NASASpaceFlight.com Forum

Commercial and US Government Launch Vehicles => Virgin Orbit/Virgin Galactic => Topic started by: Chris Bergin on 01/20/2016 11:34 AM

Title: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/20/2016 11:34 AM
Previous threads:

Thread 1:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=13744.0

Thread 2:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=35117.0

NSF content on SS2:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/?s=SS2

Please stay on topic and be civil at all times.

---

Had to start this one again (for a third time) as this is not Parabolic Arc's comment section and people who have a problem with an article on that site should comment on that site, not use this site to attack it.
Title: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 02/18/2016 09:03 PM
Virgin Galactic will unveil its new spaceplane tomorrow

Quote
Tomorrow, private spaceflight company Virgin Galactic will unveil the newest version of SpaceShipTwo — the reusable spaceplane that will become the company's primary vehicle. The company has been without a main vehicle since October 2014, when a crash killed one test pilot and seriously injured another. After the accident, many journalists and industry experts expressed skepticism about Virgin Galactic’s reliability. This new vehicle could help the company stage their comeback.

Quote
Of course, that all depends on how well SpaceShipTwo performs. The new vehicle will be structurally identical to the one that was lost, but there will be more automation, Virgin Galactic has said. The design change is in response to the 2014 cash, which was partly due to pilot error. New failsafes have been added to prevent such mistakes from happening in the future, the company has said, without explaining any specific details.

The first test flights of SpaceShipTwo will begin sometime this year, and that’s when the changes will be truly evaluated. Virgin Galactic has had trouble in testing before. Besides the 2014 crash, a rocket engine exploded in 2007 during testing, killing three people.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/18/11045184/virgin-galactic-spaceshiptwo-reusable-spaceplane-unveiling
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: yg1968 on 02/19/2016 01:00 AM
Virgin Galactic will unveil its new spaceplane tomorrow

Quote
The new vehicle will be structurally identical to the one that was lost, but there will be more automation, Virgin Galactic has said. The design change is in response to the 2014 cash, which was partly due to pilot error. New failsafes have been added to prevent such mistakes from happening in the future, the company has said, without explaining any specific details.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/18/11045184/virgin-galactic-spaceshiptwo-reusable-spaceplane-unveiling

I wish that it was all automated like Dream Chaser.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Gliderflyer on 02/19/2016 01:19 AM
Does anyone know if the unveiling will be streamed online?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: CameronD on 02/19/2016 01:43 AM
Virgin Galactic will unveil its new spaceplane tomorrow

Quote
The new vehicle will be structurally identical to the one that was lost, but there will be more automation, Virgin Galactic has said. The design change is in response to the 2014 cash, which was partly due to pilot error. New failsafes have been added to prevent such mistakes from happening in the future, the company has said, without explaining any specific details.

http://www.theverge.com/2016/2/18/11045184/virgin-galactic-spaceshiptwo-reusable-spaceplane-unveiling

I wish that it was all automated like Dream Chaser.

The fluffy dice was a nice touch.. yes, if it was automated, it'd need the fluffy dice.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: ChrisC on 02/19/2016 01:54 AM

http://www.virgingalactic.com/what-spaceshiptwos-rollout-milestone-means-and-whats-next/

Quote
If you are expecting SpaceShipTwo to blast off and head straight to space on the day we unveil her, let us disillusion you now: this will be a ground-based celebration. Indeed, our new vehicle will remain on the ground for a while after her unveiling, as we run her through full-vehicle tests of her electrical systems and all of her moving parts.  ... Once that is done, we’ll be eager to get air under the wings of our new spaceship. We’ll begin first with captive carry flight, during which SpaceShipTwo stays firmly mated to her mothership, WhiteKnightTwo. Once that is completed, we’ll move to glide testing, where our new spaceship flies freely for the first time as a glider coming home from an altitude of 45,000+ feet (14 km) while our incredible pilots test out her handling. ... After several glide flights have been completed and we are satisfied with the results, rocket-powered test flights are next. We will execute a thoughtful and steady progression of flights. Each mission will be designed to test something important: how the heat from the rocket motor dissipates in the rear of the vehicle, how the vehicle behaves when breaking the sound barrier on both ascent and descent, how closely our models of forces on the vehicle match reality. ... Each flight will generally fly a little higher, a little faster, and sometimes we may need to repeat a test point to get additional data or confirm a result.

As far the unveil event, you might keep an eye on their Youtube account (https://www.youtube.com/user/virgingalactic/videos), and Twitter (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic) of course.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Eric Hedman on 02/19/2016 02:37 PM
Sky News article:

http://news.sky.com/story/1644556/virgin-galactic-space-plane-set-for-relaunch (http://news.sky.com/story/1644556/virgin-galactic-space-plane-set-for-relaunch)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Prober on 02/19/2016 02:37 PM
Does anyone know if the unveiling will be streamed online?


have this on just in case.


http://original.livestream.com/virgingalactic (http://original.livestream.com/virgingalactic)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TruthIsStranger on 02/19/2016 05:28 PM
Does anyone know if the unveiling will be streamed online?


have this on just in case.


http://original.livestream.com/virgingalactic (http://original.livestream.com/virgingalactic)

This one has some interesting statements.
http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/feb/18/virgin-galactic-to-roll-out-new-space-tourism/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/19/2016 05:49 PM
Virgin Galactic ‏@virgingalactic  25m25 minutes ago
Today’s the day. We’ve been working hard on #SpaceShipTwo. Ready to meet her? Follow us here & on new Instagram acct http://www.instagram.com/virgingalactic/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/19/2016 09:19 PM
Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Unity. Named by Prof. Hawking.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 02/19/2016 10:01 PM
Quote
But one of the ship's key improvements will prevent another disaster like the November 2014 accident that killed pilot Michael Alsbury.
At the time, the National Transportation Safety Board concluded that Alsbury deployed a feathering re-entry system too early, and that Virgin Galactic hadn't planned ahead for such human errors. The new spaceplane has safeguards in place to make sure that doesn't happen again, and the company is emphasizing a renewed commitment to careful testing.

http://www.popsci.com/this-is-virgin-galactics-new-spaceplane-named-unity
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: catdlr on 02/19/2016 10:46 PM
Sir Richard Branson Rolls Out New SpaceShipTwo ‘Unity’ | Raw Video

Published on Feb 19, 2016
Escorted by corporate sponsor Land Rover, Virgin Galactic unveiled its second spaceship on 19 February 2016. Espousing a passionate belief that tomorrow will be better than today’ and that space travel is a vital part of that future, Branson and his exec-team presented the craft in Virgin livery paint for the first time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xC0SnW8fxb8
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/19/2016 10:48 PM
I never like re-writing press releases, but I've found a bit of an angle....one you'll understand when you see who I'm quoting! (I literally yelped when I saw his name on the quotes ;D) Give me a few hours :)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Prober on 02/19/2016 11:30 PM
so what's everyone's impression of SS2?

maybe a camera angle issue, but did they change the center of gravity on it?

 
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lars-J on 02/20/2016 12:02 AM
Branson riding the car pulling "Unity"... Ha, you've got to roll your eyes.  ;D
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: sanman on 02/20/2016 12:27 AM
At least there were no glamour girls parading with it.    ;D

The VSS Unity looks very snazzy though - very glossy, fiberglass look - like something you'd see for a new private jet.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvgYRMDad6g

I think there's glimpse of Star Wars actor Harrison Ford at the end of the clip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dtRnG9qQ4r8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tzF3-AaDt6A

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QC4goK4EzU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjhbBh2WaHE
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 02/20/2016 12:33 AM
http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/02/moses-guide-vss-unity-her-north-star/

Focused on Mike Moses, as opposed to the fluff....because Mike Moses is a legend.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: kevinof on 02/20/2016 12:36 AM
Good article Chris. That's a good catch for them (having Moses on board).

Wish them luck.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/02/moses-guide-vss-unity-her-north-star/

Focused on Mike Moses, as opposed to the fluff....because Mike Moses is a legend.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: yg1968 on 02/20/2016 02:18 AM
Here is another video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6aNn91OnB-8&ebc=ANyPxKpnMZAZwy04pm_ityVEd4ijrjTf1Dq_lm3PpWx4tq0XajEx7zVJ5P49s6p_XBR-3D9TMSQW6NEIIoUsTIV1lHn4F0UuBQ
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: catdlr on 02/20/2016 05:34 AM
Official Virgin Galactic videos:

Celebrating Unity - Our Journey

Published on Feb 19, 2016
We are proud to introduce not only our brand new vehicle 'Virgin Spaceship Unity', but also some of our incredible team who are making our dream of opening up space to change the world for good, a reality.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Eahj_H5gVw
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: catdlr on 02/20/2016 05:35 AM
At SpaceshipTwo Christening, Sarah Brightman Sings Happy Birthday | Video

Published on Feb 19, 2016
In line with his intent to make space travel safe for families, Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson let his granddaughter – Eva-Deia, one year old today – spill some ceremonial milk across the bow of ‘Unity,’ as SS2 will now be called.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2psd-CtLhfU
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lars-J on 02/20/2016 06:45 AM
The savior of spaceflight has arrived. ;D
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Hauerg on 02/20/2016 06:58 AM
Is it only me or are they celebrating too much taking into account the "achievements" of the last decade+ ?
Title: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 02/20/2016 08:26 AM
What's the betting that in spite of the spin there are more improvements and changes on this than they are admitting too.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: mfck on 02/20/2016 11:35 AM
What's the betting that in spite of the spin there are more improvements and changes on this than they are admitting too.
Well, the people driving the spin might be sincerely unaware of some technical changes and improvements. It's Virgin Galactic, after all.

"Never attribute to malice that which can be sufficiently explained by incompetence."
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Confusador on 02/20/2016 01:21 PM
What's the betting that in spite of the spin there are more improvements and changes on this than they are admitting too.

That'd be difficult, since they're claiming they changed a lot.  To pull a quote from the SpaceNews article: (http://spacenews.com/virgin-galactic-unveils-second-spaceshiptwo/)

Quote from: Jeff Foust
Moses added that there are other, unspecified changes to the vehicle as a result of the accident. “We used the lens of that accident to look at everything else we do, in manufacturing, in ground processing, in servicing the vehicle and in flying the vehicle,” he said. “We looked at systems way beyond what the scope of the accident investigation asked us to look at.”
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/20/2016 01:35 PM
Thanks for the great article Chris and all who helped with the coverage of the roll-out. :) Nice to see Harrison Ford at the controls even if on the ground he being another "old stick and rudder guy"... ;D Having Mike is a definite plus to the program; however he can only make it as safe as the system design will allow. Perhaps obvious or not but still needs to be said IMHO...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 02/20/2016 02:31 PM

What's the betting that in spite of the spin there are more improvements and changes on this than they are admitting too.

That'd be difficult, since they're claiming they changed a lot.  To pull a quote from the SpaceNews article: (http://spacenews.com/virgin-galactic-unveils-second-spaceshiptwo/)

Quote from: Jeff Foust
Moses added that there are other, unspecified changes to the vehicle as a result of the accident. “We used the lens of that accident to look at everything else we do, in manufacturing, in ground processing, in servicing the vehicle and in flying the vehicle,” he said. “We looked at systems way beyond what the scope of the accident investigation asked us to look at.”

That's the first time I've seen that quote, so thanks for that. Good that they've improved things just a shame that it could be said it cost a man his life to do so.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Borklund on 02/20/2016 03:38 PM
Promotional video starring Malala Yousafzai

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebDKb2wFOqw

My pillows are less fluffier than this
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: yg1968 on 02/20/2016 03:46 PM
It seems that SS2 now has a skid at the front.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Eric Hedman on 02/20/2016 04:25 PM
That's the first time I've seen that quote, so thanks for that. Good that they've improved things just a shame that it could be said it cost a man his life to do so.
I recently watched "The Right Stuff" again.  When you see the pictures  of all the pilots who lost their lives in the bar in Mojave you know that this wasn't the first time someone lost their life for advances in aerospace and it won't be the last.  Hopefully it will remain an increasingly rare occurrence. 
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 02/20/2016 06:19 PM

That's the first time I've seen that quote, so thanks for that. Good that they've improved things just a shame that it could be said it cost a man his life to do so.
I recently watched "The Right Stuff" again.  When you see the pictures  of all the pilots who lost their lives in the bar in Mojave you know that this wasn't the first time someone lost their life for advances in aerospace and it won't be the last.  Hopefully it will remain an increasingly rare occurrence.

Oh yes that's an apt comparison. It probably seems more shocking to many, me included, because such events are as you say thankfully less common.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Comga on 02/20/2016 09:21 PM
Promotional video starring Malala Yousafzai

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebDKb2wFOqw (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebDKb2wFOqw)

My pillows are less fluffier than this

Perhaps, but I would rather watch Ms Yousfazai than Sir Richard.

Her video ends with her asking "Is it a bit slow?"
Was she referring to her commentary or the development effort? :P
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: ethan829 on 02/21/2016 12:29 PM
It seems that SS2 now has a skid at the front.


VSS Enterprise did as well.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: parabolicarc on 02/21/2016 06:11 PM
The devil is in the details.

Was building virtually a carbon copy of the first ship a wise move?

Or does the new ship incorporate some of the same flaws that Scaled built into it?

Are they going to flight test the shit out of it?

Or are they pursuing a shorted powered flight test program along the lines of reckless program they had planned before the first ship went down?

Everyone said all the right things on Friday. But, they said the same things about safety before the crash. It was more rhetorical than real.


 
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: woods170 on 02/21/2016 06:40 PM
The devil is in the details.

Was building virtually a carbon copy of the first ship a wise move?

Or does the new ship incorporate some of the same flaws that Scaled built into it?

Are they going to flight test the shit out of it?

Or are they pursuing a shorted powered flight test program along the lines of reckless program they had planned before the first ship went down?

Everyone said all the right things on Friday. But, they said the same things about safety before the crash. It was more rhetorical than real.


 
Mr. Negativity is back on this thread. Could you for once, just for once, add something constructive to VG threads, in stead of just taking random stabs? Thanks.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Comga on 02/21/2016 07:44 PM
When SpaceX had their LOV on CRS-7 they didn't just upgrade the struts that were the direct cause of their accident. They say they have made many improvements.
VG claims to have done the same for SS2 #2.
It's a shame that didn't include a switch to liquid propulsion.
Even VG says that's the way to go long term.
They talk about their Newton engines but not about any future Mk 2 hybrid engines.
"No matter how far you have gone gown the wrong road, turn back."
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 02/21/2016 07:48 PM
Moses says their new rubber burning engine is working great, so I'd like to see it fly. Rocket engine development isn't a spigot that you can turn off and back on again. When Markusic it was a serious blow to their liquidization project.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: CameronD on 02/22/2016 03:02 AM
I'm really quite impressed by this neat bit of spin, as reported to the press on the day:

Quote
The accident was blamed on pilot error and oversights by Northrop Grumman Corp's Scaled Composites division, which designed, built and tested the first vehicle, known as SpaceShipTwo.

Virgin Galactic's own manufacturing arm, The Spaceship Company, already was well into construction of the second SpaceShipTwo of the fleet when the accident occurred.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-20/virgin-galactic-set-to-debut-new-passenger-spaceship/7186108
 (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-20/virgin-galactic-set-to-debut-new-passenger-spaceship/7186108)

I mean, why take the blame for something when you can blame someone else?  ::)

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 02/22/2016 03:58 AM
Was building virtually a carbon copy of the first ship a wise move?

Yes. Starting from scratch would have cost them another ten years with no guarantee that the new design would be any better. (Hint. They should have stuck with SpaceShip One.)

Quote
Or does the new ship incorporate some of the same flaws that Scaled built into it?

They have said they have fixed the known problems. Flight testing should hopefully bring out any other unknown problems.

Quote
Are they going to flight test the shit out of it?

According to Mike Moses, yes. Read the NSF article.

http://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2016/02/moses-guide-vss-unity-her-north-star/

“We have tested thousands of elements of the ship and still need to test many more. Reaching milestones like our first glide flight and our first powered flight are exciting, but at every step of the way we will do everything possible to make sure that the each of the next steps are safe – and ultimately ready to fly you into space.”
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: sdsds on 02/22/2016 04:37 AM
Would it be too soon to start asking Virgin Galactic about the number of flight tests the second vehicle will fly that essentially duplicate what the first vehicle had already flown? Could they be planning flight test 1 as unpowered, and then immediately moving to a powered flight test 2?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: matthewkantar on 02/22/2016 05:02 AM
I have waited patiently, is no one going to make a big deal of the baby breaking a bottle on the ship with out safety glasses? North star my eye. <snark

Matthew
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 02/22/2016 08:36 AM

Quote
Mr. Negativity is back on this thread. Could you for once, just for once, add something constructive to VG threads, in stead of just taking random stabs? Thanks.

I also appreciate the informed critiques that parabolicarc has been making. There's been plenty of PR-type cheerleading coming from VG and insufficient realism, IMHO.

Yes, we all want to see them succeed, but ignoring their many problems is rather like trying not to discuss the elephant in the living room.

It's not asking for an uncritical echo chamber but rather that particular poster seems to have a relentlessly negative agenda.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: ethan829 on 02/22/2016 10:34 AM
Would it be too soon to start asking Virgin Galactic about the number of flight tests the second vehicle will fly that essentially duplicate what the first vehicle had already flown? Could they be planning flight test 1 as unpowered, and then immediately moving to a powered flight test 2?


https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/700775349240467456
Quote
Moses: not giving a schedule for test program; this is requirements-based, so not planning a specific number of flights at each step.


https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/700777028614664192
Quote
Shane: in captive carry flights will have 95% of propulsion system installed. Propulsion was “long pole” for 1st SS2 by years.


