Space Ship 2 Updates thread....

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Gravity_Ray

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Beautiful pictures in Space.com.

There is still plenty of work apparently and we will not see any powered test of SS2 for a while still and probably wont see any tourists until the end of this year or early next year. But for some reason, even though this is not orbital my heart soars when I see pictures of the WK2/SS2 stack.

Enterprise is flying again.
 
E

EarthlingX

Guest
SDC :

Virgin Galactic Flies Passenger Spaceship and Mothership for First Time
By Leonard David
posted: 22 March 2010
3:30 pm ET

This story was updated at 3:54 p.m. ET.

The future of public space travel spread its wings for the first time Monday at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California as Virgin Galactic's inaugural SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceship took to the skies attached to its enormous mothership.

We have liftoff! Slung underneath the WhiteKnightTwo carrier plane, SpaceShipTwo took to the air for the first time. The maiden trek on March 22, 2010 from the Mojave Air and Space Port in California lasted some three hours, the first of numbers of flight tests of the craft. Credit: Bill Deaver

This cutway of New Mexico's Spaceport America terminal details the multiple levels and hangar that will house Virgin Galactic's suborbital spaceliners. Credit: URS/Foster+Partners.
Cut and enlargement of the terminal image :
 
J

js117

Guest
Gravity_Ray":2cvqlxnp said:
Beautiful pictures in Space.com.

There is still plenty of work apparently and we will not see any powered test of SS2 for a while still and probably wont see any tourists until the end of this year or early next year. But for some reason, even though this is not orbital my heart soars when I see pictures of the WK2/SS2 stack.

Enterprise is flying again.
I believe no tourists will go up until late 2011 or 2012.
I still think they may have to get FAA certified or government ok . ( not sure).
There are a lot of powered test flights to be made.
I wonder if they have to do a drop test also ? ( non power )
 
S

SteveCNC

Guest
tanstaafl76":27a0nzdi said:
That pic is a bit suspect, but cool if true.
yeah not clear enough to be certain but it has the correct profile to be SS2 , would be great to hear they did the drop test already .
 
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mr_mark

Guest
Just heard it was a model airplane and a hoax. Just a bunch of guys in the mojave airport parking lot flying it. I don't blame them but the poster who pulled the "hoax" should be tar and feathered.
 
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csmyth3025

Guest
Just for information and to show the possibilities of scaling up the White Knight Two concept, I found some interesting proposals contained in a presentation from the NPO MOLNIYA Russian Aerospace company here:

http://www.buran-energia.com/documentat ... rcraft.php

The pertinent part is about halfway down the page and describes their design goals for their proposed HERACLES carrier wing. They say it will have a payload capacity of 450 tons. This is actually an upgraded 80's design - as some have already noted.

Chris
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
csmyth3025":2bd32r31 said:
Just for information and to show the possibilities of scaling up the White Knight Two concept, I found some interesting proposals contained in a presentation from the NPO MOLNIYA Russian Aerospace company here:

http://www.buran-energia.com/documentation/documentation-akc-maks-triplane-aircraft.php

The pertinent part is about halfway down the page and describes their design goals for their proposed HERACLES carrier wing. They say it will have a payload capacity of 450 tons. This is actually an upgraded 80's design - as some have already noted.

Chris
I'll just spam a bit from that rather long article :

http://www.buran-energia.com/documentation/documentation-akc-maks-triplane-aircraft.php

Figure 3. The HERACLES twin-fuselage carrier-plane

The HERACLES plane is biggest among developed planes of tri-plane scheme. It is twin-fuselage transport plane with lift capacity up to 450 tons. The HERACLES plane, as carrier-plane, will allow extending capabilities of the MAKS system. The MAKS-M fully reusable aerospace system with the HERACLES carrier-plane has considerable advantages in comparison with SSTO single-stage launcher approved as a basic version in Reusable Launch Vehicle (RLV) program in the USA: in development cost, flight performances and maintenance economy.
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
SDC : Virgin Galactic's Private Spaceship Makes First Crewed Flight
By Clara Moskowitz
SPACE.com Senior Writer
posted: 16 July 2010
06:06 pm ET



A private suborbital spaceship built for the space tourism firm Virgin Galactic made its first flight with a crew onboard Thursday as it soared over California's Mojave Desert beneath its enormous mothership.

