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Tue, Apr 16, 2013

SpaceShipTwo Advances Towards Powered Flight

Completes 'Spectacular' Cold-Flow Test Over Mojave, CA

After successful nitrous venting and feather tests last week, Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic have competed a "Cold Flow" flight that representatives of the two companies called "spectacular." The test is seen as another important step towards powered flight.

In preparation for SpaceShipTwo’s first powered flight, the test teams from Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic completed the entire profile of the upcoming milestone flight – apart from actually igniting the rocket. Importantly, and for the first time in the air, oxidizer flowed through the propulsion system and out through the nozzle at the rear of the vehicle– thus successfully accomplishing the “Cold-Flow” procedure.

As well as providing further qualifying evidence that the rocket system is flight ready, the test also provided a stunning spectacle due to the oxidizer contrail and for the first time gave a taste of what SpaceShipTwo will look like as it powers to space.

The upcoming first powered flight of SpaceshipTwo is in many ways the most significant milestone to date, being the first time that the spaceship has flown with all systems installed and fully operational.

(Image provided by MarsCenter.com and Clay Center Observatory)

FMI: www.virgingalactic.com, www.scaled.com

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