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Space Ship II, White Knight II - projects, flights, info

Michel Van

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Finally after almost 14 years ago that Space Ship One flew first time

 

hesham

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When I said at first time to fly,there was two reasons for that,the first one
was the angel of launch is not correct,when they improved it,the ship can
be flight.
 

TomS

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hesham said:
When I said at first time to fly,there was two reasons for that,the first one
was the angel of launch is not correct,when they improved it,the ship can
be flight.
I'm sure you understand the aerodynamics of Space Ship II way better than the guys who designed it. Please, be realistic.
 

sferrin

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TomS said:
hesham said:
When I said at first time to fly,there was two reasons for that,the first one
was the angel of launch is not correct,when they improved it,the ship can
be flight.
I'm sure you understand the aerodynamics of Space Ship II way better than the guys who designed it. Please, be realistic.
Watching this recent flight though I couldn't help but wonder if they shouldn't have a computer controlling the profile rather than a dude pulling on a yoke. From outside the thing seemed to be bouncing all over the place on the way up.
 

TomcatViP

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To me he was more pumping the yoke to feel the dynamic loads. I would put that on part of the test program.


Edit:
Effectively, See post above with the extract below:
This [test] involved shifting the vehicle’s center of gravity rearward via the addition of passenger seats and related equipment. The rocket motor burned for the planned 31 seconds and propelled Unity to a speed of Mach 1.9 and an altitude of 114,500 ft.
So yes. And add to that the below optimum flight profile (speed) that could make trimming harder.
 

TomS

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sferrin said:
Watching this recent flight though I couldn't help but wonder if they shouldn't have a computer controlling the profile rather than a dude pulling on a yoke. From outside the thing seemed to be bouncing all over the place on the way up.
Didn't seem that extreme to me. And the thought of designing and validating an automatic flight control system to handle a regime like that is a bit daunting. For the scale of this program, it's probably time and cost-prohibitive.
 

hesham

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TomS said:
I'm sure you understand the aerodynamics of Space Ship II way better than the guys who designed it. Please, be realistic.
I am realistic more than many of people who work in aerodynamics,of course I am a small
designer,but I can make analysis for any form more than any computer,I know who I am.

For this concept,the two main problems which I spoke about them before is;

- the degree of launch was too high at first attempt
- the mothership had a lower speed for launch,1.4 mach is not suitable
 

Flyaway

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Into the Mesosphere at Mach 2.4

Virgin Galactic test pilots broke Mach 2 this morning, as VSS Unity took her third rocket-powered supersonic outing in less than four months. After a clean release from carrier aircraft VMS Eve at 46,500 ft, pilots Dave Mackay and Mike “Sooch” Masucci lit the spaceship’s rocket motor, before pulling up into a near vertical climb and powering towards the black sky at 2.47 times the speed of sound.

The planned 42 seconds rocket burn took pilots and spaceship through the Stratosphere and, at an apogee of 170,800 ft, into the Mesosphere for the first time. This region, often referred to by scientists as the “Ignorosphere”, is an under-studied atmospheric layer because it is above the range of balloon flight, and in the future is an area we can help the research community explore further.
http://www.virgingalactic.com/articles/Into-the-Mesosphere-at-Mach-2/
 

fredymac

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3rd powered flight to 170,000 ft.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8dEwUD6fXs
 

Flyaway

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Sounds like we'll get another SS2 flight soon:

Virgin Galactic to reach space in 'weeks not months'
Entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson has said that Virgin Galactic is "weeks" away from its first trip into space.
BBC News story
 

Grey Havoc

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https://spacenews.com/virgin-galactic-to-attempt-flight-to-space-this-week/
 

Flyaway

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NASA Armstrong States flight is Thursday:
NASA’s Flight Opportunities program enables researchers to test experiments on commercial vehicles to advance tech for the Moon and Mars. Tomorrow @virgingalactic will fly its 1st mission with NASA-supported payloads. More about what will be onboard:
https://twitter.com/NASAArmstrong/status/1072933053285097472
 

Flyaway

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The revised definition of space that’s expected to be adopted next year at 80KM means that this is a definite spaceflight.

https://spaceflightnow.com/2018/12/13/virgin-galactic-test-flight/
 

Flyaway

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VSS Unity - First Suborbital Flight
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0-EokQLohQ

Richard Branson hopes to head to space next year and says tourists will go 'quite soon after'

"I would hope some time in the middle of next year I will be going up" Richard Branson said on CNBC's "Power Lunch."
Branson hedged his bets, as he's often given optimistic timelines for when his first Virgin Galactic flight will happen.
He expects there will be three more test flights before the Virgin Galactic moves its operations to Spaceport America in New Mexico.
 

sferrin

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mvaJG9Ktk4
 

Archibald

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In the immortal words of Iam Malcolm

"He did it... crazy S.O.B, he did it..."