That sounds to me like they're going to be going through the entire testing regime again, captive, glide, and powered. Although I'd be surprised if the captive and glide tests weren't de-emphasized somewhat, given how thoroughly the last vehicle explored those areas.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VSS_Enterprise#List_of_test_flights
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: woods170 on 02/22/2016 10:45 AM
The devil is in the details.

Was building virtually a carbon copy of the first ship a wise move?

Or does the new ship incorporate some of the same flaws that Scaled built into it?

Are they going to flight test the shit out of it?

Or are they pursuing a shorted powered flight test program along the lines of reckless program they had planned before the first ship went down?

Everyone said all the right things on Friday. But, they said the same things about safety before the crash. It was more rhetorical than real.


 
Mr. Negativity is back on this thread. Could you for once, just for once, add something constructive to VG threads, in stead of just taking random stabs? Thanks.


Woods why put fuel on the fire with a neg comment about someone whom you dislike...just screen out his comments and move on.


No, I won't. I'll explain why. Below is my personal opinion on this:

The reporting done here on NSF is of the highest standard and always neutral in tone and objective. Lot's of kudos to Chris, the other Chris and all those other great authors and editors on this site. In the past decade they have managed to establish and maintain a very high standard of reporting on anything spaceflight.

But whereas reporting on NSF is of the highest standards possible for journalism, the reporting on parabolicarc.com is most decidedly not. Over the years their reporting on anything VG has ever so gradually become biased and subjective towards the negative.
Now, that would not be a problem if that remained confined to parabolicarc.com. Unfortunately, their primary author has found it necessary to start spreading his FUD over here, at NSF. I really don't care for that. IMO it drags down the quality of NSF. IMO he is free to voice whatever biased opinion he has at his own site, but he should not be doing that over here as well. And IMO the folks at parabolicarc would be well advised to take an example from NSF, Spacenews, SFN, etc. where the journalism is done the way it is supposed to: be neutral and objective.

But I digress.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: SimonFD on 02/22/2016 10:49 AM
Would it be too soon to start asking Virgin Galactic about the number of flight tests the second vehicle will fly that essentially duplicate what the first vehicle had already flown? Could they be planning flight test 1 as unpowered, and then immediately moving to a powered flight test 2?


https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/700775349240467456
Quote
Moses: not giving a schedule for test program; this is requirements-based, so not planning a specific number of flights at each step.


https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/700777028614664192
Quote
Shane: in captive carry flights will have 95% of propulsion system installed. Propulsion was “long pole” for 1st SS2 by years.


That sounds to me like they're going to be going through the entire testing regime again, captive, glide, and powered. Although I'd be surprised if the captive and glide tests weren't de-emphasized somewhat, given how thoroughly the last vehicle explored those areas.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VSS_Enterprise#List_of_test_flights

I would expect (or is that hope) that VG consider this a completely new vehicle type and start testing again. Any changes made to the airframe or internals to support the findings of the NTSB enquiry or their own previous testing, could affect the flight characteristics and so a full regression test regime should be implemented.

With Mike Moses on board, this is what I would expect.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: yg1968 on 02/22/2016 02:11 PM
The devil is in the details.

Was building virtually a carbon copy of the first ship a wise move?

Or does the new ship incorporate some of the same flaws that Scaled built into it?

Are they going to flight test the shit out of it?

Or are they pursuing a shorted powered flight test program along the lines of reckless program they had planned before the first ship went down?

Everyone said all the right things on Friday. But, they said the same things about safety before the crash. It was more rhetorical than real.


 
Mr. Negativity is back on this thread. Could you for once, just for once, add something constructive to VG threads, in stead of just taking random stabs? Thanks.


Woods why put fuel on the fire with a neg comment about someone whom you dislike...just screen out his comments and move on.


No, I won't. I'll explain why. Below is my personal opinion on this:

The reporting done here on NSF is of the highest standard and always neutral in tone and objective. Lot's of kudos to Chris, the other Chris and all those other great authors and editors on this site. In the past decade they have managed to establish and maintain a very high standard of reporting on anything spaceflight.

But whereas reporting on NSF is of the highest standards possible for journalism, the reporting on parabolicarc.com is most decidedly not. Over the years their reporting on anything VG has ever so gradually become biased and subjective towards the negative.
Now, that would not be a problem if that remained confined to parabolicarc.com. Unfortunately, their primary author has found it necessary to start spreading his FUD over here, at NSF. I really don't care for that. IMO it drags down the quality of NSF. IMO he is free to voice whatever biased opinion he has at his own site, but he should not be doing that over here as well. And IMO the folks at parabolicarc would be well advised to take an example from NSF, Spacenews, SFN, etc. where the journalism is done the way it is supposed to: be neutral and objective.

But I digress.

Yes, I agree. His articles give the impression that he has an agenda against VG. The thing is he is often the first one to report on news relating to VG. So his article do contain a lot of good and often exclusive information. But I wish that it was presented with less of a slant.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lars-J on 02/22/2016 06:55 PM
IMO - if there is a slant/bias, it is a slant/bias that has a basis in actual past history of what has happened in the last decade, and what has not happened. I certainly appreciate parabolicarc (the site and postings here) for the journalism that he provides - something that few (if any) other sources seem willing to provide.

Pretending that there aren't *significant* issues for them to deal with is not helpful in any way.

(Not that I think that what we write here has a direct effect on the employees at VG - I believe that they are more dedicated and have more important work to do than to be discouraged by some negative postings on NSF)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: sdsds on 02/22/2016 07:00 PM
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/700777028614664192
Quote
Shane: in captive carry flights will have 95% of propulsion system installed. Propulsion was “long pole” for 1st SS2 by years.

That sounds to me like they're going to be going through the entire testing regime again, captive, glide, and powered. Although I'd be surprised if the captive and glide tests weren't de-emphasized somewhat, given how thoroughly the last vehicle explored those areas.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VSS_Enterprise#List_of_test_flights

Thanks for the quote; it is encouraging to see the use of the plural in "captive carry flights!" What are the odds they glide on flight test 3? ;)
I think that's where we'll see whether they "walk the walk" or just "talk the talk" when it comes to thorough retesting.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: A8-3 on 02/22/2016 07:11 PM
Quote
IMO - if there is a slant/bias, it is a slant/bias that has a basis in actual past history of what has happened in the last decade, and what has not happened. I certainly appreciate parabolicarc (the site and postings here) for the journalism that he provides - something that few (if any) other sources seem willing to provide.

I share this opinion. It seems they never had a realistic idea of what it was going to take, they constantly over hyped, and it's hard not to conclude that this contributed to the deaths of four men.

If you haven't read parabilocarc's coverage of the nitrous oxide explosion that killed three, do so now. Maybe then you'll understand why he has the opinion he does.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: parabolicarc on 02/22/2016 07:47 PM
Would it be too soon to start asking Virgin Galactic about the number of flight tests the second vehicle will fly that essentially duplicate what the first vehicle had already flown? Could they be planning flight test 1 as unpowered, and then immediately moving to a powered flight test 2?


https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/700775349240467456
Quote
Moses: not giving a schedule for test program; this is requirements-based, so not planning a specific number of flights at each step.


https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/700777028614664192
Quote
Shane: in captive carry flights will have 95% of propulsion system installed. Propulsion was “long pole” for 1st SS2 by years.


That sounds to me like they're going to be going through the entire testing regime again, captive, glide, and powered. Although I'd be surprised if the captive and glide tests weren't de-emphasized somewhat, given how thoroughly the last vehicle explored those areas.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VSS_Enterprise#List_of_test_flights

I would expect (or is that hope) that VG consider this a completely new vehicle type and start testing again. Any changes made to the airframe or internals to support the findings of the NTSB enquiry or their own previous testing, could affect the flight characteristics and so a full regression test regime should be implemented.

With Mike Moses on board, this is what I would expect.

Moses has been there since October 2011. In other words, he'd been there for 3 years prior to the crash.

At the time of the accident, they had planned one additional flight test around three to four weeks after the Halloween one. There would probably have been another one to maximum altitude in December. Then they were going to turn it over to Virgin Galactic in December.  Commercial flights would have begun shortly thereafter from New Mexico with Branson & Son aboard the first flight.

So, think about that. Three short flights to low altitudes with one engine. Perhaps three others with a different engine with different characteristics. One flight to max altitude. And that's the entire powered flight test program.

What my sources were telling me is that Virgin Galactic was under financial pressure due to low funds and schedule pressure from Aabar to wrap up the flight test program and begin commercial flights. Despite Moses being there with all his expertise, the remaining flight test program was being driven by schedule and financial pressure, not by requirements.

This is what makes me cautious. Are Moses and the engineers now in charge, letting them do a thorough flight test program. Or will it still be driven at partly by cost and schedule (flight tests are expensive and time consuming) and by competitive pressure (Blue Origin)?

The original plan had been to do 30 powered flights. If they take a newish vehicle with a bunch of changes, zip through the captive carry and glide flights, then do only a handful of powered test, then how safe would you feel flying on this thing?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 08/01/2016 05:46 PM
FOR  RELEASE –    AUGUST 1, 2016

FAA-AST AWARDS VIRGIN GALACTIC OPERATOR LICENSE FOR SPACESHIPTWO

New Spaceship Conducts Taxi Test as it Nears Start of Flight Test Program

Mojave, CA - August 1 2016 – The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation (FAA-AST) has awarded Virgin Galactic an operating license for SpaceShipTwo.

The license award comes as the new vehicle, VSS Unity, begins to stretch its legs with the first tests conducted out of the hangar.  Unity conducted the first taxi test today to evaluate and calibrate the navigation and communications/telemetry systems.  Unity was pulled by a Range Rover Autobiography provided by Virgin Galactic's automotive partner Land Rover, the same vehicle that will be used to tow Unity off the runway after flight tests.

The license award, which will ultimately permit commercial operations of the vehicle, was the culmination of several years of in-depth interaction with the FAA.  The license review process consists of an in-depth review of the vehicle’s system design, safety analysis and flight trajectory analysis, culminating in FAA-AST approval.

Virgin Galactic Senior Vice President of Operations Mike Moses said, “The granting of our operator license is an important milestone for Virgin Galactic, as is our first taxi test for our new spaceship.  While we still have much work ahead to fully test this spaceship in flight, I am confident that our world-class team is up to the challenge.”

For more information and media inquiries:

 

http://www.image.net/virgingalactic

http://www.virgingalactic.com 

http://thespaceshipcompany.com/   
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/01/2016 07:04 PM
The license review process consists of an in-depth review of the vehicle’s system design, safety analysis and flight trajectory analysis, culminating in FAA-AST approval.

But clearly no review of in-flight test results of the rocket engine, as it hasn't ever flown!

I'm struggling to understand the point of a regulatory process that looks at the design and analysis but doesn't require flight test results.

Or is this licence conditional or caveated in some way, such as provided flight test results are in-line with design analysis predictions?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Kryten on 08/01/2016 07:45 PM
Here's the actual licence; http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ast/licenses_permits/media/Virgin%20Galactic%20License%20%20%20Orders_07_29_20161.pdf
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/01/2016 07:47 PM
Ok, to answer my own question it turns out the licence doesn't cover space flight participants (ie paying passengers) until further test evidence is submitted to FAA. So right now VG is limited to test flights, although non-deployed payloads are possible.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Archibald on 08/09/2016 09:42 AM
Overall I rate Parabolicarc way, way above NASA watch (which has become a caricature of itself a loooong time ago and never came back)

Quote
At the time of the accident, they had planned one additional flight test around three to four weeks after the Halloween one. There would probably have been another one to maximum altitude in December. Then they were going to turn it over to Virgin Galactic in December.  Commercial flights would have begun shortly thereafter from New Mexico with Branson & Son aboard the first flight.

So, think about that. Three short flights to low altitudes with one engine. Perhaps three others with a different engine with different characteristics. One flight to max altitude. And that's the entire powered flight test program.

What my sources were telling me is that Virgin Galactic was under financial pressure due to low funds and schedule pressure from Aabar to wrap up the flight test program and begin commercial flights. Despite Moses being there with all his expertise, the remaining flight test program was being driven by schedule and financial pressure, not by requirements.

This is what makes me cautious. Are Moses and the engineers now in charge, letting them do a thorough flight test program. Or will it still be driven at partly by cost and schedule (flight tests are expensive and time consuming) and by competitive pressure (Blue Origin)?

The original plan had been to do 30 powered flights. If they take a newish vehicle with a bunch of changes, zip through the captive carry and glide flights, then do only a handful of powered test, then how safe would you feel flying on this thing?

So they went from 30 to 7 (or less) test flights along the years. Indeed it says about the lack of funding and pressure they were on. All things considered, not unlike NASA in the pre-Challenger days, with similar result. Spaceflight reality is hard. Try to get ride of it, and it come bitting you hard.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: catdlr on 08/27/2016 05:14 AM
[GSF]Tour of FAITH

Virgin Galactic

Published on Aug 26, 2016

Update 8/27/2016 video removed by user.

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Kabloona on 08/28/2016 02:48 AM
Video has been taken down. Can anyone who saw it please summarize?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: DeimosDream on 08/28/2016 01:20 PM
Video has been taken down. Can anyone who saw it please summarize?

The video featured an extremely wide angle fish-eye lens oriented to show a 360-degree view plus ceiling. This distorted features of interest and may have reveled more than than permitted even if public release was intended.

The video began in the parking lot, led the narrator through several corridors and then across a working hanger containing a White Knight and a Space Ship Two.

Regrettably I ended the video when travel paused beneath what I assume where the twin tails of the White Knight before the Branson cut-out was found. I had grown tired of trying to mentally unwarp the video and falsely assumed the rest of the forum would shortly perform a more complete analysis than I ever could.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: NaN on 08/28/2016 09:21 PM
The video featured an extremely wide angle fish-eye lens oriented to show a 360-degree view plus ceiling. This distorted features of interest and may have reveled more than than permitted even if public release was intended.

The 'distorted' view is actually intended to let you look around in any direction as if you were there, VR-style but without stereoscopic depth perception. On my phone, I could rotate the phone in any direction around me (360-circle, up, down, etc) and see what lay in that direction. Search youtube for a video "spacex landing on droneship 360 view" to see a similar video, you should play around with different devices and browsers to find one that works correctly next time you see this type of video. My laptop still gives me arrows to move viewing direction around instead of distorting the view.

I didn't get to see the entire video but it gave a good view of the ship from the front and the carrier craft from the rear. The viewpoint was from the walkway through the hangar; I didn't see anything overtly new. Both craft looked to be in good shape and both were being actively worked on. Pity it's been taken down.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Kryten on 09/07/2016 03:34 PM
Quote
Virgin Galactic ‏@virgingalactic  2m2 minutes ago
#SpaceShipTwo is mated to WhiteKnightTwo and headed outside now. Today, we’re conducting some final mated communications & navigation checks
Title: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 09/08/2016 07:12 PM
Quote
Good morning from Mojave! VSS Unity and WhiteKnightTwo are outside again for a bit of testing. #SpaceShipTwo

Picture on link

https://mobile.twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/773935459684618240

Quote
Today’s flight is planned to be a captive carry flight—where #SpaceShipTwo remains mated to our mothership.

Quote
Like every flight of #SpaceShipTwo, this mission is crewed. Two of our pilots in VSS Unity, two more in WhiteKnightTwo

Quote
Virgin Galactic ‏@virgingalactic
Wheels up! WhiteKnightTwo & #SpaceShipTwo are now in the air. This is 1st ever flight of a vehicle built by our sister co, @TheSpaceshipCo
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Gliderflyer on 09/08/2016 07:19 PM
Just watched it take off from the flightline. It's good to see a spaceship in the air again, even if it is just on a captive carry.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Gliderflyer on 09/08/2016 07:22 PM
Virgin just posted a picture on twitter: https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/773963759161217024
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 09/08/2016 07:36 PM
Update From Mojave: Preparations For Unity’s Flight Test Program

In the near future, our new spaceship, VSS Unity, will take to the skies for the first time. Having spent years designing, manufacturing, and testing the parts and subsystems that make up SpaceShipTwo, followed by several months of thorough and rigorous Integrated Vehicle Ground Testing, we are excited to take Unity into her natural airborne environment for the start of her flight test program.

Experimental flight test programs are by definition open-ended, and to a great extent each test depends on the data from the test that precedes it. There is no guarantee that everything will work perfectly the first time, and like all programs seeking to take bold steps, we will inevitably have times when things don’t go as planned. Our team’s biggest challenge is to use meticulous planning and preparation to ensure that any such setbacks are dealt with safely, and that every outcome, whether it matches our expectations or not, informs and improves future performance.

We are helped greatly in this respect by the fact that VSS Unity is, of course, the second SpaceShipTwo vehicle to undergo flight testing. Our first SpaceShipTwo, VSS Enterprise, flew 54 times prior to its test flight accident, generating an enormous volume of data and experience. These data points helped us build safety improvements into VSS Unity. The data also allow us to plan out a flight test program that is safer and potentially more efficient: in many cases we will be re-confirming measures of vehicle performance rather than experiencing them for the first time. That advantage generates increased levels of confidence and should benefit our rate of progress.

In any human spaceflight program there is, rightly, a high level of attention paid to crew safety—including not only what happens when everything is happening as planned, but also what happens when something unexpected happens at any stage of flight. At Virgin Galactic, this approach is brought sharply into focus by the fact that all our flight tests are crewed by at least two pilots. This means that even for relatively more simple and brief flights, we need to be prepared to run a full abort scenario to bring our pilots home safely.

