SpaceShipThree in the offing?

Vahe Demirjian

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Over the last decade, Scaled Composites has offered to develop the SpaceShipThree orbital spaceplane if SpaceShipTwo is a commercial success. For more information on SpaceShipThree......

http://www.flightglobal.com/blogs/hyperbola/2008/02/spaceshipthree-revealed.html

As acknowledged by Scaled Composites, propelling a TSTO passenger spaceplane into orbit is daunting and requires powerful engines and a brand new airframe. With SpaceShipTwo now poised to make its first powered flight anytime soon, Scaled Composites may buy time to investigates a limited ranges of ideas for what the final configuration of SpaceShipThree will look like. To achieve sufficient altitude during the orbital ascent, SpaceShipThree may have to use the configuration of NASP in which the fuselage and the wings are blended into an tapered triangle.
 

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I'd like to see them actually deliver on their first promise before making more of them.
 

Vahe Demirjian

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Johnbr said:
I read they to soon do a in fight engine test.

The first powered flight of SpaceShipTwo has already passed........

http://news.discovery.com/space/private-spaceflight/spaceshiptwo-virgin-galactic-supersonic-rocket-test-130429.htm

To make SpaceShipThree suitable for orbital flight, Scaled Composites would have to make the airframe bigger to make room for a combined-cycle rocket/turboramjet engine able to produce 600,000 pounds of thrust. I'd be surprised by SpaceShipTwo can reach Mach 3.7.
 

quellish

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Vahe Demirjian said:
To make SpaceShipThree suitable for orbital flight, Scaled Composites would have to make the airframe bigger to make room for a combined-cycle rocket/turboramjet engine able to produce 600,000 pounds of thrust. I'd be surprised by SpaceShipTwo can reach Mach 3.7.

What about rockets makes them inadequate?
 

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quellish said:
Vahe Demirjian said:
To make SpaceShipThree suitable for orbital flight, Scaled Composites would have to make the airframe bigger to make room for a combined-cycle rocket/turboramjet engine able to produce 600,000 pounds of thrust. I'd be surprised by SpaceShipTwo can reach Mach 3.7.

What about rockets makes them inadequate?

SS2 is not designed for orbital flight. Doesn't have the thermal protection required for coming back from orbit. Doesn't have the thrust to get to orbit. You wouldn't use that vehicle. You'd have to pretty much start from scratch. There is a HUGE gap between suborbital flight and orbital flight in terms of velocity and thermal protection.
 

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