Only 10 years late, after two lethal accidents, and 15 years after SS1. Nice to see all this was not silly hype. Glad to see it fly high and fast. Now the next step is to fly safely... and a lot.
 

sferrin

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Archibald said:
In the immortal words of Iam Malcolm

"He did it... crazy S.O.B, he did it..."

Only 10 years late, after two lethal accidents, and 15 years after SS1. Nice to see all this was not silly hype. Glad to see it fly high and fast. Now the next step is to fly safely... and a lot.
That's what happens when you don't give up after the first failure. Who knew?
 

Archibald

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I was just reminding that Branson grossly overpromised over the years, 12 years or more. "We will fly in 2007". Yeah, sure dude.
 

merriman

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Archibald said:
What a stupid answer, nice from you. I was just reminding that Branson grossly overpromised over the years, 12 years or more. "We will fly in 2007". Yeah, sure dude.
Something new; something hard; something no one else has done before. An objective who's attainment demanded dedication, money, talent, and a vision; an objective that simply could not be secured within an arbitrary time limit or given amount of money.

Commercial suborbital space flight is a stunning example of achievement by those of vision, ability, and profit-motive. People who would not give up when faced with adversity and impatience of a side-line audience.

I hope Branson -- and those like him -- make a zillion bucks off this kind of investement.

To the Inovators, and those who foster their work!

David
 

sferrin

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Archibald said:
I was just reminding that Branson grossly overpromised over the years, 12 years or more. "We will fly in 2007". Yeah, sure dude.
You sound upset that he didn't quit like everybody else.
 

martinbayer

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merriman said:
Something new; something hard; something no one else has done before. An objective who's attainment demanded dedication, money, talent, and a vision; an objective that simply could not be secured within an arbitrary time limit or given amount of money.
That last and certainly absolutely true part of your statement above is *precisely* why it is truly asinine to make public claims about achieving your objective "within an arbitrary time limit". I'm definitely elated about Branson's achievement, but he, just like Musk, certainly didn't do himself any favors with respect to credibility by setting ego driven random deadlines and then blithely blowing right past them. Compare and contrast that with Bezos' prudent "we'll get there when we get there" approach of quietly focusing on designing, building and testing rather than mouthing off just to make headlines.
 

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martinbayer said:
That last and certainly absolutely true part of your statement above is *precisely* why it is asinine to make public claims about achieving your objective "within an arbitrary time limit".
I *suspect* that *maybe* *part* of the reason for all the overblown claims of "flying by X" schedules comes from the world in which a lot of these guys work: software, PR, politics and finances. As many buyers of software can attest, software companies are perfectly happy releasing new games and whatnot that turn out to be buggy as hell. The sort of flaws that they can fix later with a patch or the users can work around or just get used to. But the sort of flaws that when translated to real-world physical engineering result in SH!T GOING BOOM, people dying and attack lawyers doing a happydance in anticipation.
 

martinbayer

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Orionblamblam said:
martinbayer said:
That last and certainly absolutely true part of your statement above is *precisely* why it is asinine to make public claims about achieving your objective "within an arbitrary time limit".
I *suspect* that *maybe* *part* of the reason for all the overblown claims of "flying by X" schedules comes from the world in which a lot of these guys work: software, PR, politics and finances. As many buyers of software can attest, software companies are perfectly happy releasing new games and whatnot that turn out to be buggy as hell. The sort of flaws that they can fix later with a patch or the users can work around or just get used to. But the sort of flaws that when translated to real-world physical engineering result in SH!T GOING BOOM, people dying and attack lawyers doing a happydance in anticipation.
Scott,

I concur that there is probably some validity to that hypothesis, but I also believe that, just as you say, it's only part of the explanation. Bezos, just like Musk, has software roots, but his product development and marketing approach is notably different from (and significantly more prudent as compared to) Musk's, so I really think it comes down to personality type, and in the stratified layer of billionaires dabbling in space exploration/exploitation ventures, Bezos may well be an outlier to all those other "irrational exuberance" pseudo/wannabe alpha males.

