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Burt Rutan's SpaceShip Two and Space Station

flateric

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Truly a secret project from Scaled Composites (remembering a secrecy that SpaceShip One was surrounded then).
7-seat Space Ship Two (Model 342), modified White Knight and two various space stations Burt is working on for Virgin Galactic.
 

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flateric

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Re: Burt Rutan SpaceShip Two and Space Station

more..
 

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flateric

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flateric

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flateric

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Unveiled! Virgin Galactic's New Ride

Eric Adams

Click 'View Photos' to look inside the cabin of SpaceShipTwo. And for an eye-popping video ride, scroll to the bottom of the page
Virgin Galactic today unveiled a mock-up of the slick, Philippe Starck–designed interior of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital tourist vehicle. The real bird won’t be shown for at least a year, but this morning’s press conference in New York, led by Richard Branson himself and Virgin Galactic chief Will Whitehorn, gave a good peek into how the program is progressing and what these first consumer spaceflights will be like.

The cabin itself is more than three times as large as that of the X Prize–winning SpaceShipOne, accommodating six passengers and two pilots and permitting plenty of float-around possibilities during the estimated five minutes of weightlessness the vehicle will achieve at the peak of its ascent. Burt Rutan, designer of both vehicles and their motherships, White Knight and WhiteKnightTwo, and his team at Scaled Composites seem to be on track for the prototype unveiling late next year, although the stated 2009 commencement of commercial flights seems optimistic, given the apparent delays in the development of the scaled-up, more complex SS2.

But the cabin unveiled at today’s press conference, held in New York, suggests that Rutan’s strategy for making the spaceflight experience user-friendly for anyone other than hardcore test pilots could work nicely. In particular, he had to address the issue of the high-G climb out and the reentry, which was extraordinarily violent for the pilots on the three SS1 suborbital flights. SS2’s cabin has ergonomic seats that automatically recline to orient the passengers’ bodies to best absorb the G-forces. They will be at a 60-degree upright angle for the ascent and then recline to a nearly horizontal attitude for the descent, with the passengers’ legs comfortably bent in order to tolerate the high-G ride and the extreme buffeting that accompanies it. Once back in the atmosphere, the seats will return to a 60-degree angle for the glide back to the spaceport.

The fully pressurized cabin will have 15 windows, including several on the floor and ceiling, permitting passengers to see Earth from multiple angles during their free-floating period. The view will be approximately 1,000 miles in any direction. Large dials on the bulkhead will convey the mission time, speed of the spaceship, altitude and current G-forces being experienced. Passengers will wear lightweight, form-fitting pressure suits and helmets to ease movement around the cabin.

The overall flight profile, though extended, will mimic that of SS1. The enormous WK2 mothership—which will be larger than a 757 and have a cabin identical to SS2, permitting the aircraft to be used as a training vehicle for the Virgin Galactic passengers—will carry the 60-foot-long SS2 to 10 miles above sea level, about 50,000 feet, and release it. SS2’s hybrid motor will then ignite, accelerating passengers at four Gs to three times the speed of sound. For reentry, SS2’s wings will pitch upward, “feathering” in a shuttlecock formation to automatically position the ship for the steep descent. At 70,000 feet, the wings will return to a horizontal glide formation for the runway landing.

Branson, in keeping with his recently announced commitment to environmental consciousness, extolled the spaceship’s green qualities. “It might be strange to think of a space vehicle as ‘green,’ ” he said, “especially when you consider that the amount of energy released in a typical space shuttle launch could power New York City for a week. But we’ve created a fuel for SS2 that can launch eight people into space while expending the same amount of carbon dioxide as a single business-class seat on a New York–to–London flight.”

The first SS2 will be called VSS Enterprise, and Virgin Galactic expects its first full fleet to comprise two motherships and five SS2s—which would also permit the company to quickly expand its operations beyond the initial spaceport in New Mexico to other countries that permit the flights (the U.K. is high on its list). Virgin is sticking by their ticket price of $200,000 and expects to offer lotteries and other means of democratizing the opportunity, including a reality-TV game show that is now under development. Longer-term, Whitehorn says, the program is “about developing a methodology for spaceflight.” He expects to use the SS2 technology for space- and earth-science studies, to expand to orbital flights, and to begin offering high-speed “spaceline” service going from, say, London to Sydney in less than an hour.


http://www.popsci.com/popsci/aviationspace/e92d5924625fd010vgnvcm1000004eecbccdrcrd.html

http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/gadgets/first-images-of-virgin-galactic-spaceshiptwo-cabin-203802.php

http://www.flightglobal.com/Articles/2006/09/28/Navigation/177/209313/Pictures+First+pictures+of+Virgin+Galactic+SpaceShip2+tourist+spacecraft+interior+unveiled+in+New.html
 

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flateric

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rallymodeller

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It's a good idea, IF the FAA and the US Gov't hasn't totally scuttled Virgin Galactic, and IF he can actually build it strong enough (remembering the problems SS1 had on it's second flight).
 