As a case in point, the very first flight that VSS Unity makes will be what we call a Captive Carry test – the spaceship will remain “mated” to the WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft (VMS Eve) for the duration of the flight, from takeoff all the way through landing. Although it will be great to see our beautiful new spaceship in the air, VSS Unity will be some way from demonstrating her full potential during that first flight. But this flight isn’t just a dress rehearsal; it is an excellent way to generate valuable test data. Throughout the flight, WhiteKnightTwo will serve as a unique “flying wind tunnel,” letting us safely capture high fidelity aerodynamic performance data on the vehicle. Our pilots, mission controllers, and ground operations teams will gain further experience operating a crewed flight. By bringing the vehicle and our crew home safely after the start of the mission but prior to spacecraft release and rocket ignition, they will effectively also be testing out one of our abort modes. Finally, the flight test will confirm extensive simulation and ground testing by showing the real performance of many subsystems and components at cold temperatures, low atmospheric pressures, and high aircraft-like altitudes.

All of those data points will be very useful for us as we move into what comes next: a series of glide flight tests, during which Unity is released to fly home on her own, followed by rocket-powered flight tests of increasingly ambitious scope.

We could not be more excited to move to this next stage of our test program. After years of important in-factory testing, our engineering and operations team are eager to move out from our hangars and to start testing in the open skies. In addition to providing critical data, the coming captive carry flight will be an emotional milestone for our company—the first time ever that a vehicle built by The Spaceship Company and operated by Virgin Galactic has ever taken to the skies. This journey to flight has been arduous but rewarding, and we can now move forward with the confidence that comes from knowing that every vehicle component, sub-system, and procedure has been tested and re-tested prior to these flights.

We look forward to sharing our next steps with the world. Please stay tuned to this site and our social media channels (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn) for more information as our flight testing program progresses.

http://www.virgingalactic.com/update-from-mojave-preparations-for-unitys-flight-test-program/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: PhotoEngineer on 09/08/2016 08:17 PM
Great to see her just take off. Can't wait till she is flying to space.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Gliderflyer on 09/08/2016 10:51 PM
They just landed and are taxiing back to the hangar.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Eric Hedman on 09/09/2016 12:41 AM
LA Times article on the resumption of the test program:

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-virgin-galactic-20160907-snap-story.html (http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-virgin-galactic-20160907-snap-story.html)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 09/09/2016 10:35 PM
Star One press release says they well be taking a slow measured approach to test flights, much same as Blue. Slow it seems but faster in long run.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: catdlr on 09/09/2016 11:56 PM
Virgin Galactic restarts its flight test program for space tourism

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-virgin-galactic-20160907-snap-story.html

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: catdlr on 09/10/2016 12:33 AM
Elevating Unity - Episode 1: Captive Carry

 
Virgin Galactic

Published on Sep 9, 2016
On September 8, 2016, our new SpaceShipTwo--VSS Unity--took to the skies for the first time. This is first ever flight of a vehicle built by our manufacturing organization, The Spaceship Company.

In this video, Mike Moses--our Senior Vice President of Operations, and a NASA veteran who oversaw dozens of successful flights to space--helps explain this flight and how it fits into the context of our full testing program.

You can read more about this flight test and about what’s coming next here: http://virg.in/abKzK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zV1g-dyzYx4?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zV1g-dyzYx4
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Davp99 on 09/10/2016 05:23 PM
Any word on when they will start building # 3 ?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: CameronD on 09/12/2016 01:12 AM
Any word on when they will start building # 3 ?

Are you worried they might lose this one too?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lars-J on 09/12/2016 04:51 PM
Any word on when they will start building # 3 ?

Are you worried they might lose this one too?

Once operational, they'll need several to have any chance to meet the fly all their customers in a reasonable time frame.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Kryten on 09/27/2016 03:42 PM
Quote
Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust  11m11 minutes ago
Virgin Galactic’s George Whitesides says next SpaceShipTwo test flight will be a glide flight, taking place in near future. #IAC2016 (3/3)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: kch on 09/27/2016 04:00 PM
Any word on when they will start building # 3 ?

Are you worried they might lose this one too?

Once operational, they'll need several to have any chance to meet the fly all their customers in a reasonable time frame.

Exactly -- I hope they've already started on the next one.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Kryten on 10/29/2016 01:42 PM
Quote
Jeff Foust ‏@jeff_foust  2m2 minutes ago
At Explorer’s Club space event in NYC this morning, Virgin Galactic’s CJ Sturckow says first glide flight of 2nd SS2 planned for Tuesday.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/29/2016 01:45 PM
Quote
Sturckow said the plan is to “spot check” the glide flight envelope of SS2 and move into powered flight tests in early 2017.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/792360803051663360 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/792360803051663360)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 10/29/2016 09:16 PM
And here's the SN article.

http://spacenews.com/virgin-galactic-set-to-begin-spaceshiptwo-glide-flights/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/01/2016 12:38 PM
Quote
#SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo are outside now. If everything looks good and the weather cooperates, today we go for a glide test flight

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/793442737299173376 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/793442737299173376)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/01/2016 12:42 PM
New VG blog post:

Quote
November 01, 2016
Update From Mojave: The Next Phase Of Flight Test

In September, VSS Unity took to the skies for the first time. It was a fulfilling and emotional experience for our team—but even more so, it was an opportunity to collect great data. Using our carrier airplane, WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve, as a ‘flying wind tunnel,’ we captured terabytes of extremely valuable data from a nearly four hour long flight.

After thoroughly analyzing that data and completing other planned work on VSS Unity, we are nearly ready to move into the next phase of flight. The results from September’s test were encouraging enough that the team agreed that no further captive carry flights are needed. The next time VSS Unity takes to the sky, we plan for her to be released from the mothership and to glide home on her own for the first time ever.

This test will be the first of a sequence of glide test flights. These flights will cumulatively allow us to test and prove the performance of the vehicle in a variety of conditions: both heavy (e.g. simulating the full weight of a load of fuel, oxidizer, and people) and light (with empty tanks) and in between, at a variety of flight path angles and airspeeds, and so forth.

This testing of the “corners of the box” is designed to demonstrate how VSS Unity will perform as it returns from space, after the feather system is retracted and the vehicle becomes a glider and lands on the runway like an airplane. In addition, this phase of flight will also demonstrate and test our abort modes – which culminate in a safe glide back to the runway.

Our team of flight test experts has developed a set of requirements for each planned test flight as well as detailing exactly what we need to test in order to be ready to proceed to the next phase of rocket powered flights. We will fly as many flights as we need to in order to achieve all these objectives.

Our first glide flight will be focused on testing the fundamental performance and handling qualities of VSS Unity. For this first test, we will keep the vehicle at a light weight and will place a “speed limit” on the pilots (Mach 0.6). Once we analyze the results from this test, we will be cleared to go faster on subsequent tests.

We’re excited to take this next step on our road to space. In the graphic below, you can see where this milestone puts us on that journey—a lot of hard work behind us and still a lot of important work yet to do.

Please stay tuned to this site and our social media channels (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn) for more information as our flight testing program progresses. Although we will not livestream the upcoming test flight, we will post information on Twitter in real time.

The Testing Road to Space - Infographic (attached)

http://www.virgingalactic.com/update-from-mojave-the-next-phase-of-flight-test/ (http://www.virgingalactic.com/update-from-mojave-the-next-phase-of-flight-test/)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/01/2016 01:36 PM
Quote
Virgin Galactic ‏@virgingalactic 54s55 seconds ago

Wheels up! WhiteKnightTwo & VSS Unity are now in the air.  Photos coming soon. #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/793461347925135360 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/793461347925135360)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/01/2016 02:15 PM
Quote
Virgin Galactic ‏@virgingalactic 6m6 minutes ago

Images: VSS Unity and mothership VMS Eve shortly after takeoff this morning. Stay tuned for updates on today's test flight #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/793468861781729282 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/793468861781729282)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Kryten on 11/01/2016 02:57 PM
Quote
Virgin Galactic‏ @virgingalactic
Crosswinds were high & gusty here in Mojave--which scrubbed the glide portion of today's flight. Still, valuable data gathered
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Gliderflyer on 11/02/2016 04:13 AM
I managed to get a few pictures of the takeoff this morning. It was cold and windy, and the forecast improvement in winds didn't happen, so it isn't surprising they aborted the drop. The weather should be getting better starting tomorrow, so I wouldn't be surprised if they try again this week.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/03/2016 12:55 PM
Quote
Virgin Galactic ‏@virgingalactic 2m2 minutes ago

Hoping to conduct another #SpaceShipTwo test flight today. Tuesday's flight went very well, but high winds prevented gliding VSS Unity

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794175695760986112 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794175695760986112)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/03/2016 01:41 PM
Quote
Virgin Galactic ‏@virgingalactic 20m20 minutes ago

Weather looking better today than it did last time around. Currently looking good for flight #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794182450117124096 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794182450117124096)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/03/2016 01:53 PM
Quote
Virgin Galactic ‏@virgingalactic 2m2 minutes ago

VSS Unity during pre flight checks. Now taxiing to runway. Will provide real time updates here! #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794189819362426881 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794189819362426881)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/03/2016 02:11 PM
Quote
Virgin Galactic ‏@virgingalactic 15m15 minutes ago

Wheels up! WhiteKnightTwo & #SpaceShipTwo are now in the air.  Photos coming soon.

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794191399985913856 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794191399985913856)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/03/2016 02:37 PM
Quote
Virgin Galactic ‏@virgingalactic 9m9 minutes ago

Today is 3rd ever flight for VSS Unity (216th for WhiteKnightTwo) #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794199129157025793 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794199129157025793)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/03/2016 02:37 PM
Quote
Virgin Galactic ‏@virgingalactic 26s26 seconds ago

Mission control reports all is going smoothly. If they elect to go forward with release/glide, that should happen in ~10 mins. #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794201577200308226 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794201577200308226)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/03/2016 02:55 PM
Quote
Virgin Galactic ‏@virgingalactic 4m4 minutes ago

We’re excited to glide, but the team wants another look at something, so headed back to land today as mated pair. #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794205125803790336 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794205125803790336)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/03/2016 03:18 PM
Quote
Parabolicarc.com ‏@spacecom 1m1 minute ago Mojave, CA

#SpaceShipTwo and momma bird now back on the ground.

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/794211778980769792 (https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/794211778980769792)

Edit to add:

Quote
Virgin Galactic ‏@virgingalactic 34s34 seconds ago

The mated vehicles have landed for the conclusion of today's mission. We'll be back out again soon! #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794212135177859072 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/794212135177859072)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/03/2016 03:25 PM
This Aviation Week article sounds interesting. Clearly a bit of a PR drive on VGs part.

As it's AV you need a subscription to view. Here's all that's visible on the public page:

Quote
Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo Receives Performance Boost
Nov 2, 2016 Guy Norris | Aviation Week & Space Technology

Virgin Galactic test pilots have developed new procedures that significantly improve takeoff and balanced field length performance of the fully laden WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft. The new capability, which in some cases reduces takeoff distance by 40% or more, will give Virgin greater operational flexibility when launching heavy payloads such as the SpaceShipTwo (SS2) suborbital space vehicle for which the WK2 was originally developed. In particular, performance will be improved ...

http://aviationweek.com/new-space/virgin-galactic-s-whiteknighttwo-receives-performance-boost (http://aviationweek.com/new-space/virgin-galactic-s-whiteknighttwo-receives-performance-boost)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: HMXHMX on 11/03/2016 04:02 PM
Related to VG since I believe this supplier is the source of their N2O:

http://weartv.com/news/local/osha-investigating-deadly-plant-explosion

In case any of us needed reminding that it’s best to be safe out there around nitrous…


Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: LouScheffer on 11/03/2016 06:56 PM
This Aviation Week article sounds interesting. Clearly a bit of a PR drive on VGs part.

As it's AV you need a subscription to view. Here's all that's visible on the public page:

Quote
Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo Receives Performance Boost
Nov 2, 2016 Guy Norris | Aviation Week & Space Technology

Virgin Galactic test pilots have developed new procedures that significantly improve takeoff and balanced field length performance of the fully laden WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft. The new capability, which in some cases reduces takeoff distance by 40% or more, will give Virgin greater operational flexibility when launching heavy payloads such as the SpaceShipTwo (SS2) suborbital space vehicle for which the WK2 was originally developed. In particular, performance will be improved ...

http://aviationweek.com/new-space/virgin-galactic-s-whiteknighttwo-receives-performance-boost (http://aviationweek.com/new-space/virgin-galactic-s-whiteknighttwo-receives-performance-boost)
One of the main improvements was upgrading to physically stronger pilots.  The limiting factor on takeoff trust was the torque induced if an engine failed.  To counter this you need (strong) rudder input.  By upgrading the pilot to be able to stomp on the pedal with 225 pounds-force (weight of 102 kg person) instead of a mere 150 pounds-force (weight of a 68 kg person), they were able to use a much larger thrust.   This was a surprise to me - I thought these major strength requirements went out about WW-II.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: bluemars1 on 12/01/2016 03:00 PM
Virgin Galactic completed another captive carry test of SpaceShipTwo yesterday (after they "made a few tweaks to the vehicle"):


https://twitter.com/virgingalactic (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic)



Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: HMXHMX on 12/01/2016 04:08 PM
This Aviation Week article sounds interesting. Clearly a bit of a PR drive on VGs part.

As it's AV you need a subscription to view. Here's all that's visible on the public page:

Quote
Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo Receives Performance Boost
Nov 2, 2016 Guy Norris | Aviation Week & Space Technology

Virgin Galactic test pilots have developed new procedures that significantly improve takeoff and balanced field length performance of the fully laden WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft. The new capability, which in some cases reduces takeoff distance by 40% or more, will give Virgin greater operational flexibility when launching heavy payloads such as the SpaceShipTwo (SS2) suborbital space vehicle for which the WK2 was originally developed. In particular, performance will be improved ...

http://aviationweek.com/new-space/virgin-galactic-s-whiteknighttwo-receives-performance-boost (http://aviationweek.com/new-space/virgin-galactic-s-whiteknighttwo-receives-performance-boost)
One of the main improvements was upgrading to physically stronger pilots.  The limiting factor on takeoff trust was the torque induced if an engine failed.  To counter this you need (strong) rudder input.  By upgrading the pilot to be able to stomp on the pedal with 225 pounds-force (weight of 102 kg person) instead of a mere 150 pounds-force (weight of a 68 kg person), they were able to use a much larger thrust.   This was a surprise to me - I thought these major strength requirements went out about WW-II.

This is a hold-over from Burt's design philosophy, which eschews boosted controls and their associated hydraulic system complexity.  Of course, in the past most of his designs have operated at Qs low enough and with rate requirements small enough to let him get away with this.  I do recall him discussing this point with me during the formative years of SSO, and he was proud to have found a low Q trajectory that made it possible to forgo boosted controls on the spaceplane.  It's a bit ironic that White Knight has become the limiting factor.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: JAFO on 12/02/2016 02:12 AM
This Aviation Week article sounds interesting. Clearly a bit of a PR drive on VGs part.

As it's AV you need a subscription to view. Here's all that's visible on the public page:

Quote
Virgin Galactic’s WhiteKnightTwo Receives Performance Boost
Nov 2, 2016 Guy Norris | Aviation Week & Space Technology

Virgin Galactic test pilots have developed new procedures that significantly improve takeoff and balanced field length performance of the fully laden WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft. The new capability, which in some cases reduces takeoff distance by 40% or more, will give Virgin greater operational flexibility when launching heavy payloads such as the SpaceShipTwo (SS2) suborbital space vehicle for which the WK2 was originally developed. In particular, performance will be improved ...

http://aviationweek.com/new-space/virgin-galactic-s-whiteknighttwo-receives-performance-boost (http://aviationweek.com/new-space/virgin-galactic-s-whiteknighttwo-receives-performance-boost)
One of the main improvements was upgrading to physically stronger pilots.  The limiting factor on takeoff trust was the torque induced if an engine failed.  To counter this you need (strong) rudder input.  By upgrading the pilot to be able to stomp on the pedal with 225 pounds-force (weight of 102 kg person) instead of a mere 150 pounds-force (weight of a 68 kg person), they were able to use a much larger thrust.   This was a surprise to me - I thought these major strength requirements went out about WW-II.

I wish. It was one of the main arguments used against hiring women pilots for the airlines in the 1970s until they proved they had the leg strength to be able to do a V1 cut. When I had my knee opened up in 2005 one of the major limitations on my recovery was being able to put in and hold rudder against a failed engine until we were at an altitude where I could engage the autopilot, at which point some IPs would then fail the autopilot and make me fly the entire maneuver up to landing and rollout manually, which could happen in real life and was a fair test.

Interestingly, the new FBW airplanes I've flown (777-200, 787-8/9) have a system that puts in 85% of the rudder needed to counter the yaw as a result of an engine failure, instead of a huge leg motion like in a 73, a V1 cut in a 77/78 barely requires an ankle flex to keep the aircraft going straight down the runway. The system IS capable of adding all the rudder needed, but pilots were getting confused about which engine had failed (or did not even realize one had!) so I'm told Boeing derated the system by 15% to give the necessary feedback to the pilot.

At least in the sim. *knocks wood* So far I've never had a complete engine failure in real life.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Mammutti on 12/03/2016 02:57 PM
Quote
Takeoff--WhiteKnightTwo & #SpaceShipTwo are now in the air for another test.  Today is 5th flight for VSS Unity, 218th for WhiteKnightTwo.

