Announcing Space Policy and History Forum #14: Commercial Spaceflight After the Antares and SpaceShipTwo Failures


 Commercial Spaceflight After the Antares and SpaceShipTwo Failures

Space Policy and History Forum #1406

Monday, December 8, 2014

by Jeff Foust, Space News

The commercial space industry suffered two major accidents in less than a week in late October: the failure of an Orbital Sciences Corporation Antares rocket seconds after liftoff October 28 from Wallops Island, Virginia, and the crash of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo on a test flight in Mojave, California, on October 31. in the immediate aftermath of the accidents, there was a temptation to link the two, despite the very different companies and technologies involved in each incident. This talk will examine the two accidents and their implications for the companies involved as well as the broader commercial space industry and the government’s increasing reliance on it.


Jeff Foust is a senior staff writer for SpaceNews, joining the publication in September 2014. He covers civil and commercial space topics for the publication. He has more than a decade of experience writing about space policy, commercial space, and related topics. In 2001, he established, a website that aggregated links to and provided summaries of space news. In 2003, he started The Space Review, a weekly publication of long form articles and commentary on a wide range of space topics. Both sites continue to operate to this day.

Prior to joining SpaceNews, he worked as a senior analyst for the Futron Corporation, an aerospace consulting company, for more than a decade. He earned a Ph.D. in planetary sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999 and a B.S. with honors in geophysics and planetary science from the California Institute of Technology in 1993.

Date and Time

December 8, 2014 (Monday), 4:00-5:00 P.M.

Location, Parking, and Access

The lecture will be held at the National Air and Space Museum, 600 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C., 4:00-5:00 p.m, on December 8. Space is limited to 50 attendees, so please RSVP to Roger Launius ( to get your name on the list.  This will be for access to the 3rd floor of the Museum, where we will be meeting in the Director’s Conference Room. You may check in and obtain a badge for access to the building at the guard desk just to the right as you enter the Independence Ave. doors. If you have any questions regarding access, please let me know. Parking is not available in NASM, and is limited elsewhere; I recommend using the Metro system for travel to the National Air and Space Museum—the Smithsonian and L’Enfant Plaza stops are close by.

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