FutureSpaceTourist

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Hi,

flateric said:
Truly a secret project from Scaled Composites [...] Burt is working on for Virgin Galactic.

Forgive me nitpicking but I believe Burt was working on these designs before Virgin's active involvement, certainly prior to their formal sponsorship for the X-prize flights and announcement of a deal to develop WK2 and SS2 in September 2004. That's if the documentary is correct in saying that Burt had been working on them prior to the first SS1 space flight in June 2004 (I know, be careful trusting anything in the media ;)). I assume Burt was initially just doing it for his own amusement?

Of course the SS2 model number is 339, ie just before the items featured in the hand-drawn sheet shown above, whereas the WK2 model number is 348. I assume that's because WK2 needed a radical redesign - to twin-hulls - that necessitated a new model number, whereas SS2 didn't change as radically from Burt's original ideas for a larger passenger carrying spaceship (and so retained his original model number). I remember reading/hearing an interview with Burt somewhere (or is it in SpaceShipOne: An illustrated history?) that said the model number is assigned once the basic requirement and form of the solution is known.

Cheers,

Tourist
 

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FutureSpaceTourist said:
Forgive me nitpicking but I believe Burt was working on these designs before Virgin's active involvement, certainly prior to their formal sponsorship for the X-prize flights and announcement of a deal to develop WK2 and SS2 in September 2004. That's if the documentary is correct in saying that Burt had been working on them prior to the first SS1 space flight in June 2004 (I know, be careful trusting anything in the media ;)). I assume Burt was initially just doing it for his own amusement?
It helps if Paul Allen foots your bills.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scaled_Composites_SpaceShipOne
 

Stargazer2006

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FutureSpaceTourist said:
Of course the SS2 model number is 339, ie just before the items featured in the hand-drawn sheet shown above, whereas the WK2 model number is 348. I assume that's because WK2 needed a radical redesign - to twin-hulls - that necessitated a new model number, whereas SS2 didn't change as radically from Burt's original ideas for a larger passenger carrying spaceship (and so retained his original model number). I remember reading/hearing an interview with Burt somewhere (or is it in SpaceShipOne: An illustrated history?) that said the model number is assigned once the basic requirement and form of the solution is known.

Early drawings of the SS2 came with the mention "Model 346" (and the fake serial N400K) though I find no evidence of this right now.
 

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Hmm, those old drawing look like someone took SS1 and simply scaled it up very crudely. The new SS2 design looks like space aliens (or the Ford engineers who designed the Taurus in the 90s :D) looked at the X-20 Dyna-Soar plans and liked what they saw enough to take a crack at it. Now it looks... Minbari? It's not a bad thing!

I'm very curious about the thermal protection technology Scaled came up with to enable these ships, and what they have in store for their SS3 orbiter.

One final comment: Anyone else notice Sir Richard seems to be letting his hair grow long? Woof! Hippies in spaaaaaaaace! ;D
 

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Stargazer2006

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The guy has always been kind of a hippie compared to other businessmen and big moneymakers, anyway!
 

FutureSpaceTourist

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Hi Stargazer,

Thanks for the reminder about model 346 - I'd completely forgotten about that :(, so my theory can't be correct.

The earliest reference to 346 I've seen is from the 21 June 2004 Space Review (http://www.thespacereview.com/article/166/1) when Burt Rutan is quoted as saying:

"The spaceship is model number 316 and the White Knight is model number 318. I will be making a presentation very quick of a model number 346" and "Those are just numbers that I put on the napkin" [that he used to sketch out the plan in his initial meeting with Allen.] "The napkin will not be presented to the media until the spaceship resides in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington."

My guess is that 346 was his idea for an initial commercial system for the public, ie a production/operational vehicle rather than the experimental prototype that is SS1. Perhaps this aligns with what Will Whitehorn of Virgin Galactic refers to as SS1.5? (Virgin's original intent that only became SS2 because of the initial customer feedback, ie wanting room to experience weightlessness.)

That of course would imply that Burt assigned model numbers for his longer-term vision first (larger spaceships, space stations etc) before numbers for the craft needed to turn SS1 into a commercial reality. I have no real evidence to know if that's true; so forgive me for a bit of speculation? ;)

Cheers,

Tourist
 

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Found this on a Italian site.
 

