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Space Ship One Sept. 29th Flight

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steve82

Guest
"Scaled has an aerobatic "Extra" airplane for chase work and Mike probably flies that a lot harder for fun"<br /><br />I read in one of the aviation rags that he's really been training really hard in that Extra for just the sort of things he experienced today. Probably pulling a lot more g's too.
 
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arobie

Guest
Ok, I'll just do like today and keep up though school and watch later at home. <br /><br />That's not the major announcement. Is it?
 
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radarredux

Guest
I saw [at least] two different video shots/angles of SS1: one with the sky-blue background you see typically at day when shooting through the atmosphere and one with a pitch black background as if the camera was in space or near the edge of space.<br /><br />Anyone know where that second camera with the black background was positioned?
 
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bobvanx

Guest
The black sky under power pic on SpaceFlightNow has a NASA TV credit.
 
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bobvanx

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I finally saw both images, I think what we are seeing is simply a dark, dawn sky in one, and lots of atmosphere between SS1 and the camera in the other.
 
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bobvanx

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I like Rutan's comment that the excessive dihedral roll is a characteristic they are prepared to live with, and will correct on the follow-on vehicle.
 
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propforce

Guest
<font color="yellow"><i>How can a uncommaned roll which Melvill could not stop during the boost be considered "not out of control"? </i></font><br /><br />Would it be fair for me to call Rutan and Melvill comments as "spin" ? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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centsworth_II

Guest
As I recall, there was much more shock and concern shown for the abnormal craft behaviour on the first spaceflight weeks ago. They said they would not fly again until the cause was found and understood. Could it be that they found the cause, understand it, and don't reguard it as a danger? If indeed the lastest abnormality is related to the first. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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scottb50

Guest
If it is because of the rather short airfoil not producing enough force to counter a roll or because a slight difference in the wings relative angles or even a slight manufacturing difference in the airfoils is inducing a roll that aerodynamic controls can't counter it doesn't appear to be a show stopper.<br /><br />From what Melville said he damped it out without too much problem and felt he could have done that when it started. It's more the fact it was unexpected than being especially dangerous. <br /><br />The roll rate was fairly slow and the stability the spinning would provide would probably increase the altitude possible. I missed the actual launch, our power went out just after WK became airborne and came back on when it was already reconfigured. From replays it seemed like it was fairly stable in the roll and though unintentional it might not be that bad of a feature.<br /><br />There has always been questions about RCS capability and volume anyway and the spin pretty much takes care of that during the ascent and leaves more RCS capability to control stability at maximum altitude and until aerodynamic forces can again become effective. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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propforce

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<i>"... I disagree that the roll was stable, I think it was going divergent. Also at the apogee the roll was suplemented by a yaw and or pitch rotation as well as far as i could tell. ..."</i><br /><br />That's my observation as well. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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propforce

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<i>"... a comment from a professional in the space business: ..."</i><br /><br />I would not go so far as accusing both Rutan and Melvill lied, but then again they are not exactly writing a scientific paper or documenting a scientific experiment neither. <br /><br />The key word in space business is what it is --- it is a "<font color="yellow">business</font>, which means they will withold information that may harm their potential revenue, or give competitors advantages. However, it should be balanced with <font color="yellow">ethics & integrity</font> espeically when and if there are human lifes at stake. <br /><br />What I suspect is that Rutan & Melvill will have intensed behind the close door discussion about this and, I sincerely hope this would be the case, that Melvill will not attempt the 2nd flight if they have a slightest doubt that they could control the roll. After that, they will go quietly fix the problem (I hope) before they sell the vehicle to Virgin while the world praise them on this historic accomplishment.<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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bobvanx

Guest
I watched the video again, and when the black sky image comes up, one of the commentators says something like "This camera is at the Clay Observatory," but any clarifying comment dies in a mumble. I guess he's caught up in the moment.<br /><br />I Googled for that, didn't see anything obvious. But I would expect a black sky view from a telescope. Since SS1 is visible for nearly a thousand miles when it's at apogee, the observatory could be anywhere in a wide swath of the southwest.
 