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/805061486192140289

Quote
Release! VSS Unity has cleanly detached from WhiteKnightTwo, and is flying freely for the first time ever! #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/805074110820728832

Quote
VSS Unity has landed. Vehicle and crew are back safe and sound after a successful first glide test flight. #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/805076702003011585

Quote
This was the 1st ever free flight of our new spaceship—the 1st ship built by our in-house manufacturing team @TheSpaceshipCo #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/805077490477604864
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/03/2016 03:19 PM
Quote
Pilots for today’s flight: in #SpaceShipTwo: Stucky and Mackay. In WhiteKnightTwo: Masucci and Ericson, plus flight test engineer Mosher.

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/805081639021776896 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/805081639021776896)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/03/2016 03:22 PM
Post landing photo from Doug Messier:

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/805080460548157442 (https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/805080460548157442)

Update: Doug now has a blog post with a number of photos from today's glide test http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/12/03/photos-spaceshiptwo-glide-flight/ (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2016/12/03/photos-spaceshiptwo-glide-flight/)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/03/2016 05:11 PM
Quote
VSS Unity glides for the first time, after being released from WhiteKnightTwo (VMS Eve). Taken today. #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/805102251035357184 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/805102251035357184)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: jgoldader on 12/03/2016 05:51 PM
Excellent!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/03/2016 11:31 PM
VG have now tweeted a short video and another glide photo.

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/805199650584072193 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/805199650584072193)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: sdsds on 12/04/2016 12:46 AM
Speaking only for myself there's something about the appearance of this flight article that signals how very safe the experience of riding aboard it will be. I think it is probably the updated paint scheme.

I would put a smiley face here, but I'm actually being serious: the aircraft just looks aerodynamically sound.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: catdlr on 12/04/2016 08:17 AM
VSS Unity First Glide Flight Test

SciNews

Published on Dec 4, 2016
VSS Unity, Virgin Galactic’s second SpaceShipTwo, successfully completed its first glide flight test on 3 December 2016. The flight test lasted 1 hour 20 minute, with VSS Unity in free flight for 10 minutes and achieving a maximum speed of approximately Mach 0.6 while gliding from an altitude of 15 kilometers. Both VSS Unity and the WhiteKnightTwo mothership (VMS Eve) returned safely to ground.

Credit:
Virgin Galactic

(CATDLR: same footage from the tweet posted above)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMORvjo-n1I?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMORvjo-n1I
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 12/04/2016 10:44 PM
Speaking only for myself there's something about the appearance of this flight article that signals how very safe the experience of riding aboard it will be. I think it is probably the updated paint scheme.

I would put a smiley face here, but I'm actually being serious: the aircraft just looks aerodynamically sound.
I still see it as fragile.

The proximity of the engine nozzle to all those aerodynamic control surfaces, the fact that it's hinged, etc. 

I agree the paint job looks better though.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lee Jay on 12/04/2016 10:54 PM
Speaking only for myself there's something about the appearance of this flight article that signals how very safe the experience of riding aboard it will be. I think it is probably the updated paint scheme.

I would put a smiley face here, but I'm actually being serious: the aircraft just looks aerodynamically sound.
I still see it as fragile.

I entirely agree.  When I look at that thing, I see the load path from the horizontal stabilizers to the fuselage, which is torturous to say the least.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 12/04/2016 11:20 PM
Everything else aside, she does look pretty in flight...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 12/05/2016 12:23 AM
Speaking only for myself there's something about the appearance of this flight article that signals how very safe the experience of riding aboard it will be. I think it is probably the updated paint scheme.

I would put a smiley face here, but I'm actually being serious: the aircraft just looks aerodynamically sound.
I still see it as fragile.

I entirely agree.  When I look at that thing, I see the load path from the horizontal stabilizers to the fuselage, which is torturous to say the least.
Which kind of adds up, since even minor damage to the aerodynamics on the way up (and it's just CF) will be an issue on reentry and the flight down.  And there's no "inspection in orbit" possible or any of that...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/05/2016 06:29 PM
Here's a new video from VG about the glide flight, focussing on pilot Mark Stucky.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0WQ0KjScOU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0WQ0KjScOU)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: PhotoEngineer on 12/05/2016 10:31 PM
Speaking only for myself there's something about the appearance of this flight article that signals how very safe the experience of riding aboard it will be. I think it is probably the updated paint scheme.

I would put a smiley face here, but I'm actually being serious: the aircraft just looks aerodynamically sound.
I still see it as fragile.

I entirely agree.  When I look at that thing, I see the load path from the horizontal stabilizers to the fuselage, which is torturous to say the least.

Keep in mind that entire center wing section is a big carbon wing box, very strong structure.  Not like a typical aircraft wing which has high bending loads and is designed to flex. I bet the angular deflection in their tail control surfaces is very low, even during max aerodynamic loading. As for hinges on wings, look at every Navy aircraft.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: sdsds on 12/06/2016 04:51 AM
As for hinges on wings, look at every Navy aircraft.

Don't the SS2 wings pivot around a single pivot-point rather than fold along a hinge line?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 12/06/2016 06:26 AM
As for hinges on wings, look at every Navy aircraft.

Don't the SS2 wings pivot around a single pivot-point rather than fold along a hinge line?
It's probably a line, but even in navy planes, folding wings are a necessary evil, added complexity and a failure mode, not a zero impact feature...

Here, consider again a hard start or a burp of the engine - right near all those CF surfaces.  How well can that ship reenter and glide with damaged surfaces?  Remember the locking mechanism?  How well can it work if the area near the hinge is damaged?

And this is a brand new engine on each flight, and fired only after release.

It's not a good design concept for a manned system.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: PhotoEngineer on 12/06/2016 08:46 PM
As for hinges on wings, look at every Navy aircraft.

Don't the SS2 wings pivot around a single pivot-point rather than fold along a hinge line?

It's a hinge along the back of the wing.

http://s.hswstatic.com/gif/virgin-galactic-4.jpg

And meekGee I'll agree that if given a clean sheet, I would have designed a different propulsion system.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Vultur on 12/10/2016 01:49 AM
Which kind of adds up, since even minor damage to the aerodynamics on the way up (and it's just CF) will be an issue on reentry and the flight down.  And there's no "inspection in orbit" possible or any of that...

OTOH, while there's no inspection in orbit, the heat loads are far, far less than a reentry from orbit.
The maximum speed of SpaceShipOne was about Mach 3, closer to fast jets than orbital spacecraft.

And this is a brand new engine on each flight, and fired only after release.

The entire engine is replaced, not just the fuel grain?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 12/10/2016 01:57 AM
Which kind of adds up, since even minor damage to the aerodynamics on the way up (and it's just CF) will be an issue on reentry and the flight down.  And there's no "inspection in orbit" possible or any of that...

OTOH, while there's no inspection in orbit, the heat loads are far, far less than a reentry from orbit.
The maximum speed of SpaceShipOne was about Mach 3, closer to fast jets than orbital spacecraft.

And this is a brand new engine on each flight, and fired only after release.

The entire engine is replaced, not just the fuel grain?
Of course, but damage from propulsion on ascent is independent of heat loads during reentry.  The point is, if it occurs, you're along for the ride with no ability to inspect or react.  If the vehicle is asymmetrical, I don't know how "care free" reentry will be.

I don't know how much if the engine they replace, but fuel and nozzle, I'm pretty sure.

The whole system is just so much more suitable to an expendable unmanned system than it is to a reusable manned system.  (Not saying it will hold its own against ground-launch system, but that's a separate issue)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Vultur on 12/10/2016 02:13 AM
Of course, but damage from propulsion on ascent is independent of heat loads during reentry.

Oh, sure, I was thinking that the vehicle might be a lot more tolerant of small damage (like Columbia's tile damage) because there isn't the ultra-hot orbital reentry plasma hitting it.

But why would the propulsion break the vehicle's surfaces? Excessive vibration like the previous SS2 had at lower speeds? I guess I was thinking more of 'bird strike' type issues that might damage the vehicle.

Quote
I don't know how much if the engine they replace, but fuel and nozzle, I'm pretty sure.

I'm surprised the nozzle gets replaced... didn't even the Shuttle solids reuse that? Is it an ablatively cooled nozzle or something?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: russianhalo117 on 12/10/2016 02:57 AM
Of course, but damage from propulsion on ascent is independent of heat loads during reentry.

Oh, sure, I was thinking that the vehicle might be a lot more tolerant of small damage (like Columbia's tile damage) because there isn't the ultra-hot orbital reentry plasma hitting it.

But why would the propulsion break the vehicle's surfaces? Excessive vibration like the previous SS2 had at lower speeds? I guess I was thinking more of 'bird strike' type issues that might damage the vehicle.

Quote
I don't know how much if the engine they replace, but fuel and nozzle, I'm pretty sure.

I'm surprised the nozzle gets replaced... didn't even the Shuttle solids reuse that? Is it an ablatively cooled nozzle or something?
The SRB nozzle is refurbished, HOWEVER the SRB nozzle extensions were severed by a charge and jettisoned. (http://science.ksc.nasa.gov/shuttle/technology/sts-newsref/srb.html)

Quote
The nozzle extension is severed by pyrotechnic charge either at apogee or 20 seconds after low baroswitch operation.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 12/10/2016 03:21 AM
Of course, but damage from propulsion on ascent is independent of heat loads during reentry.

Oh, sure, I was thinking that the vehicle might be a lot more tolerant of small damage (like Columbia's tile damage) because there isn't the ultra-hot orbital reentry plasma hitting it.

But why would the propulsion break the vehicle's surfaces? Excessive vibration like the previous SS2 had at lower speeds? I guess I was thinking more of 'bird strike' type issues that might damage the vehicle.

Quote
I don't know how much if the engine they replace, but fuel and nozzle, I'm pretty sure.

I'm surprised the nozzle gets replaced... didn't even the Shuttle solids reuse that? Is it an ablatively cooled nozzle or something?
What I keep thinking about is a chunk of solid fuel getting spit out, or the nozzle failing.

Everything else, they can shut down the Oxidizer when they detect an anomaly - if they are set up for that.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Gliderflyer on 12/10/2016 03:27 AM
Is it an ablatively cooled nozzle or something?
I don't know the details on SS2's engine, but as I understand it, the fuel grain is bonded into a carbon fiber case with an ablative throat and nozzle. I don't know if the injector is part of that assembly or part of the tank, but it is still a large section of the engine that is replaced every flight.

Quote
But why would the propulsion break the vehicle's surfaces?
Because the entire fuel grain is pressurized, a rupture caused by a hard start or piece of fuel breaking off and blocking the nozzle would much more energetic than in other engines.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Vultur on 12/13/2016 03:16 AM
What I keep thinking about is a chunk of solid fuel getting spit out, or the nozzle failing.

Everything else, they can shut down the Oxidizer when they detect an anomaly - if they are set up for that.

Maybe this is just my ignorance of hybrid engines, but I don't understand why a chunk of fuel getting spit out would be so destructive. Wouldn't it just fly out in the direction of the exhaust gases and thus not hit the vehicle? Is it that the unbalanced thrust from *lacking* a chunk of the fuel would throw the vehicle out of control?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: ccdengr on 12/13/2016 04:12 AM
Maybe this is just my ignorance of hybrid engines, but I don't understand why a chunk of fuel getting spit out would be so destructive.
Spit fuel has a tendency to block the nozzle and cause fluctuations in chamber pressure.  If the pressure transients are high enough they can rupture the case.  That said, typical hybrids I'm familar with are running at fairly low chamber pressures relative to solids and the grains are usually more physically robust and without complex geometries.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Kryten on 12/22/2016 08:21 PM
Quote
Virgin Galactic ‏@virgingalactic  7m7 minutes ago
Good afternoon, Mojave. Looking good for a #SpaceShipTwo flight test. Stay tuned for more updates.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/22/2016 11:51 PM
Quote
Take-off. Today is 6th flight for VSS Unity #SpaceShipTwo, 221st for #WhiteKnightTwo
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/812045483359158272 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/812045483359158272)

Quote
Release release release: VSS Unity and WhiteKnightTwo are flying on their own. 2nd glide flight for #SpaceShipTwo
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/812055108527656960 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/812055108527656960)

Quote
Smooth landing for VSS Unity. In #SpaceShipTwo: pilots Mackay and Stucky.
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/812058543377391616 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/812058543377391616)

Quote
#WhiteKnightTwo has landed: pilots Sturkow and Pecile, flight test engr Mosher. Next up: data review and holidays.
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/812068317078822913 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/812068317078822913)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/23/2016 06:05 AM
Quote
Second glide flight of VSS Unity completed. Well done to the pilots and the whole crew. Great way to end the year!

https://twitter.com/gtwhitesides/status/812108292440788992 (https://twitter.com/gtwhitesides/status/812108292440788992)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/23/2016 06:13 AM
Alan Boyle's write-up of the second glide flight: http://www.geekwire.com/2016/virgin-galactic-second-spaceshiptwo-glide/ (http://www.geekwire.com/2016/virgin-galactic-second-spaceshiptwo-glide/)

He suggests powered flight tests could begin in mid-2017 with commercial operations possible by the end of next year if tests go well. Personally I can believe the former but the latter seems a little aggressive to me.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 12/23/2016 09:28 AM
Alan Boyle's write-up of the second glide flight: http://www.geekwire.com/2016/virgin-galactic-second-spaceshiptwo-glide/ (http://www.geekwire.com/2016/virgin-galactic-second-spaceshiptwo-glide/)

He suggests powered flight tests could begin in mid-2017 with commercial operations possible by the end of next year if tests go well. Personally I can believe the former but the latter seems a little aggressive to me.

The speculation on the beginning of paying commercial flights seems wildly over optimistic to me. I am not even hundred percent sure that we will see them before the turn of the decade.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/23/2016 10:00 AM
The speculation on the beginning of paying commercial flights seems wildly over optimistic to me. I am not even hundred percent sure that we will see them before the turn of the decade.

I think it'll be by the end of 2018 or not at all. I don't see the programme surviving another significant failure (even if there are no injuries). 2 years from now should be enough time to establish whether or not the current design & vehicles are fit for operations. Blue Origin may take a lot of VG's customers as it is.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 12/23/2016 12:24 PM
The speculation on the beginning of paying commercial flights seems wildly over optimistic to me. I am not even hundred percent sure that we will see them before the turn of the decade.

I think it'll be by the end of 2018 or not at all. I don't see the programme surviving another significant failure (even if there are no injuries). 2 years from now should be enough time to establish whether or not the current design & vehicles are fit for operations. Blue Origin may take a lot of VG's customers as it is.

Good points. TBH I've felt that since BO have made good strides this year that VG have been on borrowed time.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/23/2016 07:22 PM
VG have tweeted some brief video of yesterday's glide flight:

Quote
VSS Unity's second glide flight test occurred yesterday. Here she is gliding home. Thanks to our pilots & crew & you all for cheering us on.

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/812376912022618112 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/812376912022618112)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lewis007 on 12/24/2016 11:21 AM
Some additional pics of the second glide flight have been posted on VG's Facebook page, plus one of "Santa's new sled", named "VSS Rudolph."   ;D

I checked the Facebook page to find the clip mentioned above. It won't play for me in Firefox (some FF problem with videos). I used Chrome, and could watch the video, but not download it. The clip is not on VG's Facebook page, so I guess I have to wait until somebody puts it on YouTube...   :(
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: yg1968 on 12/28/2016 03:19 PM
This presentation was posted a couple of weeks ago:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7z0iQBN-H4
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/07/2017 07:46 PM
Quote
Whitesides: SS2 glide flights to continue for next few months, then powered flights; aspire to “push far into test program” in ’17 #CST2017

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/829067996647690241 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/829067996647690241)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/13/2017 08:54 AM
Richard Branson is still saying 2014 SS2 accident was due to pilot error:

Quote
“But, once we realized it was a pilot error and not a technical error, I was able to tell all the engineers it was nothing to do with them. And that the basic craft was sound.”

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/02/13/branson-doesnt-understand-spaceshiptwo-crashed/ (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/02/13/branson-doesnt-understand-spaceshiptwo-crashed/)

Fortunately, as the article notes, design changes have been made so that a single pilot mistake won't have fatal consequences and pilot error is never the root cause: https://waynehale.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/pilot-error-is-never-root-cause/ (https://waynehale.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/pilot-error-is-never-root-cause/)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 02/13/2017 12:58 PM
Richard Branson is still saying 2014 SS2 accident was due to pilot error:

Quote
“But, once we realized it was a pilot error and not a technical error, I was able to tell all the engineers it was nothing to do with them. And that the basic craft was sound.”

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/02/13/branson-doesnt-understand-spaceshiptwo-crashed/ (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/02/13/branson-doesnt-understand-spaceshiptwo-crashed/)

Fortunately, as the article notes, design changes have been made so that a single pilot mistake won't have fatal consequences and pilot error is never the root cause: https://waynehale.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/pilot-error-is-never-root-cause/ (https://waynehale.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/pilot-error-is-never-root-cause/)
Never is a strong word, but in this case it certainly wasn't.

The test is "will a different competent pilot be like likely to make the same mistake?"

Here, it was a classic accident waiting to happen - a design problem.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Olaf on 02/24/2017 03:19 PM
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/835160051669086208
Quote
We're gearing up for a #SpaceShipTwo flight test.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/24/2017 04:05 PM
Quote
Virgin Galactic ‏@virgingalactic 3m3 minutes ago

Flight test prep proceeding well, and #SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo are headed out to the end of runway

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/835173084797652993 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/835173084797652993)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/24/2017 04:31 PM
Quote
Take off! Today is 7th flight for VSS Unity #SpaceShipTwo, 226th for VMS Eve #WhiteKnightTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/835176665646931969 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/835176665646931969)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/24/2017 05:44 PM
Quote
VSS Unity has just been released from WhiteKnightTwo to glide home. 3rd glide flight test for #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/835190396649013249 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/835190396649013249)

Quote
Smooth landing for VSS Unity. In #SpaceShipTwo: pilots Dave Mackay and CJ Sturckow.

