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Space Ship One Sept. 29th Flight

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arobie

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I was talking about their judgement on whether the ship was is danger, and whether they should fly on Monday or spend a few days investigating.<br /><br />I agree that the government will get involved before paying passengers come aboard, and I think that the next vehicle will be safer than Space Ship One. Burt will incorporate what he has learned from SSO into SS2 to make it safer.
 
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bobvanx

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<font color="yellow">regulatory agencies</font><br /><br />Many of us have been working "behind the scenes" to convince legislators that spaceflight requires accepting personal risk.<br /><br />XCOR's Jeff Greason has been especially intrumental in paving the regulatory paths. So far we seem to be setting it so that the regulations are if someone wants to risk their own neck, that's ok.<br /><br />Which is how it should be, at this stage of the game.<br /><br />Just wanted you to know, that in today's world, hardware is a small part of the equation. Getting the *%$&* lawyers off our backs is a really big part. And lots of people other than Burt have been plowing forward on these issues. So he and Mr. Allen might get "credit" for the flight, but it's because lots of folks have been working really hard to limit exposure that he got to do this at all.
 
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centsworth_II

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<font color="yellow">"...paving the regulatory paths."</font><br /><br />It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I wonder how long it will be before spaceflight is on a par with today's commercial airflight in terms of being a mass transport option. In the meantime we WILL need adventurous, RICH, paying customers as commercial spaceflight gets off the ground. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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halman

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Everybody,<br /><br />I am seeing a lot of commentary regarding a flight which is still in the process of analysis. Without telemetry, knowing exactly what was going on is difficult. Compare this with the X-15 flights, which encountered many unexpected flight regiemes, some resulting in loss of vehicle, some in loss of crew. But they pressed on, because the only way to learn what was going on was to repeat the experiment. Chuck Yeager was an expert at presenting a positive interpretation of flight events, because he wanted to go on flying.<br /><br />SpaceShip One is a high performance vehicle operating in realm that is poorly understood. The only other consistant flight experiments in this realm were done 40 years ago with the X-15. Everything else has been orbital flights, traveling through this realm at velocities measured in miles per second.<br /><br />I am still astounded that the space shuttle never encountered any serious control problems during the early flights. That was a completely new kind of vehicle, operating where only ballistic capsules had gone before, yet there were no instances that I am aware of where the shuttle suffered loss of control, extreme vibration, or other design issues. The number of aircraft which have had to be re-engineered to deal with some flight issue is considerable.<br /><br />The X-Prize has come very close to being unclaimed. If is not claimed, what does that imply for private space flight? <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> The secret to peace of mind is a short attention span. </div>
 
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centsworth_II

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<font color="yellow">"Compare this with the X-15 flights..."</font><br />One big difference: I don't think there was talk of taking on paying passengers within three years of the first fights.<br /><br /><br /><font color="yellow">"The X-Prize has come very close to being unclaimed. If is not claimed, what does that imply for private space flight?"</font><br />None. There are already new prizes being proposed. The genie is out of the bottle. <br /> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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arobie

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If the X-Prize is not claimed, then that will be a setback, but not a show-stopping one. The X-Prize has already accomplished it's goal. A foundation for which private space flight to build upon has already been built. There are enough private programs for private space flight to continue without the X-Prize being won. Space Dev, Bigelow, all of the X-Prize contenders, and VirginGalactic are some off of the top of my head. <br /><br />VirginGalactic will be the company to suffer the worse if the X-Prize isn't won. Though only because for the X-Prize to not be won, there will have to be a problem with Space Ship One, and SSO is the predessesor to the ship they will build. (or buy?) Burt Rutan will be able to recover from what ever it was that set Space Ship One back, and they will probably still get SS2 from Mojave Aerospace.
 
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aaron38

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On Chicago's WGN radio this morning the host was interviewing someone from Scaled composties, I didn't catch his name, sounded like a PR guy.<br /><br />The host asked about the spin at the end of the flight. The scaled guy said that every plane has it's wings bow either up or down. I can't remember the engineering term he used.<br /><br />Anyway, the Scaled guy said that SS1's wings bow up more than they needed to and that makes it more succeptible to being spun by a cross wind.<br /><br />He said that the pilots have been practicing that very thing in the simulator and aren't worried about it.
 