The commercial spaceliner – called VSS Enterprise, one of the company's fleet of SpaceShipTwo spacecraft – did not try to reach space in the test flight. Instead, it stayed firmly attached to its WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve mothership.

The two crewmembers riding onboard VSS Enterprise evaluated all of the spacecraft's systems and functions during the 6-hour, 12-minute flight, Virgin Galactic officials said in a statement. In addition, automated sensors and ground crews conducted thorough vehicle systems tests.

http://www.virgingalactic.com : VSS Enterprise Makes First Crewed Flight
15th July 2010, Mojave Air and Spaceport CA

15th July was a significant milestone for Scaled Composites as the team march towards the first solo flights of VSS Enterprise (SpaceShipTwo).

For the first time VSS Enterprise flew with crew on board. As planned, the spaceship remained attached to VMS Eve (captive) for the duration of the flight and numerous combined vehicle systems tests were conducted. In addition and for the first time, the two crew members on board VSS Enterprise, evaluated all of the spaceship’s systems and functions from end to end in the air. Objectives achieved.

Congratulations to the whole team!

Mission Details:
– WhiteKnightTwo (VMS Eve) flight number 33
– SpaceShipTwo (VSS Enterprise) flight number three in captive carry configuration.
– Flight Time: 6 hours 12 minutes
– VMS Eve crew: Mark Stucky, Peter Kalogiannis, Brian Maisler
– VSS Enterprise crew: Peter Siebold, Michael Alsbury
 
D

docm

Guest
Sierra Nevada Corporation successfully test fired the RocketMotorTwo engine for the fifth time last week. The hot-firing was the first such test in over four months. Previous firings were done one:

April 20, 2009
May 06, 2009
May 20, 2009
March 30, 2010

RocketEngineTwo Test Log
(Courtesy of Scaled Composites)

Fire: 05
Date: 11 August 10

Objectives:

Perform fifth full scale flight design RM2 hot-fire
Continue all systems evaluation
Continue fuel formulation evaluation
Continue nozzle evaluation
Continue motor structural evaluation
Continue Valve/Injector performance evaluation

Results:

All objectives completed. Performed successful increased duration hot-fire, including igniter performance, oxidizer flow and pressurization systems, data acquisition system measurements, structural evaluation, nozzle ablation, and fuel regression rate data collection. Determined stability levels.
 
K

kk434

Guest
WK2 just got damaged, i wonder why Burt Rutan built this thing instead of using a standard airplane, pegasus rocket and X-15 used standard aircraft and I dont know why you need to build a special plane for this purpouse. WK2 looks cool but is it the most cost effective solution?????
 
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csmyth3025

Guest
kk434":3qnurrbv said:
WK2 just got damaged, i wonder why Burt Rutan built this thing instead of using a standard airplane, pegasus rocket and X-15 used standard aircraft and I dont know why you need to build a special plane for this purpouse. WK2 looks cool but is it the most cost effective solution?????
Actually, the WK2 is a scaled down 1980's Russian design that they never had the funds to build. The private Russian company that suceeded the state-run bureau is still trying to get a customer to fund this heavy lift air-launch platform.
See their proposal for their HERACLES air-launch platform here:

http://www.buran-energia.com/documentat ... rcraft.php

Apparently Burt feels this is the best design for this purpose. Considering his innovative work and the track record of his designs, I trust he knows what he's doing.

Chris
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
www.scaled.com : UPDATE: WK2 takes to the air just over three weeks following gear incident on Flight 37
On August 19th the crew of WK2 was performing touch and go’s while training for upcoming spaceship missions. Upon the fifth nominal touchdown, the left hand main gear partially retracted. Flight Test Engineer Marc Zeitlin immediately annunciated the anomaly and Pilot Pete Siebold called for an immediate abort while holding centerline. Meanwhile, Co-pilot Clint Nichols secured the engines and systems.