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/835192710545866752 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/835192710545866752)

Edit to add:

Quote
#WhiteKnightTwo has landed, completing today’s test. Crew today were pilots Todd Ericson & Kelly Latimer, flight test engr Dustin Mosher.

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/835199087125225472 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/835199087125225472)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/24/2017 05:58 PM
Quote
Just watched @virgingalactic Spaceship 2 land after test flight -beautiful aircraft :-)

https://twitter.com/profbriancox/status/835193931591782400 (https://twitter.com/profbriancox/status/835193931591782400)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/25/2017 04:49 AM
Quote
Spaceship over the Sierras today on the way to glide flight. Pilots successfully flew higher airspeed test points. Photo: Todd Ericson.

https://twitter.com/gtwhitesides/status/835276494398087168 (https://twitter.com/gtwhitesides/status/835276494398087168)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/25/2017 06:25 PM
space.com write-up of yesterday's glide test:

Quote
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Aces 3rd Glide Test Flight http://dlvr.it/NTMzxh

https://twitter.com/spacedotcom/status/835567450217304064 (https://twitter.com/spacedotcom/status/835567450217304064)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: catdlr on 03/02/2017 02:37 AM
VSS Unity Glide Flight 03 | 24 February 2017

Virgin Galactic

Published on Mar 1, 2017
Richard Branson stops by Mojave, CA with his friend Professor Brian Cox to witness VSS Unity Glide Flight 03 test flight, and share his thoughts about progress and innovation in our mission to open space access.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmYn1QtSA3U?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmYn1QtSA3U
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 03/02/2017 02:40 AM
Hey, Richard: let Brian Cox fly on one of the first sub-orbital flights for one of his next BBC documentary series - it would educate people and give you excellent publicity in the same breath!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Padgett on 03/02/2017 10:52 AM
Quote
Just watched @virgingalactic Spaceship 2 land after test flight -beautiful aircraft :-)

https://twitter.com/profbriancox/status/835193931591782400 (https://twitter.com/profbriancox/status/835193931591782400)
Indeed, beautiful aircraft. When it's the launching date?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 03/02/2017 12:42 PM
Not soon enough! :) :(
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/02/2017 03:46 PM
Indeed, beautiful aircraft. When it's the launching date?

Welcome to the forum!

This post (http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=39372.msg1605219#msg1605219) from a few months ago outlines the various test stages (but not dates) the programme has to go through.

VG appear to be hoping/expecting to get to powered flights later this year (I'm guessing summer at the earliest). So next year is the soonest paying passengers will be flying. If the flight tests are successful then (for now :) ) I stick with my earlier prediction (up thread) of being operational by the end of next year.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: catdlr on 03/20/2017 09:04 PM
Virgin Galactic VSS Unity First Glide (2016)

AIRBOYD

Published on Mar 20, 2017
Video Credit: ©Virgin Galactic http://www.virgingalactic.com

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ppr6X05kBnA?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ppr6X05kBnA
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: CameronD on 03/21/2017 12:21 AM
Virgin Galactic VSS Unity First Glide (2016)

AIRBOYD

Published on Mar 20, 2017
Video Credit: ©Virgin Galactic http://www.virgingalactic.com

Something I hadn't noticed before:  I thought it was a yoke for a sec, but it seems the 'standard stick' used for SS1 has become an interesting-looking 'two-handed stick'.   I guess they're expecting pretty high aero loads?!?

Must be a real beast of a thing to fly.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: CameronD on 03/21/2017 01:16 AM
In other news, it seems Richard Branson has offered Stephen Hawking a ride..:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3129334/stephen-hawking-planning-trip-to-space-after-being-offered-a-seat-on-virgin-galactic-flight/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 03/21/2017 06:13 AM
In other news, it seems Richard Branson has offered Stephen Hawking a ride..:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3129334/stephen-hawking-planning-trip-to-space-after-being-offered-a-seat-on-virgin-galactic-flight/

The original offer was a decade ago (here's a BBC article from 2007: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6594821.stm). What's interesting is that he's still thinks he's well enough to go, presumanly in the next year or two.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Sam Ho on 03/21/2017 04:27 PM
In other news, it seems Richard Branson has offered Stephen Hawking a ride..:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3129334/stephen-hawking-planning-trip-to-space-after-being-offered-a-seat-on-virgin-galactic-flight/

The original offer was a decade ago (here's a BBC article from 2007: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6594821.stm). What's interesting is that he's still thinks he's well enough to go, presumanly in the next year or two.
The interview, on Good Morning Britain, is here on YouTube.  The comment about Virgin Galactic is at 9:08.   There's also a comment about TRAPPIST-1 at 7:57.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L_FDFY-SJ-4?t=9m8s
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Comga on 03/21/2017 08:17 PM
In other news, it seems Richard Branson has offered Stephen Hawking a ride..:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3129334/stephen-hawking-planning-trip-to-space-after-being-offered-a-seat-on-virgin-galactic-flight/
In other news, it seems Richard Branson has offered Stephen Hawking a ride..:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3129334/stephen-hawking-planning-trip-to-space-after-being-offered-a-seat-on-virgin-galactic-flight/

The original offer was a decade ago (here's a BBC article from 2007: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6594821.stm). What's interesting is that he's still thinks he's well enough to go, presumanly in the next year or two.

The real point is that after 14 years of working on Virgin Galactic flights, and a decade after offering Hawking a ride, somehow this is the big news from VG.  Still months away from the Von Karman line, as they have been for a very long time.  Still no schedule for passenger flights.  Still fiddling with that hybrid engine. 

When VG started, Falcon 1 was a preproduction model on a truck.  Now it's a close race as to who gets people to space first: VG at a dead stop or SpaceX at 7 km/sec.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 03/21/2017 10:23 PM
In other news, it seems Richard Branson has offered Stephen Hawking a ride..:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3129334/stephen-hawking-planning-trip-to-space-after-being-offered-a-seat-on-virgin-galactic-flight/
In other news, it seems Richard Branson has offered Stephen Hawking a ride..:

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/3129334/stephen-hawking-planning-trip-to-space-after-being-offered-a-seat-on-virgin-galactic-flight/

The original offer was a decade ago (here's a BBC article from 2007: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/6594821.stm). What's interesting is that he's still thinks he's well enough to go, presumanly in the next year or two.

The real point is that after 14 years of working on Virgin Galactic flights, and a decade after offering Hawking a ride, somehow this is the big news from VG.  Still months away from the Von Karman line, as they have been for a very long time.  Still no schedule for passenger flights.  Still fiddling with that hybrid engine. 

When VG started, Falcon 1 was a preproduction model on a truck.  Now it's a close race as to who gets people to space first: VG at a dead stop or SpaceX at 7 km/sec.

Why on earth are you comparing it to Space X, surely a more useful and far more accurate comparison is with Blue Origin and their current activities.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 03/22/2017 03:30 AM
Why on earth are you comparing it to Space X, surely a more useful and far more accurate comparison is with Blue Origin and their current activities.

I thought that was obvious... Getting people to orbit is absurdly harder than getting them to 100 km, and yet SpaceX may beat VG in doing just that. That's nuts, especially when you consider that VG started with a system that had already gotten a pilot to their goal.

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 03/22/2017 07:24 AM
Why on earth are you comparing it to Space X, surely a more useful and far more accurate comparison is with Blue Origin and their current activities.

I thought that was obvious... Getting people to orbit is absurdly harder than getting them to 100 km, and yet SpaceX may beat VG in doing just that. That's nuts, especially when you consider that VG started with a system that had already gotten a pilot to their goal.
Yes, the ironing is thick.

All the marketing in the world can't undo bad design choices.

They unveil, and announce, and partner, and are opening up this and that, and have an official vodka, and hotel chain, and have built a Spaceport, and have already redefined (twice) what space access even means...

Only one little thing is missing.

So in a way, they're 99% there...

---

This is not persevering in the face of hardship.  I'm a fan of that. If you fail, try try again.

Never give up, never surrender.

But there's something unique about the arrogance that this one particular company is radiating that's been pissing me off ever since I saw Burt Rutan dump all over Jeff Greason in Jeff's own hangar in the middle of an XCOR press event, and continues in the company's attitude towards the world through today. (Long after he's gone from its reincarnation)

It paints the entire industry in an unflattering color.

---

Woah.  That escalated quickly.  Time for bed...
Title: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 03/22/2017 08:14 AM
Why on earth are you comparing it to Space X, surely a more useful and far more accurate comparison is with Blue Origin and their current activities.

I thought that was obvious... Getting people to orbit is absurdly harder than getting them to 100 km, and yet SpaceX may beat VG in doing just that. That's nuts, especially when you consider that VG started with a system that had already gotten a pilot to their goal.
Yes, the ironing is thick.

All the marketing in the world can't undo bad design choices.

They unveil, and announce, and partner, and are opening up this and that, and have an official vodka, and hotel chain, and have built a Spaceport, and have already redefined (twice) what space access even means...

Only one little thing is missing.

So in a way, they're 99% there...

---

This is not persevering in the face of hardship.  I'm a fan of that. If you fail, try try again.

Never give up, never surrender.

But there's something unique about the arrogance that this one particular company is radiating that's been pissing me off ever since I saw Burt Rutan dump all over Jeff Greason in Jeff's own hangar in the middle of an XCOR press event, and continues in the company's attitude towards the world through today. (Long after he's gone from its reincarnation)

It paints the entire industry in an unflattering color.

---

Woah.  That escalated quickly.  Time for bed...

Your point might have been better made had it not swiftly descended into some kind of personal rant against VG.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Falcon H on 03/22/2017 04:06 PM
But there's something unique about the arrogance that this one particular company is radiating that's been pissing me off ever since I saw Burt Rutan dump all over Jeff Greason in Jeff's own hangar in the middle of an XCOR press event.

I've never heard about this...could you elaborate?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 03/22/2017 04:19 PM
But there's something unique about the arrogance that this one particular company is radiating that's been pissing me off ever since I saw Burt Rutan dump all over Jeff Greason in Jeff's own hangar in the middle of an XCOR press event.

I've never heard about this...could you elaborate?

It's just an anecdote, but IMO it spoke volumes.  I am not affiliated with XCOR, but was there when Greason was explaining to the media about his approach and plans.  (This is many years ago, some time after SS1's flight).

In walks Rutan with a black leather jacket and all the "flyboy" attitude, and honest to goodness, the media folks just turned around, Greason had to stop, and Rutan went on a rant on how his approach is so much better.  It was embarrassing.  He had no business walking in, and even if he did, he should have told them they can talk to him later, since the CEO of the company he's just walked into is in mid-sentence.

Between this attitude, and Branson's, I personally (as the previous poster noted) lost all appetite for them, but I think that a lot of what they ran into was rooted at this sort of arrogance, so it's not just a "personal peeve". It affects decision making, lesson learning, etc.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 03/22/2017 06:51 PM
But there's something unique about the arrogance that this one particular company is radiating that's been pissing me off ever since I saw Burt Rutan dump all over Jeff Greason in Jeff's own hangar in the middle of an XCOR press event.

I've never heard about this...could you elaborate?

It's just an anecdote, but IMO it spoke volumes.  I am not affiliated with XCOR, but was there when Greason was explaining to the media about his approach and plans.  (This is many years ago, some time after SS1's flight).

In walks Rutan with a black leather jacket and all the "flyboy" attitude, and honest to goodness, the media folks just turned around, Greason had to stop, and Rutan went on a rant on how his approach is so much better.  It was embarrassing.  He had no business walking in, and even if he did, he should have told them they can talk to him later, since the CEO of the company he's just walked into is in mid-sentence.

Between this attitude, and Branson's, I personally (as the previous poster noted) lost all appetite for them, but I think that a lot of what they ran into was rooted at this sort of arrogance, so it's not just a "personal peeve". It affects decision making, lesson learning, etc.

Entrepreneurs found to be arrogant on occasions, what a shocking revelation. Surely such an attitude can often come as part and parcel of such characters.

Maybe I could be perceived as too defensive on this, but then perhaps that's just a initial reaction to seeing a British company be bad mouthed.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 03/22/2017 07:28 PM
But there's something unique about the arrogance that this one particular company is radiating that's been pissing me off ever since I saw Burt Rutan dump all over Jeff Greason in Jeff's own hangar in the middle of an XCOR press event.

I've never heard about this...could you elaborate?

It's just an anecdote, but IMO it spoke volumes.  I am not affiliated with XCOR, but was there when Greason was explaining to the media about his approach and plans.  (This is many years ago, some time after SS1's flight).

In walks Rutan with a black leather jacket and all the "flyboy" attitude, and honest to goodness, the media folks just turned around, Greason had to stop, and Rutan went on a rant on how his approach is so much better.  It was embarrassing.  He had no business walking in, and even if he did, he should have told them they can talk to him later, since the CEO of the company he's just walked into is in mid-sentence.

Between this attitude, and Branson's, I personally (as the previous poster noted) lost all appetite for them, but I think that a lot of what they ran into was rooted at this sort of arrogance, so it's not just a "personal peeve". It affects decision making, lesson learning, etc.

Entrepreneurs found to be arrogant on occasions, what a shocking revelation. Surely such an attitude can often come as part and parcel of such characters.

Maybe I could be perceived as too defensive on this, but then perhaps that's just a initial reaction to seeing a British company be bad mouthed.
When I think British, I think "understated", self depracating humor, and bad teeth.  :)

The accent is sported by many who who are not worthy...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 03/22/2017 08:06 PM
But there's something unique about the arrogance that this one particular company is radiating that's been pissing me off ever since I saw Burt Rutan dump all over Jeff Greason in Jeff's own hangar in the middle of an XCOR press event.

I've never heard about this...could you elaborate?

It's just an anecdote, but IMO it spoke volumes.  I am not affiliated with XCOR, but was there when Greason was explaining to the media about his approach and plans.  (This is many years ago, some time after SS1's flight).

In walks Rutan with a black leather jacket and all the "flyboy" attitude, and honest to goodness, the media folks just turned around, Greason had to stop, and Rutan went on a rant on how his approach is so much better.  It was embarrassing.  He had no business walking in, and even if he did, he should have told them they can talk to him later, since the CEO of the company he's just walked into is in mid-sentence.

Between this attitude, and Branson's, I personally (as the previous poster noted) lost all appetite for them, but I think that a lot of what they ran into was rooted at this sort of arrogance, so it's not just a "personal peeve". It affects decision making, lesson learning, etc.

Entrepreneurs found to be arrogant on occasions, what a shocking revelation. Surely such an attitude can often come as part and parcel of such characters.

Maybe I could be perceived as too defensive on this, but then perhaps that's just a initial reaction to seeing a British company be bad mouthed.
When I think British, I think "understated", self depracating humor, and bad teeth.  :)

The accent is sported by many who who are not worthy...

So a stereotype then?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 03/23/2017 01:16 AM
But there's something unique about the arrogance that this one particular company is radiating that's been pissing me off ever since I saw Burt Rutan dump all over Jeff Greason in Jeff's own hangar in the middle of an XCOR press event.

I've never heard about this...could you elaborate?

It's just an anecdote, but IMO it spoke volumes.  I am not affiliated with XCOR, but was there when Greason was explaining to the media about his approach and plans.  (This is many years ago, some time after SS1's flight).

In walks Rutan with a black leather jacket and all the "flyboy" attitude, and honest to goodness, the media folks just turned around, Greason had to stop, and Rutan went on a rant on how his approach is so much better.  It was embarrassing.  He had no business walking in, and even if he did, he should have told them they can talk to him later, since the CEO of the company he's just walked into is in mid-sentence.

Between this attitude, and Branson's, I personally (as the previous poster noted) lost all appetite for them, but I think that a lot of what they ran into was rooted at this sort of arrogance, so it's not just a "personal peeve". It affects decision making, lesson learning, etc.

Entrepreneurs found to be arrogant on occasions, what a shocking revelation. Surely such an attitude can often come as part and parcel of such characters.

Maybe I could be perceived as too defensive on this, but then perhaps that's just a initial reaction to seeing a British company be bad mouthed.
When I think British, I think "understated", self deprecating humor, and bad teeth.  :)

The accent is sported by many who who are not worthy...

So a stereotype then?

Most certainly!

---

Otherwise, on a good day I get two out of three, but my accent is decidedly not British.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/02/2017 08:25 AM
George Whitesides was interviewed on TMRO yesterday. Interview starts at about 20:50 into the show:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzR8yh34EBE (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzR8yh34EBE)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/02/2017 08:49 AM
A few SS2 notes from the George Whitesides interview:

- Each SS2 is intended to last for about 10 years of operation, so hundreds of cycles
- Said all SS2 customers will get to space but he referenced the 50 miles threshold and not the 100 km in the question
- Talked about over 600 people who have paid some money [so at least a deposit?] to go on SS2. IIRC in the past - a few years ago - VG talked about nearly 700?
- On flight days expect to fly (early?) in the morning
- Vehicles designed to fly as often as every day. Aiming for once a week with initial commercial operation
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 04/02/2017 05:09 PM
Do they have any more SS2 in production?.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 04/03/2017 02:53 AM
 :'(
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/03/2017 02:45 PM
Richard Branson says VG don't give dates any more and then effectively gives (a broad) one ...

Quote
“The test programme is going really well, and as long as we’ve got our brave test pilots pushing it to the limit we think that after whatever it is, 12 years of hard work, we’re nearly there.”
When exactly will he be nearly there? After all, Branson himself – and some of his family – have committed to being on the first flight.
“Well we stopped giving dates,” he confesses. “But I think I’d be very disappointed if we’re not into space with a test flight by the end of the year and I’m not into space myself next year and the progamme isn’t well underway by the end of next year.”

