgin Galactic would have $450 million to complete its flight test program and begin commercial flights — if the company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings were to be believed — in June 2020. Branson and the Mubadala Investment Company, an Abu Dhabi government sovereign wealth fund, would divide up $274 million to offset about $1 billion in investment made thus far.


NASA Statement on Meeting with US Ambassador to Poland

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson, right, and U.S. Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski are seen during a meeting Feb. 4, 2022, at NASA Headquarters in Washington during which the two discussed a variety of topics related to NASA’s mission that are of importance to both the U.S. and Poland. (Credits: NASA/Justin Weiss)

WASHINGTON (NASA PR) — The following is a statement from NASA Administrator Bill Nelson on U.S. Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski’s visit Friday, Feb. 4, to NASA Headquarters in Washington:

“It was a pleasure to welcome U.S. Ambassador to Poland Mark Brzezinski to NASA last week.


Luxembourg, Poland Sign MOU on Space Cooperation

LUXEMBOURG CITY (Luxembourg Government PR) — The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, represented by the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy, Étienne Schneider, and the Republic of Poland, represented by the Minister of Entrepreneurship and Technology, Jadwiga Emilewicz, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to start bilateral cooperation on space activities with particular focus on the exploration and utilization of space resources. The five-year MoU covers the exchange of information and expertise in the areas of space technologies, policy, law and regulation.


Poland Becomes 20th ESA Member

PARIS (ESA PR) — The Council meeting at Ministerial level this week sees the Polish flag flying for the first time alongside those of ESA’s other Member States after Poland formally became ESA’s 20th Member State on 19 November.

Poland exchanged Accession Agreements on the ESA Convention on 13 September. The ceremony took place at the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, with the participation of Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, Waldemar Pawlak, Polish Minister of Economy, and Grażyna Henclewska, Under Secretary of State in the Polish Ministry of Economy.

The Government of Poland completed the final step in the very short ratification process today, depositing the ‘ratification instrument’ with the Government of France. Poland is now participating in this week’s Ministerial Council as a full Member State.

Euro Ministerial Space Confab 2012 to be Biggest Yet

Europe’s space ministers, the knights of the roundish table, in 2008. (Credit: ESA)

By Douglas Messier
Parabolic Arc Managing Editor

ESA’s throwing a party next month, and everybody — and I mean EVERYBODY — is invited.

Well, maybe not a party per se. (Although there probably will be a few during the evening.) But, the next ESA Ministerial Council meeting in Caserta, Italy on November 20-21 will be the biggest one yet, featuring anyone in Europe with any interest in space whether they’ve joined the agency or not. And it will be crucial meet for Europe’s future in space.


Poland Takes Key Step Toward Full ESA Membership

13 September 2012 (ESA PR) — Poland took a step further in its relations with ESA by exchanging Accession Agreements on the ESA Convention on 13 September 2012, to become the 20th ESA Member State.

The ceremony took place at the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw, with the participation of Jean-Jacques Dordain, ESA Director General, Waldemar Pawlak, Polish Minister of Economy, and Grażyna Henclewska, Under Secretary of State in the Polish Ministry of Economy. Other government officials and dignitaries attended the ceremony, including representatives from the Polish Parliamentary Group in charge of space affairs.


ESA Expansion Includes Malta, Romania and Poland

VIA ESA PR — Malta signed a Cooperation Agreement with ESA on Monday, allowing the island nation to become more involved with projects being undertaken by the continent’s space agency. Meanwhile, Romania has joined ESA as its 19th Member State while ascension talks are being held with Poland to become the 20th member.


ESA Opens up to Ten EU Nations, Eyes Poland as Newest Member

Ten European Union nations that are not members of the European Space Agency have been invited to sit in on deliberations of the ESA governing Council and its subordinate bodies, the space agency announced in a press release. The move is a sign of deepening ties between the EU and the independently-run space agency.

The ESA Council has also authorized “the ESA Director General to conduct negotiations with Poland for that country to accede to the ESA Convention by March 2012 and thus become the 20th Member State of ESA,” the press release added.


Poland to Join ESA


Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has signed a degree, which will begin the accession negotiations between Poland and the European Space Agency (ESA). Depending on the results of these negotiations, Poland might become the 20th ESA member as soon as late 2012 or beginning of 2013.