Send literally anything you like into space*

You wait ages for an exciting space story, and then two come along at once, brilliant!

Masten Space Systems claim that they

will fly anything you want into space and back for $250/kg:

And this week they’ve been testing their snappily named XA-0.1B-750 reusable launch vehicle.

From the press release

Masten Space Systems completed their first vertical take-off, vertical-landing (VTVL) rocket flight demonstration Friday. The demonstration proved out the design and controls of the 730lb rocket-powered vehicle, known as XA-0.1B-750 or “Xombie”, its internal nickname.

While the vehicle was attached to a safety tether, it took off, ascended a few meters, descended, and shut down its engine as designed. The instant the engine shut off the entire team yelled, “YES!”

“This is the first big step to providing fully reusable spaceflight,” said company CEO David Masten. “Larger vehicles, using the same technologies tested here, will be capable of taking a 100 kilogram (220 pound) payload to 120 kilometers (75 miles) and be reused without requiring lengthy refurbishment.”

The Masten team must be pretty confident, as they’ve already started selling payload slots with a guaranteed 100% refund.

And they’re going to open up the space payload market to amateurs. Seriously. Their website offers punters the opportunity to

Create winning science fair projects.
Build your own mini-Hubble telescope.
Customize your own earth imaging platform.

Brilliant!

*Due to the ITAR regs, you have to be a US citizen to pop a payload into orbit. Bah.

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