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Virgin Galactic's orbital plans

Michel Van

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sferrin

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At least the engine lit off. I was afraid it had dropped like a bomb to the ocean. :(
 

TomS

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I notice they use the word "terminated" and the rocket is one of a very few with an automatic flight termination system. Wonder if that triggered (correctly or not)?
 

FighterJock

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I notice they use the word "terminated" and the rocket is one of a very few with an automatic flight termination system. Wonder if that triggered (correctly or not)?

Arianespace has a similar terminate function built in on the Ariane rockets, in fact did the first ever Ariane 5 rocket not get "terminated" when it veered of course on it's first mission.
 

TomS

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I notice they use the word "terminated" and the rocket is one of a very few with an automatic flight termination system. Wonder if that triggered (correctly or not)?

Arianespace has a similar terminate function built in on the Ariane rockets, in fact did the first ever Ariane 5 rocket not get "terminated" when it veered of course on it's first mission.

Ariane has a manual FTS that has to be fired by the Range Safety Officer. There is a small automated subset that fires if it senses the solid boosters separating at the wrong time. That's what triggered on the first flight, when the rocket went off course. It was already disintegrating when the FTS fired.

You can tell Ariane V doesn't have a fully automatic FTS because it didn't fire when the booster went a full 20 degrees off course and nearly overflew Kourou a couple of years ago.

So far, I think Falcon and Minotaur are the only successful launchers with a fully automatic FTS that will fire if the launcher flies out of parameter to a significant or dangerous degree.
 

FighterJock

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I notice they use the word "terminated" and the rocket is one of a very few with an automatic flight termination system. Wonder if that triggered (correctly or not)?

Arianespace has a similar terminate function built in on the Ariane rockets, in fact did the first ever Ariane 5 rocket not get "terminated" when it veered of course on it's first mission.

Ariane has a manual FTS that has to be fired by the Range Safety Officer. There is a small automated subset that fires if it senses the solid boosters separating at the wrong time. That's what triggered on the first flight, when the rocket went off course. It was already disintegrating when the FTS fired.

You can tell Ariane V doesn't have a fully automatic FTS because it didn't fire when the booster went a full 20 degrees off course and nearly overflew Kourou a couple of years ago.

So far, I think Falcon and Minotaur are the only successful launchers with a fully automatic FTS that will fire if the launcher flies out of parameter to a significant or dangerous degree.

Forgot that the Ariane "terminate" system was not fully automated. My mistake. Thanks TomS.
 

Michel Van

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steelpillow

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It's much appreciated to have a full writeup rather than an offhand Twitter post.

Indeed. I do feel that those who wish to follow these tweets can just subscribe directly, I see little point in mirroring them all here where we are expected to click through for post after post. Can we please:
a) Save it for the momentous announcements, and
b) repeat the gist of it here, to save clicking through?
 

TomS

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my guess what went wrong
after drop the rocket is in free fall
the propellants are for short moment in zero gravity
and forming mixture of pressure gas and liquid fuel
as rocket engine start up the Turbopump suck in that mixture
and the engine chokes on this and shot down
special if helium is in that mixture

Except it lit and ran for several seconds. There are some small solid rockets for propellant settling that fire after release to accelerate the rocket and ensure that there is liquid in the fuel lines.
 
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FighterJock

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Virgin Galactic will train astronauts for NASA.


Who would have thought that Virgin Galactic would be training astronauts. By the way anybody know what happened to the Vomit Comet? The plane that originally trained the astronauts?
 

edwest2

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As is the case with classified projects coming to light, there is always movement behind the scenes.
 

TomS

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Who would have thought that Virgin Galactic would be training astronauts. By the way anybody know what happened to the Vomit Comet? The plane that originally trained the astronauts?

So, the original Vomit Comets were some Air Force C-131s. I'm not sure anyone knows what became of those specific aircraft.

NASA had a couple of KC-135s from 1973 to 2004, then a C-9 until 2014. Now, they contract it out to Zero-G, which flies a 727 and also does private flights for entertainment or research.
 

FighterJock

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Who would have thought that Virgin Galactic would be training astronauts. By the way anybody know what happened to the Vomit Comet? The plane that originally trained the astronauts?

So, the original Vomit Comets were some Air Force C-131s. I'm not sure anyone knows what became of those specific aircraft.

NASA had a couple of KC-135s from 1973 to 2004, then a C-9 until 2014. Now, they contract it out to Zero-G, which flies a 727 and also does private flights for entertainment or research.

I forgot about Zero-G flying a 727, thanks TomS.
 

hagaricus

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Who would have thought that Virgin Galactic would be training astronauts. By the way anybody know what happened to the Vomit Comet? The plane that originally trained the astronauts?

So, the original Vomit Comets were some Air Force C-131s. I'm not sure anyone knows what became of those specific aircraft.

NASA had a couple of KC-135s from 1973 to 2004, then a C-9 until 2014. Now, they contract it out to Zero-G, which flies a 727 and also does private flights for entertainment or research.

& the occasional music video:


 

steelpillow

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steelpillow

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Interestingly, the rocket part is actually a two-step rocket, making this a three-stage-to-orbit system (Not sure whether "LauncherOne" refers to the second stage only or also includes the third).

Will be interesting to see the cost-per-kilo of this system compared to those of the two-stage megarockets.
 

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