Space.com is a web site featuring original space and astronomy news. Its Alexa rank is approximately 3000, and its stories are often syndicated to other media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, Yahoo!, and USA Today.
Space.com was created in July 1999. CNN anchor Lou Dobbs owned a sizable share of the company and in an unexpected move, left CNN that year to become Space.com's chief executive officer. Dobbs stated that he had always been "interest[ed] in space and space exploration", in part motivated by a belief in extraterrestrial intelligence and a desire to seek them out. The move came as a surprise to many and was the source of intense media speculation.
The company struggled to turn a profit in its early days, and when the dot-com bubble burst in 2000, many felt that it would collapse. Cofounder Rich Zahradnik had left his position as president less than two months after the start of the company; former astronaut Sally Ride took his place but then stepped down in September of 2000. As it expanded, it acquired other web sites such as starport.com and explorezone.com. It also acquired Sienna Software (the company which produces the Starry Night software) and Space News. Despite some growth, Space.com was never able to achieve what Dobbs had hoped for and in 2003, he returned to CNN. He remains on its board and still owns a minority stake. Despite setbacks, Space.com has continued slowly growing and today plays a significant role in reporting space- and astronomy-related information.
Space.com has enjoyed the participation of several key space-related public figures, Neil Armstrong, Alexei Leonov, Eugene A. Cernan, and Thomas Stafford. In 2003, for its coverage of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, it received the Online Journalism Award for Breaking News by the Online News Association.
In May of 2004, Space.com's parent company changed its name from Space.com to Imaginova. It continued producing Space.com while launching other web sites such as the popular LiveScience.com websites and acquiring other space- and science-related brands.
- Space.com Is Back In Orbit - Forbes Magazine 18 January 2006 (accessed 05 June 2006)
- Lou Dobbs Journeys From Wall Street To Space - Forbes Magazine 5 July 2000 (accessed 28 February 2006)
- As dot.coms tumble, whither Dobbs' Space.com? Media Life Magazine 2 January 2001 (accessed 28 February 2006)
- Imaginova.com About Us (accessed 28 February 2006)