Rockets Away - Barnstorms Cyberspace

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Announces new eZine, Rockets Away!, which provides articles and information on emerging private spacecraft industry. Current issue features interview with SpaceDev President, Richard Slansky. - a free eZine devoted to commercial spaceflight

With the launching of SpaceShipOne, the world’s attention was focused on a new breed of space adventurer who, like the early aviators, barnstormed our skies. Only this time, the sky was a bit higher, at least 62 miles up, and now the attention of the world was focused on the first civilian astronauts like Brian Binnie and Mike Melville and how they were “barnstorming space.”

As SpaceShipOne crashed through the 62 mile barrier for the second time in two weeks, winning the Ansari Prize, it became obvious to a small group of entrepreneurs that commercial spaceflight was a whole new episode in human history, one that was being undertaken by companies throughout the world eager for the spoils of this new adventure. Their saga will be written in Rockets Away! - a free eZine devoted to commercial spaceflight that was launched this year by Johnny Blue Star, Dave Gieber and Bill Krohn. The first three issues can be accessed at

Rockets Away! was founded by Johnny Blue Star, a screenwriter with an advertising and public relations background, and Dave Gieber, a rocket scientist and engineer with a long tenure in the development of insulation for spacecraft. Bill Krohn is current Editor-in-Chief. Bill is an author and film critic for the Cahiers de Cinema and Economist. The following is from a private colloquium designed to acquaint potential viewers with the goals of the new eZine.

Why did you found Rockets Away!?

Johnny Blue - Star We wanted to create a vehicle so that people could follow the private spacecraft industry as it developed. The Internet was a great way to do it. And what could be easier or cheaper than subscribing to a free eZine like Rockets Away! All they have to do is click on and sign up.

What kind of content do you feature?

Bill Krohn - Our efforts are completely focused on private spacecraft industry. The current issue features an interview with Richard Slansky, the President of SpaceDev, the company that developed the hybrid rocket propulsion system used in the first three launches of SpaceShipOne. It also discusses the infrastructure of the first private manned spacecraft program. Past issues dealt with SpaceshipOne’s prize-winning flight leading to the $10,000,000 Ansari X-Prize, and the GoldenPalace.Com efforts to jumpstart their own space program by using a balloon to launch the spacecraft while it was airborne.

You all are pursuing different careers. Why was this so important to you?

Dave Gieber - I think it goes back to childhood. We all watched those great TV programs like Tom Corbett, Rod Brown and the Rocket Rangers, Rocky Jones -Space Ranger and TV adaptations of Buster Crabbe’s Flash Gordon; saw films like Destination Moon and Rocket Ship X-M, read Heinlein and Asimov. All of us wanted to go at least to the moon. In my case, I actually went into the space industry, working for Thiokol (now ATK) and Aerojet. I spent fourteen years as a design engineer in the solid propulsion rocket motor industry, specializing in rocket motor insulation. I worked on a lot of rockets.

What impelled you initially to develop this idea?

Johnny Blue Star - During most of the space program, I was more or less asleep - from Sputnik to the Space Shuttles and Space Stations. Even the moon landing didn’t phase me. It seemed interesting, but not involving to me. When SpaceShipOne launched I knew that somehow my life had changed. Suddenly it was as if you were watching a film like Destination Moon, which was based on Heinlein’s writings, just as the TV show Tom Corbett and the Space Cadets was. The launching of SpaceShipOne showed how private individuals, if given the chance, could make something of space. Space was no longer the province of the government or the military.

Bill Krohn Right. The people of Planet Earth were taking space into their own hands. When I heard of this project, I also wanted to become involved again. I wanted people to experience the same thrill I did about space when I was a boy. I wanted people to be able to participate in the adventure as it happened. Johnny had asked Dave to become part of the project first since he was a rocket scientist and a friend, and they got it off the ground. Then they asked me, partially because of my strong editorial background, but also because of my science fiction and UFO interests - I’m now working on a documentary about Roswell built around a very rare interview from an alleged participant in the event.

You also wanted to promote the private infrastructure?

Dave Gieber - Yes, along with the adventure comes the fact spaceflight requires funding, often through private investors. We wanted the public to know about these opportunities - that they could help contribute to this growing industry. SpaceDev (, which we feature in our current issue, was developed consciously by Jim Benson in a manner that would allow private investors to share the adventure of space.

Johnny Blue Star We want to give our readers an opportunity to share in that adventure too. All they have to do is click on and we’ll beam them up!

2222 East Nicola Road,

Palm Springs California 92262

To set up radio or newspaper interviews, please phone: 1-760-323-0193    

Web Site:

March 3rd 2005                                            

Johnny Blue Star, Managing Editor

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