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earth_bound_misfit

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Was wind a factor at that altitude? I wouldn't have thought at the upper reaches of the atmosphere, that wind didn't come into play so much?<br />Please correct me if i'm wrong. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p> </p><p>----------------------------------------------------------------- </p><p>Wanna see this site looking like the old SDC uplink?</p><p>Go here to see how: <strong>SDC Eye saver </strong>  </p> </div>
 
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mrmorris

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<font color="yellow">" I wouldn't have thought at the upper reaches of the atmosphere, that wind didn't come into play so much?"</font><br /><br />A coupla things to keep in mind.<br /><br />1. At Mach 3+ -- atmospheric effects are amplified. Everything happens faster and with more force.<br />2. The control surfaces of the plane are becoming less effective with the rarified atmosphere. Ergo -- even though there are less particles to cause atmospheric effects, there is also less ability to compensate for same.<br />
 
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thermionic

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<br />That's how it looked to me also. At the onset of the spin, the craft looked like it was clawing at the air a bit. Then it settled out into a more pure roll motion. As shuttle_guy mentioned, it looked like the roll rate was increasing as time went by, but no more wierd pitch motion until after the motor was powered down.<br /><br />Also the waggling of the wings on the way down worried me. They say it's at 5 rough G's though, so if that is all it flexed, it must be pretty strong!<br /><br />I have a vivid memory of Wednesday morning, when the first news I got was that the craft was tumbling. That's a bad word in my flying community. Even tumbling at low speed is life threatening, but at mach 3?!? I thought it was all over for Melvill. What relief when it was clear the reporter had used the wrong word.<br /><br />Brian Feeney's statement that he knows exactly what Wildfire will do after ignition is pitious in this light. If SSO still has surprizes after 15 flights and the best pedigree, the Wildfire will be a loose cannon when it's fired off.
 
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robotical

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Any engineer needs to take Murphy's law to heart. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> </div>
 
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halman

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Arobie,<br /><br />The point that I was trying to make was that after ten years, only one contender has even flown hardware able to compete for the prize. In spite of there being many teams involved in the competition, the ability to reach space has not been significantly enhanced.<br /><br />Charles Lindbergh was in close competition with another contestant for the trans-Atlantic flight, and several successful trans-Atlantic flights were made shortly after Lindbergh's. The technology was not so difficult that there was only one serious contender.<br /><br />Private access to space has been pursued since the mid-1980's, with a variety of approaches. Some have come heart-breakingly close to succeding, but none has been capable of repeated success. Money has not been the primary obstacle, technology has. One of the original Mercury 7, Deke Slayton, headed up a group of people with NASA experience attempting to build a private rocket. It flew, but not well enough to justify continued investment.<br /><br />Like it or not, the technelogy required to access space is complex and advanced. SpaceShip One is the first significant innovation in this technology in 20 years, and it is still inadequate to acheive orbit. However, the technique used may offer more promise for private access to space than any other form of launch.<br /><br />In spite of years of research, ground launching rockets has not proven to be the most successful method of reaching space for the private sector. Huge investments in launch facilities, engine technology, and materials science have been neccessary for launching even small payloads into orbit. Witness the Arianne program. Attempting the same thing in the private sector has proven to be extremely frustrating, with numerous private rocket designs failing to acheive the performance and reliability needed to convince investors that non-governmental spaceflight is possible.<br /><br />The X-Prize has succeded in advancing the possibility of private acc <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> The secret to peace of mind is a short attention span. </div>
 
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astrophoto

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$200,000US is not what it used to be. I am moderately successful and could probably scrape that up if I was desperate -- but I am young enough to wait a few decades for prices to come down and services to increase. There are thousands of millionaires in the world today who would jump at the chance to fly even on a new vehicle with some control issues. Look at all the mountain climbers out there. Expeditions to K2, etc, are not cheap and I am going out on a limb to say the climb has a higher fatality rate than any Virgin Galactic endeavor will have.
 
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