The occurrence highlighted another positive attribute of the unique design. Because of the twin boom configuration, the vehicle came to rest on the tip of the left vertical tail and left nose gear. This unique balancing act minimized the damage and kept it localized to these two areas. The engines which would have made contact with the ground on a conventional aircraft remained untouched while still feet in the air.

Numerous tests and inspections have taken place in the last several weeks. We have made minor modifications to the gear to add a fail-safe redundancy for any eventualities. Today’s flight 38 was an “FCF” (functional check flight) to shake the cobwebs off after three weeks of downtime and prove-out the newly configured gear. Because our ultimate goal is to keep SS2 flight test schedule progressing forward at pace, the mothership may be flying the next couple flights with the gear down and locked until we can fully test the new gear mechanisms.

We’d like to thank the Mojave Airport; both for their quick response to the Flight 37 incident, and also for their gracious support in helping us get our plane “back to the barn”. There is no place we’d rather be conducting flight test.

T1b team
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
www.universetoday.com : What Will It Be Like to Fly to Space With Virgin Galactic?
Sep 15th 2010

by Nancy Atkinson

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPJSlI4XXhE[/youtube]

Virgin Galactic has released a new video that gives insight into their vehicles and company operations, and a look at what the experience will be like to fly on the world’s first commercial spaceline. Richard Branson hosts the video, which includes a look back at space history, as well as some never-seen-before footage from Virgin, and interviews with some of the future astronauts who have signed up to fly to space. Head over to Virgin Galactic to find out more about commercial space travel, and — if you’ve got the big bucks — how you could book a flight.
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
www.physorg.com : Virgin to launch space tourism in 18 months: Branson
September 27, 2010



Billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson said Monday that Virgin Galactic is on track to offer commercial space travel within 18 months, and that space hotels are next on the drawing board.

The project's SpaceshipTwo, an aircraft built by aviation engineer Burt Rutan and designed to carry paying customers into suborbital space, had its maiden flight in the California desert in March.

"We just finished building SpaceShipTwo. We are 18 months away from taking people into space," Branson told a business conference in Kuala Lumpur, adding that the fare will start at 200,000 dollars.

Virgin Galactic, which aims to become the world's first commercial company to promote space tourism, has already collected 45 million dollars in deposits from more than 330 people who have reserved seats aboard the six-person craft.

Branson also has visions of establishing hotels in space, which well-heeled tourists can use as a base for shuttle flights over the moon.

"We are looking at hotels in space. We love the moon," the tycoon said, adding that he was also interested in launching "small satellites into space" for the benefit of schools and universities.
...
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
www.spaceportamerica.com : Spaceport America Receives Federal Infrastructure Grant, matching funds from Virgin Galactic
PRESS RELEASE •
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE •
SEPTEMBER 30, 2010 •?

LAS CRUCES, NM - Spaceport America has received its first federal grant from a newly funded spaceport infrastructure program at the Federal Aviation Administration.

The funding, $43,000 from the FAA matched with $4,300 from Virgin Galactic, will allow for the acquisition of an Automated Weather Observation System III (AWOS III).

This important project will be made possible through the Federal Aviation Administration's FAA/AST Commercial Space Transportation Grant Program.

New Mexico Spaceport Authority (NMSA) Executive Director Rick Homans said, "This announcement highlights the increasing attention that the federal government is paying to the commercial spaceflight industry and to Spaceport America. While the grant amount may be small, the symbolism is much greater and we look forward to seeing this grant program increase and expand in the years to come."

The value of the FAA/AST grant combined with Galactic Venture's matching money is estimated at about $47,300. The balance of the cost of the AWOS, $86,000, will be paid by the NMSA.

The project is crucial to the safe and efficient operation of the spaceport. The AWOS III will provide timely and accurate meteorological information relevant to aircraft and spacecraft operations at Spaceport America. This will provide full AWOS capability to the spaceport, including visibility information and cloud data.

