Sunday, November 3, 2013 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
On April 29 this year, a new space vehicle–Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo–reached supersonic speeds in its first rocket-powered flight over the Mojave Desert. By the time ScienceWriters convenes in November, Virgin Galactic will have flown again, and more than 600 passengers are now lined up for commercial flights into space that could start next year. CEO George T. Whitesides will bring a report on the countdown to space operations at Spaceport America, where Richard Branson hopes to ride his ship 50 miles up–officially reaching space to open the age of commercial flight. And yes, your science experiment will also get a chance to ride, possibly funded by NASA. What's next in private space travel and exploration? Could this lead someday to hyper-fast supersonic transport? And whither NASA?