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Stargazer2006

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Johnbr said:
Found this on a Italian site.

Cool, John! Now if we could find a color version it would be fantastic. Italian forum members around here?
 

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Hi...Spaceship two has just made it's first powered flight.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22344398

Nigel
 

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Nigelhg said:
Hi...Spaceship two has just made it's first powered flight.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22344398

Nigel

There seems to be a lot less publicity and general interest in SS2 than there was in SS1...

I'm not quite sure people at large realize that Rutan and Branson are single-handedly redefining the future of orbital space travel!
 

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Stargazer2006 said:
I'm not quite sure people at large realize that Rutan and Branson are single-handedly redefining the future of orbital space travel!

Over the top nonsense. They are far from it. Spacex is closer to doing it.
Also, Rutan is retired. It is Northrup Grumman.
 

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Stargazer2006 said:
I'm not quite sure people at large realize that Rutan and Branson are single-handedly redefining the future of orbital space travel!

Hah! No. They're not doing orbital yet. They have not even proven that they can make a business out of suborbital.

Please return to Earth.
 

Stargazer2006

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blackstar said:
Hah! No. They're not doing orbital yet. They have not even proven that they can make a business out of suborbital.
Please return to Earth.

Touché. Only suborbital for the moment. a bad choice of words on my part.


Byeman said:
Rutan is retired. It is Northrup Grumman.

Are you trying to be smart? Okay.

[list type=decimal]
[*]First of all, it's NorthrOp, not Northrup. Anyone with even a remote interest in aviation ought to not make that age-old classic mistake anymore...

[*]Rutan's retirement doesn't suddenly turn his projects into NG projects. All the projects that Scaled Composites ever did were always labeled after the customer or main contractor. The fact that Scaled is now an integral part of Northrop Grumman has nothing to do with it! The Firebird is NG because the customer is NG. The SpaceShipTwo is Virgin because the customer is Virgin. The Roc is Stratolaunch because the customer is Stratolaunch. Your assertion is therefore totally absurd.

[*]The White Knight/SpaceShip concept was Rutan's brainchild, and for his last ten years at Scaled Composites it's basically the only thing he got his hands busy with. So as far as I'm concerned, it's still a Rutan, just the same as an F-4 Phantom II will never be a Boeing to me, not even a McDonnell Douglas, but first and foremost a McDonnell aircraft! Consolidations mean nothing to me when it comes to define who fathered a project.

[*]Everything else Scaled developed or contributed to over the Spaceship period had little or nothing to do with Rutan, AND was already performed under loose management from the Northrop Grumman group, so the fact that it is now completely a part of the NG group doesn't change much to me...
[/list]
Byeman said:
Over the top nonsense. They are far from it. Spacex is closer to doing it.

Maybe, maybe not. Show me a hardware that has been sent to orbit (or even suborbit) by Spacex. I can't think of any. So in terms of experience, the Scaled/Virgin team still has an advantage... And considering the fact that Scaled has always been at the edge of technological progress, I doubt they can be "very far from it" as you seem to imply...
 

FutureSpaceTourist

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Stargazer2006 said:
Show me a hardware that has been sent to orbit (or even suborbit) by Spacex. I can't think of any.

I think you've got your names confused ... among other things SpaceX have had three successful return trips to the ISS in 10 months. I wonder if you read SpaceX and thought XCOR ?
 

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FutureSpaceTourist said:
Stargazer2006 said:
Show me a hardware that has been sent to orbit (or even suborbit) by Spacex. I can't think of any.

I think you've got your names confused ... among other things SpaceX have had three successful return trips to the ISS in 10 months. I wonder if you read SpaceX and thought XCOR ?

No, there's no way that he could be wrong. After all, he took somebody to task for typing a "u" instead of an "o," so he wouldn't make mistakes like that. Nosirrreeee...
 

Stargazer2006

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FutureSpaceTourist said:
I think you've got your names confused ... among other things SpaceX have had three successful return trips to the ISS in 10 months. I wonder if you read SpaceX and thought XCOR ?

blackstar said:
No, there's no way that he could be wrong. After all, he took somebody to task for typing a "u" instead of an "o," so he wouldn't make mistakes like that. Nosirrreeee...

And yet... surprise surprise! That's exactly what I did. I had the Lynx in mind when I wrote that.

Proof that one can be very competent when it comes to spelling English and proofreading AND awful at remembering names...

