Fri, Dec 21, 2012
'All Objectives' Of Test Flights Met
SpaceShipTwo on Wednesday undertook its 23rd glide flight in the pre-powered portion of its incremental test flight program. This was a significant flight as it was the first with rocket motor components installed, including tanks. It was also the first flight with thermal protection applied to the spaceship’s leading edges. It followed an equally successful test flight last Friday which saw SpaceShipTwo fly in this configuration, but remain mated to its WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft.
All objectives of both flights were successfully met, according to Virgin Galactic.
SpaceShipTwo is expected to undertake a minimum of two more glide flights in order to complete all remaining preparation for its first powered flight.
The company has accepted deposits for suborbital flights on SpaceShipTwo from more than 500 future astronauts, a number greater than the total count of people who have been to space throughout human history. Along with the suborbital space tourism flights, Virgin Galactic is also developing an orbital satellite launcher, called "LauncherOne." The company hopes to begin placing satellites in orbit for customers by sometime in 2016.
SpaceShipTwo will be powered powered by a hybrid rocket motor. This type of system is not a new idea but offers important safety and environmental advantages over liquid or solid systems that are more commonly used on manned space vehicles. In particular, it means that the pilots will be able to shut down the SpaceShipTwo rocket motor at any time during its operation and glide safely back to the runway.
Also: Air Power Museum, ANN Could Use A Little Help From Its Friends, GE Honda, Mexican-Registry TBM 900, Legacy 500, BBJ Winglets, Wheels Up Order The new Falcon 5X is getting clo>[...]
But Engineers Say The 'Plane Pond' Is The Result Of Serendipity It didn't start out to look like an airplane, but engineers building a water retention pond near Boeing's North Char>[...]
JV Awarded Fuel System For GE9X Engine Powering The New Boeing 777X Woodward has announced a strategic 50/50 joint venture for fuel systems for GE's large commercial aircraft engin>[...]
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends (John 15:13) As we go about our business enjoying a holiday weekend, let us not forget what this is>[...]
Inflow Notch A radar signature characterized by an indentation in the reflectivity pattern on the inflow side of the storm. The indentation often is V-shaped, but this term should >[...]