Martin
 

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I suspect that pulling in extra funding is a larger part of the practice, after all, limiting one's personal exposure is paramount in any investment and these people are not wealthy from increasing their risk in any venture. Simples.
 

fredymac

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Wanted: modest, socially conformist billionaires to engage in high risk challenges at very high financial costs.

Seriously, I doubt any billionaire would qualify including Bezos. Regardless of what personality they may have had, when your bank account requires 9 or more digits, your ego has lost most of it real world constraints. To become a billionaire in the first place means you probably had latent apha ego in the first place and even your run of the mill hedge fund billionaire probably thinks he should be king.

The ideal billionaire would combine a keen mind for spotting opportunities, a type A+ personality for action and organization, a strong tolerance for risk, and a retiring, self effacing demeanor. Unfortunately, we keep getting variations of Howard Hughes.

Still, I'll take an egocentric billionaire ass who self funds his own space program over an army of tax supported bureaucrats who spend 10 times as long at 10 times the cost and still manage to miss deadlines by at least the same margins or worse. Not ideal and not what I would like but it seems to be baked into human nature and government behavior.
 

merriman

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If you like sausage stay away from the sausage making plant.

Ass-holes get things done. Nice guy's become clergy.

David
 

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At the age of supersonic flight, inter-stellar travel, high speed railway, high output powered cars, cheap booze and etc.., ppl are still lining for roller coaster and amusement parks. If the experience is unique, there will be a public*.

Flying at Mach 3 and reaching over 240kft is likely to be quite an out of ordinary experience for some time... You don't have to reach orbital speed to "be" in space. I think there is some confusion here.


*Given that they can think that they can afford it
 

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Virgin Galactic lays off 40 employees ahead of transition to New Mexico spaceport

Space tourism venture Virgin Galactic laid off around 40 employees earlier this month, as the company prepares to transition from its test program to commercial flights with paying customers. The layoffs, first reported by NMPolitics.net, amount to less than 5 percent of the company, and include employees at both Virgin Galactic and partner The SpaceShip Company, which builds the vehicles that Virgin flies.
 

fredymac

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2nd space flight window opens tomorrow.

Explanation of next test flight by chief test pilot (with odd deep red eye lids and mouth---camera or allergy?)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qWm09lqDWU


Longer video on their test pilot corps (lot more of them than I thought but maybe they will also be piloting the passenger flights)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEAeU-B2rA4
 

Flyaway

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Here are the stats for today’s test flight exceeding the altitude of the last one.

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1098997029957599232

SpaceShipTwo reached an apogee of:
55.85miles
294,9007ft
89.9km
 

sferrin

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Interesting. Sounds like eventually the choice will be between flying a space elevator with a big window (Blue Origin) or a rocket plane with a small window. The capsule would have a better view but I wonder if the plane (VG) would be more fun.
 

Flyaway

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Video highlights of today’s SS2 flight:

https://twitter.com/nextspaceflight/status/1099020207543255041

I reckon before they start flying commercially they’ll be aiming for that 62 mile line for the PR.
 

fredymac

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Apparently they had a passenger along, the CEO of Virgin Galactic (not Branson).

CORRECTION: the passenger was Beth Moses the company astronaut instructor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KteDLiUdzxU
 

Flyaway

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Virgin Galactic expects rapid conclusion of SpaceShipTwo test flights after downtime


Virgin Galactic’s chief pilot believes the company will be able to go through the remainder of its SpaceShipTwo test program fairly quickly once test flights of the suborbital spaceplane resume.

In an interview during the 35th Space Symposium here April 9, Dave Mackay said the SpaceShipTwo vehicle called VSS Unity, which he piloted to the edge of space on a test flight Feb. 22, is currently undergoing work that includes outfitting the interior with the cabin the company plans to use on commercial flights that will carry space tourists.

“The next time it flies, we expect to have the full commercial cabin installed,” he said. A few other modifications to the vehicle are also in progress, such as changes to cockpit displays.
 

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Virgin Galactic to move remaining SpaceShipTwo test flights to New Mexico

Virgin Galactic will conduct the remaining test flights for the company’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital rocket plane from southern New Mexico after moving staff and equipment from California over the next few months, officials announced Friday.

Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, announced the move Friday in an event with New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham in Santa Fe.
 

Grey Havoc

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California appears to be losing business right, left, and center.
 
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