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/04/02/sir-richard-branson-vows-have-virgin-galactic-passengers-space/ (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2017/04/02/sir-richard-branson-vows-have-virgin-galactic-passengers-space/)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/14/2017 05:11 PM
Quote
Exclusive: Virgin Galactic Preps For Space Travel Technical Support

Virgin Galatic’s technical operations director reveals how the company is preparing the supply chain and aftermarket support functions for commercial space travel.

Paul Seidenman | Apr 13, 2017

http://www.mro-network.com/maintenance-repair-overhaul/exclusive-virgin-galactic-preps-space-travel-technical-support (http://www.mro-network.com/maintenance-repair-overhaul/exclusive-virgin-galactic-preps-space-travel-technical-support)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/14/2017 07:52 PM
Seems VG have a bit of a PR blitz on. Interview with Beth Moses about passenger training:

Quote
As chief astronaut instructor for Virgin Galactic, the former NASA aerospace engineer is in charge of training private future astronauts for their journey to space on board Virgin’s SpaceshipTwo

http://krqe.com/2017/04/13/space-tourists-to-train-in-new-mexico/ (http://krqe.com/2017/04/13/space-tourists-to-train-in-new-mexico/)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/27/2017 06:37 PM
Quote
(1/3) One key part of building the world's first commercial spaceline? Having a superstar maintenance team.
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/857663140879847424 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/857663140879847424)

Quote
(2/3) Kudos to our space wrenches, who earned us FAA Diamond Award of Excellence--something no commercial space company had ever received
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/857663388918448129 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/857663388918448129)

Quote
(3/3) Special kudos to Tommy L & Javier G for earning individual Gold Awards--the only 2 in the entire Van Nuys FSDO Service Area to do so!
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/857663642044682241 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/857663642044682241)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: EgorBotts on 04/27/2017 09:42 PM
Well, the VSS Unity doesn't seem to be ready to fly in a short period of time. Main gear is missing, the aircraft nosecone... I wonder if they are already taking steps to powered flights?

After all, they only did 3 free fly attempts, and only one in the last 4 months, which seems a short amount of data to me, yet there should be a reason for this type of delay between trials.
Title: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 04/28/2017 09:20 PM
New Branson interview in which he says a whole lot of nothing.

Branson noncommittal about SpaceShipTwo flight schedule - See more at: http://spacenews.com/branson-noncommittal-about-spaceshiptwo-flight-schedule/#sthash.xrrIH3yi.dpuf
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Olaf on 05/01/2017 01:16 PM
https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/859026248630116353
Quote
SpaceShipTwo Flight Test Scheduled for this Morning
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Olaf on 05/01/2017 04:00 PM
Confirmed by Virgin Galactic
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/859073416229396480
Quote
Good morning from Mojave! We're gearing up for a potential #SpaceShipTwo flight test today.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/01/2017 04:42 PM
Quote
#SpaceShipTwo and carrier just turni g onto runway 30.

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/859083652939956224 (https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/859083652939956224)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/01/2017 04:56 PM
Quote
Take off! Another test flight is #SpaceShipTwo is underway. We’ll continue to provide live updates here on Twitter.
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/859085980120133632 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/859085980120133632)

Quote
#SpaceShipTwo takeoff....
https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/859086183774666752 (https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/859086183774666752) (picture attached)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Olaf on 05/01/2017 05:38 PM
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/859098061007605761
Quote
VSS Unity has just been released from WhiteKnightTwo to glide home. 4th glide flight test for #SpaceShipTwo
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Olaf on 05/01/2017 05:43 PM
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/859100362376069120
Quote
Smooth landing for VSS Unity. In #SpaceShipTwo: pilots Mark Stucky and Mike Masucci.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/01/2017 06:46 PM
Here's a key part of today's test:

Quote
The pilots have begun their test of the ‘feather’ re-entry system. The vehicle is in the feathered configuration now. #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/859098207959134208 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/859098207959134208)

Edit to add:

Quote
Exciting to have 1st feathered flight of VSS Unity in the books now. Gathered lots of great data to complement ground testing. #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/thespaceshipco/status/859100546216611846 (https://twitter.com/thespaceshipco/status/859100546216611846)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/01/2017 08:05 PM
Quote
Image from today: VSS Unity in the air after a successful in-flight test of the 'feather' re-entry system. More images coming soon.

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/859122531529248768 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/859122531529248768)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/01/2017 08:15 PM
Quote
Image from today VSS Unity flies in the feather configuration, testing out the vehicle’s re-entry system. Read More: http://virg.in/1feather

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/859138871237287937 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/859138871237287937)

Quote
May 01, 2017
Update From Mojave: First Feather Flight Of VSS Unity Completed

As noted in our previous post, we’d learned enough from our past test flights to safely take the next step forward in our thorough test flight program. That step happened on a successful test flight conducted this morning from the Mojave Air and Space Port, during which we tested VSS Unity’s ‘feather’ re-entry system in flight for the first time.

Virgin Spaceship Unity flies freely after being released from Virgin Mothership Eve on 1 May 2017. During this test, the feather re-entry system was activated in flight for the first time.

This test follows after extensive testing of the feather system on the ground.

Full analysis of the data from today’s flight will, as always, take time; but initial reports from the pilots and from mission control are extremely encouraging.

VSS Unity was piloted today by Mark Stucky and Mike Masucci, with pilots Nicola Pecile and CJ Sturckow as well as flight test engineer Dustin Mosher in WhiteKnightTwo. Today’s test flight was the fourth glide flight (and eight flight overall) of VSS Unity, and the 227th flight of WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve.VSS Unity glides home after her first feather flight on 1st May 2017

Once data reviews are complete, we will move forward with our testing program—pressing onward with additional glide flights designed to expand our envelope of flight weights and centers of gravity. Please stay tuned to this site and our social media channels (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn) for more information as our flight testing program progresses.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: catdlr on 05/02/2017 04:41 AM
Elevating Unity - Episode 3: First Feather

Virgin Galactic

Published on May 1, 2017
On May 1st, 2017 VSS Unity "feather" re-entry system was activated in flight for the first time.

VSS Unity was piloted by Mark Stucky and Mike Masucci, with pilots Nicola Pecile and CJ Sturckow as well as flight test engineer Dustin Mosher in carrier aircraft VMS Eve. This test flight was the fourth glide flight (and eighth flight overall) of VSS Unity.

VSS Unity Project Engineer, Gabe Williams, describes the vehicle's unique feathering re-entry system.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOVh19cOpOc?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yOVh19cOpOc
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/09/2017 04:29 PM
Some interesting details on SS2 work:

Quote
Ever wondered how to build a spaceship? James Flynn, avionics engineering manager at The Spaceship Company, explains some of the technology that is going into Virgin Galactic’s spaceships…

https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/technology-and-teamwork-behind-vss-unity (https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/technology-and-teamwork-behind-vss-unity)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95I8b0pdr4Q (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95I8b0pdr4Q)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/19/2017 03:16 PM
Some intersting quotes from VG's Stephen Attenborough:

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/05/19/virgin-galactcs-attenborough-promises-greater-safety-spaceshiptwo/ (http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/05/19/virgin-galactcs-attenborough-promises-greater-safety-spaceshiptwo/)

based on a talk in Australia (report here (http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/aviation/virgins-space-flights-fully-booked-until-2021/news-story/5171757ae21cb9916f59e872a09624cf) but behind paywall).

Apparantly VG have sold 650 tickets, which is down from the 'nearly 700' they claimed a few years ago. Clearly the delays and accident have had an impact. Also interesting that if you bought a ticket now you'd fly around 2021. I'm sure VG used to talk about flying more people in their first year of operation than had every flown to space before (so over 500 in first year). Sounds to me like they're working on a lower flight rate now? Once a week maybe?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/01/2017 04:36 PM
Quote
Greetings from Mojave Air and Space Port! Our team is prepping for a #SpaceShipTwo flight test today

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/870316932511277056 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/870316932511277056)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: craigcocca on 06/01/2017 05:11 PM
Virgin Galactic‏Verified account @virgingalactic  15m15 minutes ago

 Take off! Today is 9th flight for VSS Unity #SpaceShipTwo, 230th for #WhiteKnightTwo.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/01/2017 05:51 PM
Quote
Today #SpaceShipTwo is loaded with water ballast to shift the center of gravity rearward to replicate rocket-powered flight!

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/870318833441091584 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/870318833441091584)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/01/2017 05:56 PM
Quote
VSS Unity has just been released from WhiteKnightTwo to glide home. 5th glide flight test for #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/870334563737882624 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/870334563737882624)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/01/2017 05:57 PM
Quote
As planned, our pilots have dumped the water ballast. #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/870335145248780288 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/870335145248780288)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/01/2017 05:59 PM
Quote
Another smooth landing for VSS Unity. In #SpaceShipTwo: pilots Dave Mackay and CJ Sturckow

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/870337306791747586 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/870337306791747586)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/01/2017 06:48 PM
Quote
WhiteKnightTwo has landed, completing today’s test. Crew today were pilots Kelly Latimer & Michael Masucci, flight test engr Colin Bennett

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/870350607424598016 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/870350607424598016)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/01/2017 06:52 PM
Quote
June 01, 2017
Update From Mojave: VSS Unity Loads Up For Latest Flight

VG04

Whatever might be said about Mojave – it is rarely a dull place!

Hot on the heels of yesterday’s exciting first appearance of the huge carrier aircraft from our Mojave neighbors Stratolaunch, our own vehicles took to the skies this morning for VSS Unity’s ninth test flight.

It was exactly a month ago that our spaceship last flew, successfully demonstrating its unique re-entry “feathering” mechanism for the first time in flight.

Today, VSS Unity pilots Dave Mackay and CJ Sturckow, had an equally busy test-card, but with the emphasis on proving the spaceship’s handling qualities, particularly at low speeds, with more weight on board than previously, and with a centre of gravity shifted towards the back of the vehicle.

This was achieved by loading around 1000lbs of water into a specially installed ballast tank in the rear of the spaceship’s fuselage. That enabled us to explore the flight conditions we will experience during rocket powered flights. By jettisoning the water ballast on descent, we were also able to confirm handling characteristics as the vehicle’s centre of gravity moved forward. Unity completed the flight with a safe and smooth landing in its lighter-weight configuration.

Today’s events represent another important milestone as we move towards the end of the of the initial glide test portion of the program and turn our attention to the spaceship’s propulsion system. To that end, as we analyse the data from today’s flight, we will be moving into a period of ground-based activity focussed on preparation for fuelled and then powered flights. As always, meticulous preparation and a focus on safety will determine next steps and timelines, but we expect to be back in the air in the not too distant future.

http://www.virgingalactic.com/update-from-mojave-vss-unity-loads-up-for-latest-flight/ (http://www.virgingalactic.com/update-from-mojave-vss-unity-loads-up-for-latest-flight/)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/03/2017 03:26 PM
Quote
Sirisha Bandla of Virgin Galactic discussing the use of SpaceShipTwo for microgravity research. #DPSS17
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/871014871726399488 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/871014871726399488)

Quote
Virgin sticking to plans to remove five seats for payload racks on µg research flights, leaving one seat for a payload specialist. #DPSS17
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/871015567645261825 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/871015567645261825)

Quote
Bandla: primarily working with NASA’s Flight Opportunities program for research flights. Those will be going “above 80 km.” #DPSS17
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/871017245735923712 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/871017245735923712)

Quote
Bandla: there will be opportunities to fly research payloads while still in the SS2 flight test program, before flying tourists. #DPSS17
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/871018377526919168 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/871018377526919168)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/10/2017 02:56 PM
Quote
RICHARD BRANSON SAYS VIRGIN GALACTIC SHOULD BE IN SPACE BY DECEMBER

A preview of our full interview with Richard Branson, available in the current issue of British GQ

STORY BY CHARLIE BURTON
TUESDAY 6 JUNE 2017

http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/virgin-galactic-richard-branson (http://www.gq-magazine.co.uk/article/virgin-galactic-richard-branson)

From the preview:

Quote
On when he hopes to go to space
"I certainly would be very disappointed if I don't go up next year. And I would hope it's earlier than later in the year," he says. "The programme says that we should be [testing] in space by December, as long as we don't have any setbacks between now and then."
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/12/2017 07:24 PM
Quote
'The benefits of having a spaceship in your office' blog post by @TheSpaceshipCo Stephen King via @gtwhitesides https://www.virgin.com/entrepreneur/benefits-having-spaceship-your-office

https://twitter.com/ac_charania/status/874339486611587072 (https://twitter.com/ac_charania/status/874339486611587072)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: SDSmith on 06/13/2017 11:58 AM
In the first photo above it looks like they have started a building a second space craft. I see a frame holding a shell that looks like part of the passenger cabin and to the left of the frame the white covered item looks to be the other half.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Davp99 on 06/16/2017 10:45 PM
Could be , I'm sure they will need more than "The One".   
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Eric Hedman on 07/05/2017 08:12 PM
An article in Bloomberg that says they are ready to start powered test flights:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-05/branson-targets-space-by-mid-2018-as-virgin-begins-powered-tests (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-05/branson-targets-space-by-mid-2018-as-virgin-begins-powered-tests)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: zlynn1990 on 07/05/2017 08:27 PM
Apologies if this has already been discussed, but I'm curious how VG decided on the hybrid rocket engine. Wouldn't a bi-propellant rocket offer superior performance and re-usability? The article above mentions a powered test every three weeks, but I'm curious how long it takes to actually re-fuel and fly again once they get into the commercial stage.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: GWH on 07/05/2017 08:30 PM
Because a hybrid motor was supposed to be easier, and at a smaller scale and for a prototype this was true.

That design decision is said to be one of the reasons they still aren't flying 13 years later.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Kabloona on 07/05/2017 09:58 PM
Because a hybrid motor was supposed to be easier...

And also "supposed to be safer," a belief unfortunately called into question by the fatal accident at the motor test site.

So this program is managing to defy not just one but several  "suppositions" about hybrids.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Dao Angkan on 07/05/2017 10:23 PM
At least they never gave up, hopefully we'll see it fly soon.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: imprezive on 07/06/2017 05:47 AM
Because a hybrid motor was supposed to be easier...

And also "supposed to be safer," a belief unfortunately called into question by the fatal accident at the motor test site.

So this program is managing to defy not just one but several  "suppositions" about hybrids.

Scaled Composites had an accident not Virgin Galactic and the test stand exploded not the engine.

Quote
Rutan said the suspected culprit, nitrous oxide, normally is "not considered a hazardous material." Commonly called laughing gas, it is found in dental offices and is used by hot-rodders to boost the horsepower on their vehicles' engines.

According to Rutan, company employees were examining the rate at which the propellant flows through an opening. He emphasized that the test, conducted at room temperatures, did not involve igniting the rocket motor or sparking any fire.

http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jul/27/local/me-explode27
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 07/06/2017 06:15 AM
It's time to get going on the sub-orbital test flights of this system. Light the candle and just get on with it! Otherwise, start refunding the passengers and get them to reapply later, if they want to. The test stand and flight test accidents were years ago now. If Virgin Galactic is running scared, or merely bogged down in bureaucratic red tape and this-is-harder-than-we-thought inertia - they need to come clean.

Something big and positive needs to happen, soon. Very soon. Spaceport USA in New Mexico is sitting idle, hemorrhaging money and wanting/needing more. This simply cannot go on much longer. There's too many cynical people and flat earth morons who already think this is all a waste of money as it is.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lars-J on 07/06/2017 06:28 AM
Because a hybrid motor was supposed to be easier...

And also "supposed to be safer," a belief unfortunately called into question by the fatal accident at the motor test site.

So this program is managing to defy not just one but several  "suppositions" about hybrids.

Scaled Composites had an accident not Virgin Galactic and the test stand exploded not the engine.

Quote
Rutan said the suspected culprit, nitrous oxide, normally is "not considered a hazardous material." Commonly called laughing gas, it is found in dental offices and is used by hot-rodders to boost the horsepower on their vehicles' engines.

According to Rutan, company employees were examining the rate at which the propellant flows through an opening. He emphasized that the test, conducted at room temperatures, did not involve igniting the rocket motor or sparking any fire.

http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jul/27/local/me-explode27

That is beside the point. It proved that the "safe oxidizer" was not as safe as thought.

Apologies if this has already been discussed, but I'm curious how VG decided on the hybrid rocket engine. Wouldn't a bi-propellant rocket offer superior performance and re-usability? The article above mentions a powered test every three weeks, but I'm curious how long it takes to actually re-fuel and fly again once they get into the commercial stage.

You are absolutely correct. Hybrid rockets (when scaled up to this size) are not safe, not cheap, and do not have a short turn-around time. All this makes them a terrible choice for a passenger carrying spacecraft (or any spacecraft), but VG seem hell-bent on moving forward with them.

At this point it should be pretty clear to everyone that hybrid rocket propulsion was the single biggest mistake that VG has made. Why they didn't take the chance to switch to a liquid bi-prop system during the accident investigation downtime will remain a mystery. But I need to stop... I should stop beating this "dead horse" of a topic.  :)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: imprezive on 07/06/2017 06:53 AM
Because a hybrid motor was supposed to be easier...

And also "supposed to be safer," a belief unfortunately called into question by the fatal accident at the motor test site.

So this program is managing to defy not just one but several  "suppositions" about hybrids.

Scaled Composites had an accident not Virgin Galactic and the test stand exploded not the engine.