Spaceport America has been providing commercial launch services since 2006. The state-of-the-art launch facility is under construction near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, and is expected to become fully operational in 2011. Officials at Spaceport America have been working closely with leading aerospace firms such as Armadillo Aerospace, Virgin Galactic, Lockheed Martin, Moog-FTS, and UP Aerospace to develop commercial spaceflight at the new facility. The economic impact of launches, tourism and new construction at Spaceport America are already delivering on its promise to the people of New Mexico.
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
spacecoalition.com : First Drop Test of SpaceShipTwo Looming
October 01, 2010

By Leonard David

The first drop test of – SpaceShipTwo – the suborbital spaceliner being built for Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic — appears to be near at hand.

SpaceShipTwo is undergoing testing by Scaled Composites at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

Taking the tourist-class spaceship to drop altitude is the multi-purpose mothership, the huge WhiteKnightTwo carrier plane. As the first glide flight of the SpaceShipTwo, the piloted vehicle will be put through its aerodynamic paces without the firing of its hybrid booster engine.

This first drop test would signal a new milestone in the development of the WhiteKnightTwo/SpaceShipTwo system – a concept to send passengers on a suborbital trek to the edge of space.

The hardware will undergo rigorous testing as engineers progress on a step-by-step flight qualification agenda prior to commercial operation.

FAA grant

In related news, Spaceport America is under active construction near Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, and is expected to become fully operational in 2011.

Officials at Spaceport America have been working closely with leading aerospace firms such as Virgin Galactic, Armadillo Aerospace, Lockheed Martin, Moog-FTS, and UP Aerospace to develop commercial spaceflight at the new facility.

Virgin Galactic’s suborbital passenger flight venture will use Spaceport America as the hub of its operations.

Spaceport America has received its first federal grant from a newly funded spaceport infrastructure program at the Federal Aviation Administration.

The funding, matched with Virgin Galactic money, will allow for the acquisition of an Automated Weather Observation System III (AWOS III).

AWOS III is crucial to the safe and efficient operation of the spaceport, providing timely and accurate meteorological information — including visibility information and cloud data — relevant to aircraft and spacecraft operations at Spaceport America.
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
http://www.bbc.co.uk : Virgin Galactic slows satellite launcher plans
By Rob Coppinger

2 October 2010 Last updated at 11:30 GMT



Virgin Galactic's satellite launching rocket LauncherOne that once attracted $110m in investment is now in doubt.

LauncherOne's manager has departed and the space tourism company's chief executive is talking only about future possibilities for the rocket.

The rocket would take satellites weighing up to 200kg (440lbs) into low-Earth orbit for $1-2m.

LauncherOne was to be air-launched from Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo aircraft.

This is the same plane that will also launch Sir Richard Branson's tourist carrying SpaceShipTwo spacecraft.

In July 2009, Abu Dhabi-based Aabar Investment offered Virgin Galactic $110m for LauncherOne development, if further studies proved the business case.
...
 
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EarthlingX

Guest
www.popularmechanics.com : BREAKING NEWS: Virgin's SpaceShipTwo To Conduct Pivotal Flight Test Tomorrow
October 9, 2010 2:25 PM



Mojave, Calif. — Virgin Galactic's space plane, the Enterprise, will roll onto the runway early Sunday morning to begin its first solo test flight. Sources say that, after being lifted to an altitude of approximately 50,000 feet by its mothership, the craft will be released and glide to the runway in an unpowered descent that approximates the final phase of a space trip. Enterprise, designed to ferry six tourists into space, is the cornerstone of the best known attempt to start a space tourism industry. During the past few weeks engineers at Scaled Composites conducted the final flight tests to ready a custom-built, four-engine airplane called Eve to carry and release Enterprise (better known as SpaceShipTwo) for the test. For an actual spaceflight, Enterprise would detach from its mothership and use a rocket engine to boost into space. During today's high-altitude drop test, however, the spacecraft will head directly back to Earth. PM is on the scene in Mojave, will file updates as the test proceeds, so stay tuned.
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