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(Discovery)   With $100 million in reservations already, SpaceShipTwo has been cleared to begin suborbital test flights   (news.discovery.com) divider line 17
    More: Cool, SpaceShipTwo, reservations, Virgin Group, Scaled Composites, Space Museum, flight test, Virgin Galactic, SpaceShipOne  
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1963 clicks; posted to Geek » on 02 Jun 2012 at 10:16 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-02 01:17:19 AM
i72.photobucket.com
 
2012-06-02 10:29:11 AM
How much to join the 100 mile high club? You know someone's gotta have that in mind.

/'Virgin' Galactic my foot.
 
2012-06-02 10:35:54 AM
I am highly pleased
 
2012-06-02 10:40:44 AM

Virtuoso80: How much to join the 100 km high club? You know someone's gotta have that in mind.

/'Virgin' Galactic my foot.


TIFIFY, Spaceship Two will go at best 62 to 69 miles high. Or at least that's what Spaceship One did, even so SpaceshipTwo isn't going to go much higher than 100 km plus.
 
2012-06-02 10:59:21 AM
Virgin Galactic scares me. That SpaceShipOne thing was a biatch to control. After winning the X-prize it was never flown again.

Now Branson wants to do laps with paying customers? Really?

I don't know about that one.
 
2012-06-02 10:59:29 AM
lol wut
i.space.com
 
2012-06-02 11:11:02 AM
"...has been cleared by the Federal Aviation Administration..."

'kay, so I have a curiosity about this. I guess the shortest version is "who the fark cares what the FAA has to say about it?" Realistically, we're talking about a one-government authority based almost exclusively around atmospheric flight, and their small amount of practical experience involving space flight is based around decades-old technology that has since been canned (that still gives me a sad). Where does the FAA get some overwhelming authority over space flight?

The only reason I can see to put up with the FAA would be for commercial launches in the US (which doesn't seem like a necessary feature. i don't know if "six-passenger" includes flight crew or not, but when you're looking at $2,000,000-$3,000,000 a flight for a service that appears booked for the better part of the next decade it doesn't seem impractical to even open up an international-waters launching platform) or perhaps red tape involving future use by NASA (which again doesn't make sense, because I would bet $10 that the FAA doesn't have significant oversight when it comes to the current Russian launches).

tldr; fark the FAA, why would anyone with a working spaceship care what they think?
 
2012-06-02 11:21:27 AM

studebaker hoch: Virgin Galactic scares me. That SpaceShipOne thing was a biatch to control. After winning the X-prize it was never flown again.

Now Branson wants to do laps with paying customers? Really?

I don't know about that one.


It was built to win the X-prize and flown many times on the road to achieving that goal. For a cable and pulley flight control system, SS1 was quite a reliable aircraft.

/The first flight of the X-prize attempt was troubled by a bad trim tab, if I recall.
/Second flight was practically flawless.
 
2012-06-02 11:30:04 AM

OniExpress: tldr; fark the FAA, why would anyone with a working spaceship care what they think?


Well they don't, except for that fact that all airspace in the US between 18,000 and 60,000 feet requires an IFR flight plan and ATC separation service (ok, that's the simple way to explain it). So if you can get to space and fly around without crossing through the FAA's airspace, then fine, good for you. But until then, anyone needing to get to space from the US will have to get their permission. Better that than suborbital planes screaming down from 60 miles up right past your commercial flight, right?
 
2012-06-02 11:31:46 AM

OniExpress: tldr; fark the FAA, why would anyone with a working spaceship care what they think?


Only a small portion of the entire flight is in "space".
 
2012-06-02 11:33:14 AM

OniExpress: you're looking at $2,000,000-$3,000,000 a flight for a service that appears booked for the better part of the next decade it doesn't seem impractical to even open up an international-waters launching platform


Keep in mind these aren't vertical launch rockets. The spaceship is carried aloft by a mothership which needs a good sized runway. So, you can either build a very expensive floating launch site, find your own island in the pacific and build a runway, or just ask the FAA for permission, which they have already received.
 
2012-06-02 01:14:34 PM
dukeblue219:
Nem Wan:
dukeblue219:


Several of my friends are large-scale hobby rocket folks, so I'm familiar with the regulations based on altitude. I suppose that I don't see the point of dealing with the FAA of all folks; in the wind span of the world, there's plenty of easier regulators/locations.

As for international waters; when you're talking this kind of money, making a series of mounted platforms for a launch/recovery site seems like a financially viable idea. Hell, put a condo and some timeshares out there and make a mint on the site itself.
 
2012-06-02 01:22:54 PM

OniExpress: As for international waters; when you're talking this kind of money, making a series of mounted platforms for a launch/recovery site seems like a financially viable idea.


Seems like a lot of trouble just to be able to give the finger to someone you don't need to give it to.
 
2012-06-02 03:32:00 PM
Virgin Galactic?

More like Floating Around Getting Pounded in Every Orafice Galactic.

Amirite?
 
2012-06-02 08:27:30 PM
I know someone who works for Scaled Composites, so I'm getting a kick....

I wish he could get me a discount on one of those flights. Alas.
 
2012-06-03 07:06:40 PM
way south

studebaker hoch: Virgin Galactic scares me. That SpaceShipOne thing was a biatch to control. After winning the X-prize it was never flown again.

Now Branson wants to do laps with paying customers? Really?

I don't know about that one.

It was built to win the X-prize and flown many times on the road to achieving that goal. For a cable and pulley flight control system, SS1 was quite a reliable aircraft.

/The first flight of the X-prize attempt was troubled by a bad trim tab, if I recall.
/Second flight was practically flawless.


Thought they ran off the runway or something on one of them.

Yes, SpaceshipOne was mission-built, but the system they use, that shuttlecock thing, just seems prone to problems. It's a lot of airplane to be moving and if it gets stuck in the wrong mode or in transition, your'e boned.

Getting away with it a few time is fine. Making a career out of bending airplanes in half with people inside seems like asking for it.

We'll see.
 
2012-06-03 09:49:59 PM

studebaker hoch: Thought they ran off the runway or something on one of them.

Yes, SpaceshipOne was mission-built, but the system they use, that shuttlecock thing, just seems prone to problems. It's a lot of airplane to be moving and if it gets stuck in the wrong mode or in transition, your'e boned.

Getting away with it a few time is fine. Making a career out of bending airplanes in half with people inside seems like asking for it.

We'll see.


The off runway incident, if I recall, was from the manual controls binding up and/or the pilot not reacting properly on landing. They also had an incident where it got stuck in a spin and one where the computer winked out on the uphill half of the run. Big problems that only resulted in minor setbacks.

If control surfaces fail then bad things will obviously happen. But the idea behind feathering works alot better than trying a controlled descent without a computer. The X-15's manual reentry was brutal by comparison.

The real question is if feather will ever work at higher speeds. SS2 is an evolutionary dead end as things are.
A future SS3 will have to be fly-by-wire and probably cost several times what they've spent so far on the first two designs.
I hope they are successful tho. Its fun to watch records being broken.
 
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