Quote
Rutan said the suspected culprit, nitrous oxide, normally is "not considered a hazardous material." Commonly called laughing gas, it is found in dental offices and is used by hot-rodders to boost the horsepower on their vehicles' engines.

According to Rutan, company employees were examining the rate at which the propellant flows through an opening. He emphasized that the test, conducted at room temperatures, did not involve igniting the rocket motor or sparking any fire.

http://articles.latimes.com/2007/jul/27/local/me-explode27

That is beside the point. It proved that the "safe oxidizer" was not as safe as thought.

Apologies if this has already been discussed, but I'm curious how VG decided on the hybrid rocket engine. Wouldn't a bi-propellant rocket offer superior performance and re-usability? The article above mentions a powered test every three weeks, but I'm curious how long it takes to actually re-fuel and fly again once they get into the commercial stage.

You are absolutely correct. Hybrid rockets (when scaled up to this size) are not safe, not cheap, and do not have a short turn-around time. All this makes them a terrible choice for a passenger carrying spacecraft (or any spacecraft), but VG seem hell-bent on moving forward with them.

At this point it should be pretty clear to everyone that hybrid rocket propulsion was the single biggest mistake that VG has made. Why they didn't take the chance to switch to a liquid bi-prop system during the accident investigation downtime will remain a mystery. But I need to stop... I should stop beating this "dead horse" of a topic.  :)

Proved how? Did people previously think it wasn't explosive? Even Brian Spilner was warned he could blow himself up with it.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Katana on 07/06/2017 12:37 PM
Apologies if this has already been discussed, but I'm curious how VG decided on the hybrid rocket engine. Wouldn't a bi-propellant rocket offer superior performance and re-usability? The article above mentions a powered test every three weeks, but I'm curious how long it takes to actually re-fuel and fly again once they get into the commercial stage.
Anyway, SS1 is successful.
I'm curious why VG decided to scale up SS2 to 10 seats instead of 2.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Cherokee43v6 on 07/06/2017 12:53 PM

Anyway, SS1 is successful.
I'm curious why VG decided to scale up SS2 to 10 seats instead of 2.

Space.

"This is your Captain speaking.  You are now free to float about the cabin."
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Robotbeat on 07/06/2017 01:08 PM
And the fact that SS1/2 aren't very amenable to rapid reuse. You're probably only going to do one launch per day, maybe two. Whereas a Lynx (RIP) could do probably half a dozen.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 08/04/2017 02:59 PM
There will be a test flight today:

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic

Tweet1: VSS Unity is loaded with rocket motor systems and water ballast to simulate weight & positioning #SpaceShipTwo

Tweet2: This flight test will help us prepare for future rocket-powered flights #SpaceShipTwo
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 08/04/2017 04:02 PM
Virgin Galactic‏Verified account @virgingalactic  2m2 minutes ago
More
 Take off! VMS Eve & VSS Unity have taken to the skies! #SpaceShipTwo #WhiteKnightTwo
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 08/04/2017 06:00 PM
Virgin Galactic‏Verified account @virgingalactic  55m55 minutes ago
More
 Touch down! Another smooth landing for VSS Unity. In VSS Unity today were pilots Dave Mackay and CJ Sturckow #SpaceShipTwo

VMS Eve has landed, completing today’s test. Crew today were pilots Pecile & Masucci and flight test engineer Mosher #WhiteKnightTwo
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: yg1968 on 08/04/2017 06:34 PM
Here is an article on the test flight:
https://www.geekwire.com/2017/virgin-galactics-spaceshiptwo-plane-glides-weightier-test-flight/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/04/2017 08:26 PM
Quote
Important spaceship flight today. Checkout of propulsion system, feather, + nice full aft CG landing. Well done to ground and flight crews!

https://twitter.com/gtwhitesides/status/893529019773108224
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/04/2017 08:37 PM
Quote
August 04, 2017
Update From Mojave: VSS Unity Flies With Propulsion Systems Installed And Live

http://www.virgingalactic.com/update-from-mojave-vss-unity-flies-with-propulsion-systems-installed-and-live/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: LooksFlyable on 08/04/2017 10:32 PM
Excellent. Here's hoping the remainder of their tests go smoothly.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lars-J on 08/04/2017 11:42 PM
Quote
August 04, 2017
Update From Mojave: VSS Unity Flies With Propulsion Systems Installed And Live

http://www.virgingalactic.com/update-from-mojave-vss-unity-flies-with-propulsion-systems-installed-and-live/

...*Some* propulsion system, not all, it seems. The nozzle and solid part of the hybrid system appears to be missing.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 08/05/2017 12:07 AM
Quote
Important spaceship flight today. Checkout of propulsion system, feather, + nice full aft CG landing. Well done to ground and flight crews!

https://twitter.com/gtwhitesides/status/893529019773108224

In response to the above tweet:

Quote
Does that mean engine firing on next flight?
https://twitter.com/safenotanoption/status/893579342017470464

Quote
No, not quite yet.  Still have a few more things to work and test before we get to that milestone.  But getting closer now.
https://twitter.com/gtwhitesides/status/893615804943433728
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Oli on 08/05/2017 07:16 AM
Apologies if this has already been discussed, but I'm curious how VG decided on the hybrid rocket engine. Wouldn't a bi-propellant rocket offer superior performance and re-usability? The article above mentions a powered test every three weeks, but I'm curious how long it takes to actually re-fuel and fly again once they get into the commercial stage.

Here's a good summary:

Quote
The hybrid is inherently safer than other rocket designs.
The idea is to store the oxidizer as a liquid and the fuel as a solid, producing a design
that is less susceptible to chemical explosion than conventional solid and bi-propellant
liquid designs. The fuel is contained within the rocket combustion chamber in the form
of a cylinder with a circular channel called a port hollowed out along its axis. Upon
ignition, a diffusion flame forms over the fuel surface along the length of the port. The
combustion is sustained by heat transfer from the flame to the solid fuel causing continuous
fuel vaporization until the oxidizer flow is turned off. In the event of a structural failure,
oxidizer and fuel cannot mix intimately leading to a catastrophic explosion that might
endanger personnel or destroy a launch pad.

The idea of the hybrid rocket has been known since the first flight in 1933 by Soviet
researchers, but wasn’t given serious attention until the 1960’s. The primary motivation
was the non-explosive character of the fuel, which led to safety in both operation and
manufacture. The fuel could be fabricated at any conventional commercial site and even
at the launch complex with no danger of explosion. Thus a large cost saving could be
realized both in manufacture and launch operation. Additional advantages over the solid
rocket are: greatly reduced sensitivity to cracks and de-bonds in the propellant, better
specific impulse, throttle-ability to optimize the trajectory during atmospheric launch and
orbit injection and the ability to thrust terminate on demand. The products of combustion
are environmentally benign unlike conventional solids that produce acid forming gases such
as hydrogen chloride.

The hybrid rocket requires one rather than two liquid containment and delivery systems.
The complexity is further reduced by omission of a regenerative cooling system for both
the chamber and nozzle. Throttling control in a hybrid is simpler because it alleviates
the requirement to match the momenta of the dual propellant streams during the mixing
process. Throttle ratios up to 10 have been common in hybrid motors. The fact that the
fuel is in the solid phase makes it very easy to add performance enhancing materials to the
fuel such as aluminum powder. In principle, this could enable the hybrid to gain an Isp
advantage over a comparable hydrocarbon fueled liquid system.

From here:

https://web.stanford.edu/~cantwell/AA283_Course_Material/
AA283_Course_Notes/AA283_Aircraft_and_Rocket_Propulsion_Ch_11_BJ_Cantwell.pdf
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 08/05/2017 08:25 PM
The rubber-nitrous hybrid worked for SS1, but it was a pretty rough ride. It had two additional safety problems: the volatile nature of the nitrous oxide, a mono propellant Rutan and his team didn't take the time to understand until after they had killed three people; and the rubber fuel, which can burn unevenly, get caught in the rocket nozzle and cause an explosion. Some people think that nearly happened on one of SpaceShipOne's flights.

This made the engine difficult to scale up. It took 10 years of development and a fatal explosion for them to produce something they could fire in flight for more than 20 seconds. Then they had the crash that resulted from Alsbury's mistake and the failure of Scaled to do a proper analysis of pilot error. Rather than having Scaled correct that error, the FAA had issued a waiver. Whether it would have made any difference we'll never know.

People urged Rutan to switch to a liquid motor for SS2, but he refused. That decision cost three people their lives and delayed the program for years and years.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: cscott on 08/06/2017 12:44 AM
I would phrase it as, "hybrids promise improved safety and simplicity...".  So far that promise has been unfulfilled.  As Jim says, it is still possible that someone will engineer the right match of propellants and system design to make it all work as promised.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/06/2017 02:56 AM
In a liquid engine, a huge amount of effort is invested in shaping the combustion chamber, and in controlling the dynamics of mixing the propellants.

In a solid engine, the combustion chamber is this mutating void that keeps growing as fuel is spent.
Mixing happens on a semi-molten layer, between a solid and a gas.  It too is a lot less controlled.

Thus, performance is low.

The "Industrial accident" proved that the oxidizer is not a "no brainer" inert chemical as was proposed.  It carries similar risk as handling O2. Which raises the question: "So why bother"?

The other inherent faults of the system:

- Release before ignition.  You're dropping a fueled, manned, spacecraft from an airplane, without checking the engines.  If the engine starts badly, you're in an undefined state - the engine may have kicked sideways, you may be in a spin, there's an unknown amount of oxidizer on board (since you're presumably trying to dump it ASAP), etc.   

- No escape system.  Given the above point, it's negligent not to have an escape system.  Every normal rocket tests the lit engines before it commits - and then normally has an escape system for the manned payload.

- Compared to any other design, it is a flimsy composite shell with large aerodynamic surfaces - not ideal at all for high-speed re-entry or for survivability.

As for the flight accident, the NTSB clearly put the main blame on the design.  It employed the "substitution test": it asked whether it was likely that any other competent pilot would have made the same mistake under the same circumstances.  The answer was "yes".
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 08/06/2017 03:28 AM
In a liquid engine, a huge amount of effort is invested in shaping the combustion chamber, and in controlling the dynamics of mixing the propellants.

In a solid engine, the combustion chamber is this mutating void that keeps growing as fuel is spent.
Mixing happens on a semi-molten layer, between a solid and a gas.  It too is a lot less controlled.

Thus, performance is low.

The "Industrial accident" proved that the oxidizer is not a "no brainer" inert chemical as was proposed.  It carries similar risk as handling O2. Which raises the question: "So why bother"?

The other inherent faults of the system:

- Release before ignition.  You're dropping a fueled, manned, spacecraft from an airplane, without checking the engines.  If the engine starts badly, you're in an undefined state - the engine may have kicked sideways, you may be in a spin, there's an unknown amount of oxidizer on board (since you're presumably trying to dump it ASAP), etc.   

- No escape system.  Given the above point, it's negligent not to have an escape system.  Every normal rocket tests the lit engines before it commits - and then normally has an escape system for the manned payload.

As for the flight accident, the NTSB clearly put the main blame on the design.  It employed the "substitution test": it asked whether it was likely that any other competent pilot would have made the same mistake under the same circumstances.  The answer was "yes".

The NTSB report found the FAA official who reviewed Scaled's safety analysis for the initial experimental permit was not very experienced. Scaled did the analysis as if SS2 was an aircraft. That was not enough. One of the FAA's experts said, "The game changes above 50,000 feet." But, the analysis was approved and the permit granted in 2012.

There was an influx of experienced safety personnel into the FAA following the end of the shuttle program. They realized the analysis was insufficient in areas of pilot and software errors. Rather than have Scaled redo the analysis and further delay the program, George Nield signed a waiver after the one-year permit was renewed in 2013.

The industry was able to put a lot of pressure on FAA AST to approve permits and launch licenses and so on. That resulted from the way the rules were written in 2004 to limit oversight and also require the office to promote the industry. So you had people who thought they knew what they were doing but didn't and were eager to move the program forward successfully pressuring FAA AST to provide a waiver in an area that needed far better analysis. And then a pilot error destroys the only ship, kills the co-pilot and brings the whole program to a screeching halt.

Whether a more thorough analysis would have prevented that accident we'll never know.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TruthIsStranger on 08/06/2017 08:11 PM
In a liquid engine, a huge amount of effort is invested in shaping the combustion chamber, and in controlling the dynamics of mixing the propellants.
...
The "Industrial accident" proved that the oxidizer is not a "no brainer" inert chemical as was proposed.  It carries similar risk as handling O2. Which raises the question: "So why bother"?

The other inherent faults of the system:

- Release before ignition.  You're dropping a fueled, manned, spacecraft from an airplane, without checking the engines.  If the engine starts badly, you're in an undefined state - the engine may have kicked sideways, you may be in a spin, there's an unknown amount of oxidizer on board (since you're presumably trying to dump it ASAP), etc.   

- No escape system.  Given the above point, it's negligent not to have an escape system.  Every normal rocket tests the lit engines before it commits - and then normally has an escape system for the manned payload.

- Compared to any other design, it is a flimsy composite shell with large aerodynamic surfaces - not ideal at all for high-speed re-entry or for survivability.

As for the flight accident, the NTSB clearly put the main blame on the design.  It employed the "substitution test": it asked whether it was likely that any other competent pilot would have made the same mistake under the same circumstances.  The answer was "yes".

It's always easy to be a critic and make generalizations. But it's hard to actually do better. Here's my take on what you list as faults.

Point 1 -- I agree, a huge amount of effort is invested in designing, testing, and integrating a liquid engine. In fact, that's why it takes the big boys years to do so. For those that suggest that Burt should have used a liquid motor for SS2, what examples can you give of a successful 70,000 lb-class liquid motor that was safe, affordable, and reusable/refurbishable? (And how reusable is it -- 5 flights? 10 flights? And what's that amortized cost?)? It's tough enough to get a large industry supplier to make a short run of parts for a small company when their long-term profit stream is so dependent on the big boys (NASA, DOD, and commercial satellite payloads). Who could Burt or VG have contracted out such a motor to? And if you think XCOR then you haven't done your homework.

Point 2 -- you imply liquid N2O has similar risks to O2 but the real apples to apples would be liquid N2O to LOX. Let me see, how different are the storage, system integration, and operating requirements for non-cryogenics as compared to cryogenics?! Although LOX is technically non-flammable all you have to do is mishandle it slightly and it's much more likely to wreak death and destruction than nitrous. Watch the old Navy training film "Man From LOX" to see more.

Point 3 -- just how dangerous is release before ignition? Aside from rail launched forward firing missiles I can't think of any air launch of rockets that ignite prior to release. Your examples of a hard start kicking the motor sideways, putting it in a spin or whatever are kind of bizarre. Such risks needs to be designed out or properly mitigated in any launch system, even those that ignite prior to launch. And since most rocket systems are multi-stage, all their subsequent stages ignite "after release" so it can't be that bad of a concept.

Point 4 -- having an escape system. What most people think of as an escape system has a very limited envelope of speed and altitude and is designed to be used when the vehicle is relatively low and slow. With the air release, you are never low and slow so an immediate rocket motor shutdown should only result in a jettison of whatever unused propellants or oxidizer are required to land safely. A later but premature shutdown would simply follow a shorter parabolic flight trajectory just like the capsules do. In fact, Scaled demonstrated such recoveries on their first 3 powered flights of SS2. Having the normal system be the abort system might be both safe and efficient.

Point 5 -- flimsy aerodynamic design. Not sure what your qualifications are to label SS2 as flimsy. It does fold in half to greatly increase its ballistic coefficient and descend in a stable shuttlecock manner. And by doing so it spreads the heat energy over a much larger area. I'm not sure what's wrong with that idea or why it might not actually be more robust than some capsules or high speed non-feathering gliding designs.


Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/06/2017 10:57 PM
In a liquid engine, a huge amount of effort is invested in shaping the combustion chamber, and in controlling the dynamics of mixing the propellants.
...
The "Industrial accident" proved that the oxidizer is not a "no brainer" inert chemical as was proposed.  It carries similar risk as handling O2. Which raises the question: "So why bother"?

The other inherent faults of the system:

- Release before ignition.  You're dropping a fueled, manned, spacecraft from an airplane, without checking the engines.  If the engine starts badly, you're in an undefined state - the engine may have kicked sideways, you may be in a spin, there's an unknown amount of oxidizer on board (since you're presumably trying to dump it ASAP), etc.   

- No escape system.  Given the above point, it's negligent not to have an escape system.  Every normal rocket tests the lit engines before it commits - and then normally has an escape system for the manned payload.

- Compared to any other design, it is a flimsy composite shell with large aerodynamic surfaces - not ideal at all for high-speed re-entry or for survivability.

As for the flight accident, the NTSB clearly put the main blame on the design.  It employed the "substitution test": it asked whether it was likely that any other competent pilot would have made the same mistake under the same circumstances.  The answer was "yes".

It's always easy to be a critic and make generalizations. But it's hard to actually do better. Here's my take on what you list as faults.


You can say that about any criticism, so it hardly means anything.  Sure, there's plenty of hindsight zero-value criticisms out there, but if you take care to justify what you say, it's still valid.

Quote

Point 1 -- I agree, a huge amount of effort is invested in designing, testing, and integrating a liquid engine. In fact, that's why it takes the big boys years to do so. For those that suggest that Burt should have used a liquid motor for SS2, what examples can you give of a successful 70,000 lb-class liquid motor that was safe, affordable, and reusable/refurbishable? (And how reusable is it -- 5 flights? 10 flights? And what's that amortized cost?)? It's tough enough to get a large industry supplier to make a short run of parts for a small company when their long-term profit stream is so dependent on the big boys (NASA, DOD, and commercial satellite payloads). Who could Burt or VG have contracted out such a motor to? And if you think XCOR then you haven't done your homework.