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mrmorris

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<font color="yellow">"...before they sell the vehicle to Virgin ..."</font><br /><br />Keep in mind -- neither this vehicle, nor the <b>specific</b> plans thereof are being sold to Virgin. This vehicle is a demonstrator and has to survive one more flight (minimum) with a maximum of probably less than five (WAG) before going to the Smithsonian. Rutan and Melville therefore don't have an obligation to *anyone* other than the people whose rear-ends are going to be in seats on the handful of flights until SS1 is retired.<br /><br />If Rutan rebuilt SS1 tomorrow from the ground up -- even given the exact same goals (i.e. X-Prize requirements), there would be significant changes from the current plane. This is opinion, but I doubt anyone here would disagree that Rutan has learned things from SS1 that will result in changes to SS2.<br /><br />Since the VSS Enterprise is going to be designed for a higher flight with more passengers, it's design will diverge significantly from that of SS1. Because it will be carrying paying passengers, numerous safeguards to appease the FAA will have to be in place (almost assuredly including significantly beefed-up RCS). The flight behavior of SS1 will be largely immaterial to that of its successor.
 
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propforce

Guest
<i>"..... Keep in mind -- neither this vehicle, nor the specific plans thereof are being sold to Virgin. ..."</i><br /><br />Hence more likely they'll just go about quietly fixing what caused this roll and incorporate any design changes as "lessons-learned" from the SS1 flights !!<br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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mrmorris

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<font color="yellow">"...they'll just go about quietly fixing what caused this roll ..."</font><br /><br />I was thinking more along the lines of design changes that aren't applicable to SS1 (at least in the timeframe needed) that would be incorporated into successors. If the shape of the wing needs to be changed, stabilizer fins added, RCS improvements needed, etc. -- SS1 won't get them. It's just not practical. <br /><br />The fact that Rutan has referred to the roll as a 'known issue' implies that he's aware of what is the likely cause and may well have a fix. If he has a fix and hasn't implemented it, then it's presumably not reasonable to make it to SS1.<br />
 
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propforce

Guest
<i>"..... SS1 won't get them. It's just not practical. ..."</i><br /><br />Oh I agree. I was not referring to make these changes in SS1, but to whatever follow-on vehicle(s). <br /><br />The "fix" would have to be in relationship to the new vehicle size, weight, Cg, and control surfaces, etc. But the first step is to understand the "cause". <br /><br />One thing I was impressed with is the first stage vehicle, the White Knight, as I look at the tape. I couldn't help but admire Rutan on the suspension design and it makes more and more sense everytime I look at it. Many propoenent of air-launch always depict the 2nd stage vehicle as "piggy-back", e.g., on top of, the first stage. While that may reduce the weight of first stage vehicle somewhat, it would cause other issues such as separation. <br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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scottcarlin

Guest
where can I find the flight broadcast to download, I was at work and couldn't see it, plus I didn't even catch any of the flight on the news.
 
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arobie

Guest
Here is video of the flight. I havn't see it, but I think this is video of the whole flight. I'm going to watch it now. Earlier I had just seen video of the burn. <br /><br />The video is on the right hand side of the screen. You can't miss it.
 
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arobie

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Mike Melvill was not originally scheduled to fly this flight. He replaced another pilot who remains anonymous.<br /><br />"The planned pilot fell ill at the same time his wife was giving birth. That unidentified individual felt he was under too much stress to undertake the flight and give a full 100 percent, Rutan said."<br /><br />Space.com Aricle Scroll down to the section labeled "Change of pilot".
 
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centsworth_II

Guest
I don't expect unabashed hero worship. But I am disappointed to see such trashing of those individuals who are writing an historic chapter in the era of human spaceflight. I'm sure the same questions can be asked without impugning the statements of those directly involved.<br /><br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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arobie

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centsworth_II<br /><br />I agree. I have great respect for Burt Rutan, Mike Melvill, and everyone who has worked on Space Ship One. I have faith in Rutan's and Melvill's judgement on safety issues. Anyways doesn't Scaled Composites have the best or one of the BEST safety records for aircraft builders and testers.
 
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centsworth_II

Guest
<font color="yellow">"I have faith in Rutan's and Melvill's judgement on safety issues. -- Arobie</font> <br /><br />I don't know if it's been worked out yet exactly what regulatory agencies will be involved in certifying vehicles and programs for commercial spaceflight, but I am sure that the government will get involved before there are paying customers and all pertinent safety questions will need to be satisfactorily answered before then. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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scottb50

Guest
Either way, at that point in the mission it was no where outragious enough to cause a physically threatening problem. I would think no matter what gyrations the SS-1 would be making the shuttle-**** effect, once reaching substantial atmosphere, would right the ship. Whether it would get so divergent as to be fatal before that is another story. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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centsworth_II

Guest
<font color="yellow">"I would think no matter what gyrations the SS-1 would be making the shuttle-**** effect, once reaching substantial atmosphere, would right the ship.</font><br /><br />I also have this impression, that any aerodynamic control problems encountered during liftoff would not carry through to the decent. As long as the ship is not damaged during the ascent. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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