The Northrup vs. Northrop thing isn't just some pet peeve or some obsessional/compulsive behaviour on my part... The two names do exist in English, and previous confusion over these two names has resulted in several publications mislabelling the late 1920s "Northrup Steel Truss Glider" as a Northrop product. So when I insist on spelling a word right, I'm not just being the pain in the butt you and several others seem to think I am... I actually try to encourage the members to be more precise and rigorous so as to avoid further confusion (and lack of results in the search engine despite there being information on the forum).
 

blackstar

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Stargazer2006 said:
FutureSpaceTourist said:
I think you've got your names confused ... among other things SpaceX have had three successful return trips to the ISS in 10 months. I wonder if you read SpaceX and thought XCOR ?

blackstar said:
No, there's no way that he could be wrong. After all, he took somebody to task for typing a "u" instead of an "o," so he wouldn't make mistakes like that. Nosirrreeee...

And yet... surprise surprise! That's exactly what I did. I had the Lynx in mind when I wrote that.

Proof that one can be very competent when it comes to spelling English and proofreading AND awful at remembering names...

The Northrup vs. Northrop thing isn't just some pet peeve or some obsessional/compulsive behaviour on my part... The two names do exist in English, and previous confusion over these two names has resulted in several publications mislabelling the late 1920s "Northrup Steel Truss Glider" as a Northrop product. So when I insist on spelling a word right, I'm not just being the pain in the butt you and several others seem to think I am... I actually try to encourage the members to be more precise and rigorous so as to avoid further confusion (and lack of results in the search engine despite there being information on the forum).


There's an old saying that when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.
 

Byeman

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Stargazer2006 said:
So as far as I'm concerned, it's still a Rutan, just the same as an F-4 Phantom II will never be a Boeing to me, not even a McDonnell Douglas, but first and foremost a McDonnell aircraft! Consolidations mean nothing to me when it comes to define who fathered a project.

So what? that's your issue and that doesn't change the point. And your point about the customer is just plain wrong. It was not Pan Am's 747.
 

Byeman

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Stargazer2006 said:
FutureSpaceTourist said:
I think you've got your names confused ... among other things SpaceX have had three successful return trips to the ISS in 10 months. I wonder if you read SpaceX and thought XCOR ?

blackstar said:
No, there's no way that he could be wrong. After all, he took somebody to task for typing a "u" instead of an "o," so he wouldn't make mistakes like that. Nosirrreeee...

And yet... surprise surprise! That's exactly what I did. I had the Lynx in mind when I wrote that.

Proof that one can be very competent when it comes to spelling English and proofreading AND awful at remembering names...

The Northrup vs. Northrop thing isn't just some pet peeve or some obsessional/compulsive behaviour on my part... The two names do exist in English, and previous confusion over these two names has resulted in several publications mislabelling the late 1920s "Northrup Steel Truss Glider" as a Northrop product. So when I insist on spelling a word right, I'm not just being the pain in the butt you and several others seem to think I am... I actually try to encourage the members to be more precise and rigorous so as to avoid further confusion (and lack of results in the search engine despite there being information on the forum).

And it was blatantly asinine to point it out when your error was much more greater. Don't ever let me catch you using a "u" in Vandenberg
 

Arjen

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There is the occasional goof that somebody can make, and then there is the error that keeps popping up again and again.

And again.

And again.

Like writing NorthrUp when referring to NorthrOp. Stéphane is neither the first, nor the only one to find it annoying.
AeroFranz said:
Frankly I think it's just that spelling is not exactly given a high priority in the US educational system. It doesn't help that compared to other languages, in English there is less correspondence between how you pronounce words and how you write them (hence the common mistakes of using 'to' when you really mean 'too', or 'then' when you mean 'than'...and the list goes on).
I cringe every time i read 'Northrup' :mad:
GTX said:
Ah well, at least LM isn't getting the blame this time. Not sure who this NoRthrup guys are but they sound pretty woeful... ;D
Orionblamblam said:
Demon Lord Razgriz said:
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Indian-in-US-to-be-sentenced-for-selling-stealth-tech-to-China/Article1-654232.aspx
Gowadia worked for Northrup from 1968 to 1986...
After his employment with Northrup ended...

Honestly, I don't know what to think of this. Other than this guy is bad at business deals, only $110,000 over 2 years?

Well, let's face it, he worked for a minor player in aerospace, some company called "Northrup." Now, if he worked for a *real* company, like, say, Northrop, he might've been able to command the big bucks for his treason.
Now, if we can all get our knickers out of that twist...
 

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Don't even know who Vandenberg is, and honestly I couldn't care less. ::)

Thanks Arjen for not merely reading my words but understanding the meaning behind my words! :)
 
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