Point 2 -- you imply liquid N2O has similar risks to O2 but the real apples to apples would be liquid N2O to LOX. Let me see, how different are the storage, system integration, and operating requirements for non-cryogenics as compared to cryogenics?! Although LOX is technically non-flammable all you have to do is mishandle it slightly and it's much more likely to wreak death and destruction than nitrous. Watch the old Navy training film "Man From LOX" to see more.


Yes, LOX is dangerous, but the point is that N2O is not as inert as they treated it.

Quote


Point 3 -- just how dangerous is release before ignition? Aside from rail launched forward firing missiles I can't think of any air launch of rockets that ignite prior to release. Your examples of a hard start kicking the motor sideways, putting it in a spin or whatever are kind of bizarre. Such risks needs to be designed out or properly mitigated in any launch system, even those that ignite prior to launch. And since most rocket systems are multi-stage, all their subsequent stages ignite "after release" so it can't be that bad of a concept.


Exactly.  Clearly they can't ignite while still strapped to the mothership.  So air drop basically means you have to release first, and that leads you down a path that's incompatible with manned flight.

Quote


Point 4 -- having an escape system. What most people think of as an escape system has a very limited envelope of speed and altitude and is designed to be used when the vehicle is relatively low and slow. With the air release, you are never low and slow so an immediate rocket motor shutdown should only result in a jettison of whatever unused propellants or oxidizer are required to land safely. A later but premature shutdown would simply follow a shorter parabolic flight trajectory just like the capsules do. In fact, Scaled demonstrated such recoveries on their first 3 powered flights of SS2. Having the normal system be the abort system might be both safe and efficient.


A "normal" escape system liberates a rigid and relatively inert manned capsule from the larger vehicle, and uses brute force to keep it stable for the seconds required to separate and transition to free-fall / parachutes.  It is useful during most stages of launch.

With SS1/2, you're at high altitude, low speed, and unless the airplane escaped unscathed (aerodynamically) and can glide in a controlled manner, you're dead.

Quote

Point 5 -- flimsy aerodynamic design. Not sure what your qualifications are to label SS2 as flimsy. It does fold in half to greatly increase its ballistic coefficient and descend in a stable shuttlecock manner. And by doing so it spreads the heat energy over a much larger area. I'm not sure what's wrong with that idea or why it might not actually be more robust than some capsules or high speed non-feathering gliding designs.


Well, one is a compact pressure shell.  The other has wide slender surfaces that are mission-critical.  The folding in half just adds to the complexity and risk, but even a regular glider is flimsy compared with a capsule.

If you were to take the body of SS2 ,with no wings, or tail assembly, and mount it on a rocket, then it's be comparable.  But then it wouldn't be SS2 of course.

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Jim on 08/06/2017 11:25 PM
"So air drop basically means you have to release first, and that leads you down a path that's incompatible with manned flight."

Which is 100% wrong. It is no different than S1/S2 staging on typical launch vehicles. 
The drop aircraft is just the first stage.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/07/2017 12:00 AM
"So air drop basically means you have to release first, and that leads you down a path that's incompatible with manned flight."

Which is 100% wrong. It is no different than S1/S2 staging on typical launch vehicles. 
The drop aircraft is just the first stage.

It's a very flawed analogy, since the airplane "first stage" gives you a tiny bit of altitude, a tiny bit of speed.

For all practical purposes, the vehicle is closer to sitting on the ground than it is to being released by a real first stage - and yet it is in the same predicament of being beyond the commit point.

When a second stage fires on a normal rocket, it is already outside the atmosphere, and has an escape system still available to it.

Overall, from a system's perspective, the sum total of a conventional rocket is safer than an air-launched system.

For an apples-to-apples comparison, the benchmark will be BO's NS system, which demonstrates that an escape system is possible even in the realm of suborbital flight.

 
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Jim on 08/07/2017 12:58 AM

It's a very flawed analogy, since the airplane "first stage" gives you a tiny bit of altitude, a tiny bit of speed.

For all practical purposes, the vehicle is closer to sitting on the ground than it is to being released by a real first stage - and yet it is in the same predicament of being beyond the commit point.

When a second stage fires on a normal rocket, it is already outside the atmosphere, and has an escape system still available to it.

Overall, from a system's perspective, the sum total of a conventional rocket is safer than an air-launched system.
 

wrong again.  It is an exact analogy, see Pegasus, X-15, X-1, X-2, NOTS, etc.  The primary benefit is lower air density,  altitude and speed.

And just like X-15, X-1 and X-2, SS-2 can be launched within gliding range of an abort landing site.
 

Overall, from a system's perspective, the sum total of a conventional rocket is safer than an air-launched system.
 

That is a very flawed and unsubstantiated statement.

A winged craft can have graceful degradation in its systems.

Rocket abort systems are not 100% guarantee.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/07/2017 01:07 AM

It's a very flawed analogy, since the airplane "first stage" gives you a tiny bit of altitude, a tiny bit of speed.

For all practical purposes, the vehicle is closer to sitting on the ground than it is to being released by a real first stage - and yet it is in the same predicament of being beyond the commit point.

When a second stage fires on a normal rocket, it is already outside the atmosphere, and has an escape system still available to it.

Overall, from a system's perspective, the sum total of a conventional rocket is safer than an air-launched system.
 

wrong again.  It is an exact analogy, see Pegasus, X-15, X-1, X-2, NOTS, etc.  The primary benefit is lower air density,  altitude and speed.

And just like X-15, X-1 and X-2, SS-2 can be launched within gliding range of an abort landing site.
 

Overall, from a system's perspective, the sum total of a conventional rocket is safer than an air-launched system.
 

That is a very flawed and unsubstantiated statement.

A winged craft can have graceful degradation in its systems.

Rocket abort systems are not 100% guarantee.

NOTS and Pegasus are unmanned.  For unmanned payloads, air-drop is fine.  (There's still an argument whether it makes sense, in an orbital context - but that's a different issue)

X-15 was a military research vehicle.  It was a superb achievement.  Still, it is not a good choice for manned spaceflight.

And yes, of course you drop within glide range of an airstrip, that goes without saying.  The problem is that it takes very little in terms of damage to make your glider not airworthy.  The SS2 form factor makes it worse.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TruthIsStranger on 08/07/2017 01:50 AM
I'd love to see 3D accelerometer traces from all of the pad aborts done by SX and BO but I'd be especially interested in the max Q abort test BO did last October. The unedited YouTube videos show very energetic attitude excursions that even with very rough video cuts are at least several G accelerations with average angular rates during an oscillation in the order of 40 deg/sec. That means the instantaneous Gs and rates were much higher. It would be interesting to compare those traces with Scaled's 20 second burns on their 2nd and 3rd powered flights which were also close to their max Q. It would appear a no-light situation would be similar to one of their cold flow tests where they flowed nitrous for a few seconds and then dumped the rest in the glide. And those "aborts" appear to be rather graceful. One's definition of a "flawed system" is definitely in the eye of the beholder   ;)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Jim on 08/07/2017 01:52 AM
Not true, it takes more than a little damage to make a glider not flight worthy.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/07/2017 07:41 AM
Not true, it takes more than a little damage to make a glider not flight worthy.

That's qualitative, but in comparison to a capsule - yes, very little damage.

Aerodynamic surfaces by their very nature are susceptible to damage, and airplanes that manage to land with damaged surfaces make the headlines because they are the exception, not the rule.

Especially when this particular glider is optimized to be a spaceship, not a glider.  It is optimized to glide after the engine is depleted, and while you can vent the oxidizer, you can't get rid of the solid fuel.

I'd hate to be in that position, of trying to recover a heavy and even minimally damaged SS2 and try to land it without crashing.

Again, the aerodynamics add complexity and reduce safety, when compared to an "up and down" VTVL like BO's NS.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Ric Capucho on 08/07/2017 07:44 AM
So this is basically a continuation of the capsule versus rocket-plane argument dating back to the 1960s?

Ric


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Jim on 08/07/2017 01:28 PM

Again, the aerodynamics add complexity and reduce safety, when compared to an "up and down" VTVL like BO's NS.

No, VTVL is more complex than a glider and more susceptible to failure, much like a helicopter vs glider.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/07/2017 03:03 PM
Wings are always safer than parachutes for landing. SS2 hybrid engine should be safer than NS booster which is big bomb when fully loaded.

Where NS shines is having LAS whens go wrong.
Which is safer time will tell, but if NS flies regularly ie 1-2 a week then sooner or later the LAS will be put to test.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/07/2017 03:21 PM
Wings are always safer than parachutes for landing.
Based on what? Wings are fragile and are always exposed, and the complex feather mechanism already killed one pilot and nearly another.
Quote
SS2 hybrid engine should be safer than NS booster which is big bomb when fully loaded.
not at all. Hybrids are, in actuality, no safer. Scaled/VG/etc had serious problems with hybrids exploding, and SS1 is that to nearly have exploded due to clogged nozzle. And the nitrous tank exploded, killed people already. Your statements SEEM like they could've been true, but we have actual experience suggesting the very opposite.
Quote
Where NS shines is having LAS whens go wrong.
Which is safer time will tell
Time has already told. The hybrids and feathered wing approach killed multiple people already while NS, which has flewn to space multiple times now, has not had an incident which destroyed the capsule (which would've killed any occupants) nor resulted in death. And the fact it can be flown uncrewed is another point in its favor since they can test it a bunch without risking killing anyone.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: CameronD on 08/07/2017 11:06 PM
So this is basically a continuation of the capsule versus rocket-plane argument dating back to the 1960s?

It sure sounds like it... Bring on the trained monkeys!   ::)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/08/2017 06:32 AM
So this is basically a continuation of the capsule versus rocket-plane argument dating back to the 1960s?

It sure sounds like it... Bring on the trained monkeys!   ::)

We'd like to think of ourselves as "skilled primates", but either way, wherever a good debate beacons, wherever reason is in distress - this is where you'll find us!  :)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: LooksFlyable on 08/09/2017 12:13 AM
Wings are always safer than parachutes for landing.
Based on what? Wings are fragile and are always exposed, and the complex feather mechanism already killed one pilot and nearly another.
Quote
SS2 hybrid engine should be safer than NS booster which is big bomb when fully loaded.
not at all. Hybrids are, in actuality, no safer. Scaled/VG/etc had serious problems with hybrids exploding, and SS1 is that to nearly have exploded due to clogged nozzle. And the nitrous tank exploded, killed people already. Your statements SEEM like they could've been true, but we have actual experience suggesting the very opposite.
Quote
Where NS shines is having LAS whens go wrong.
Which is safer time will tell
Time has already told. The hybrids and feathered wing approach killed multiple people already while NS, which has flewn to space multiple times now, has not had an incident which destroyed the capsule (which would've killed any occupants) nor resulted in death. And the fact it can be flown uncrewed is another point in its favor since they can test it a bunch without risking killing anyone.

If we are talking about concepts in general, not necessarily VG's solution, then I'm no sure I agree that a capsule/parachute and a VTVL booster would end up being safer than a plane/glider. VG's accident was actually  a matter of human error, a pilot pushing a button or pulling a lever at the wrong time, something that could also happen with a VTVL. If someone makes the mistake of pushing the abort button or overrides a separation at the wrong time, that can lead to catastrophic results in a VTVL as well.

It goes beyond safety though. If we are to assume we will reach a point of "millions of people" in space, then VTVL requires a serious investment in worldwide launch complex infrastructure. If we can eventually crack achieving orbit using rocketplanes that take off from runways, it just makes more sense that is the way we will go due to all the available infrastructure in place all over the world. And not just in terms of cost, but location logistics.  Nobody wants to fly 10 hours across the continent to get to one of the few  launch complexes available to go to space, if we can eventually do it from a nearby airport.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/09/2017 12:51 AM
Wings are always safer than parachutes for landing.
Based on what? Wings are fragile and are always exposed, and the complex feather mechanism already killed one pilot and nearly another.


The thousands of incident free plane landings every day would say suggest wings are safer, I doubt parachutes would provides thousands of deployments without incident. Shuttle never had failure during landing.
 
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/09/2017 05:45 AM
Wings are always safer than parachutes for landing.
Based on what? Wings are fragile and are always exposed, and the complex feather mechanism already killed one pilot and nearly another.

The thousands of incident free plane landings every day would say suggest wings are safer, I doubt parachutes would provides thousands of deployments without incident. Shuttle never had failure during landing.

Shuttle had a failure during reentry because an aerodynamic surface was exposed and was damaged during ascent.

This attests directly to the vulnerability of wings on a spacecraft, even if SS2's configuration is not identical.

---

The thousands of accident-free flights taking place every day are irrelevant, since those are airplanes.  Nobody said airplanes are unsafe.

The issue discussed above is the danger of wings on a spacecraft, including specifically when air-dropped and having mid-air ignition.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: mn on 08/09/2017 02:48 PM
... The hybrids and feathered wing approach killed multiple people already ...

Were there other spacecraft accidents using this approach? Or are you referring just to the SS(1/2/3) program? (I guess it's multiple if you count the flight accident and the tank explosion, just wondering if that is what you mean or is there more?)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 08/09/2017 02:55 PM
Wings are always safer than parachutes for landing.
Based on what? Wings are fragile and are always exposed, and the complex feather mechanism already killed one pilot and nearly another.

The thousands of incident free plane landings every day would say suggest wings are safer, I doubt parachutes would provides thousands of deployments without incident. Shuttle never had failure during landing.

Shuttle had a failure during reentry because an aerodynamic surface was exposed and was damaged during ascent.

This attests directly to the vulnerability of wings on a spacecraft, even if SS2's configuration is not identical.

---

The thousands of accident-free flights taking place every day are irrelevant, since those are airplanes.  Nobody said airplanes are unsafe.

The issue discussed above is the danger of wings on a spacecraft, including specifically when air-dropped and having mid-air ignition.
X-15 never had a wing fail during the entire program including the astro-flights...Just sayin' ???
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Jim on 08/09/2017 03:10 PM

Shuttle had a failure during reentry because an aerodynamic surface was exposed and was damaged during ascent.

This attests directly to the vulnerability of wings on a spacecraft, even if SS2's configuration is not identical.


No.  Any vehicle is vulnerable on the entry leading edges.
Not all wings are exposed during ascent.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/09/2017 03:47 PM

Shuttle had a failure during reentry because an aerodynamic surface was exposed and was damaged during ascent.

This attests directly to the vulnerability of wings on a spacecraft, even if SS2's configuration is not identical.


No.  Any vehicle is vulnerable on the entry leading edges.
Not all wings are exposed during ascent.
The volnerable cross section of a winged vehicle is much larger than that of a capsule.

Also, the vehicle in general is more sensitive to damage there, since it relies on those surfaces to achieve stable flight.

I'm trying to keep this on topic for  SS2, so not getting onto shuttle specifics, but the Columbia accident does have bearing on how wings add risk to a spacecraft.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Jim on 08/09/2017 04:00 PM
The volnerable cross section of a winged vehicle is much larger than that of a capsule.

Also, the vehicle in general is more sensitive to damage there, since it relies on those surfaces to achieve stable flight.

I'm trying to keep this on topic for  SS2, so not getting onto shuttle specifics, but the Columbia accident does have bearing on how wings add risk to a spacecraft.

No, not true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/10/2017 04:08 AM
The volnerable cross section of a winged vehicle is much larger than that of a capsule.

Also, the vehicle in general is more sensitive to damage there, since it relies on those surfaces to achieve stable flight.

I'm trying to keep this on topic for  SS2, so not getting onto shuttle specifics, but the Columbia accident does have bearing on how wings add risk to a spacecraft.

No, not true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body

Neither of these vehicles (Shuttle or SS2) is a lifting body, so why bring that into the conversation?


Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: ethan829 on 08/10/2017 12:11 PM
The volnerable cross section of a winged vehicle is much larger than that of a capsule.

Also, the vehicle in general is more sensitive to damage there, since it relies on those surfaces to achieve stable flight.

I'm trying to keep this on topic for  SS2, so not getting onto shuttle specifics, but the Columbia accident does have bearing on how wings add risk to a spacecraft.

No, not true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body)

Neither of these vehicles (Shuttle or SS2) is a lifting body, so why bring that into the conversation?

Quote from: NASA
The Space Shuttle is a Lifting Body
https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/9-12/features/F_Aeronautics_of_Space_Shuttle.html (https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/9-12/features/F_Aeronautics_of_Space_Shuttle.html)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/10/2017 02:02 PM
The volnerable cross section of a winged vehicle is much larger than that of a capsule.

Also, the vehicle in general is more sensitive to damage there, since it relies on those surfaces to achieve stable flight.

I'm trying to keep this on topic for  SS2, so not getting onto shuttle specifics, but the Columbia accident does have bearing on how wings add risk to a spacecraft.

No, not true.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lifting_body)

Neither of these vehicles (Shuttle or SS2) is a lifting body, so why bring that into the conversation?

Quote from: NASA
The Space Shuttle is a Lifting Body
https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/9-12/features/F_Aeronautics_of_Space_Shuttle.html (https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/9-12/features/F_Aeronautics_of_Space_Shuttle.html)
Never heard amore absurd claim, (read that link about lifting bodies) but if you take it at face value, then it follows that lifting bodies can be damaged at their wings during ascent.

So again, I don't see what this argument is trying to achieve.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Robotbeat on 08/10/2017 02:13 PM
Lifting body is a super general term. Moving on.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: whitelancer64 on 08/10/2017 02:18 PM
A lifting body just means that the body of the aircraft contributes to lift. The Shuttle is a lifting body with wings, it's a hybrid.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/10/2017 02:26 PM
A lifting body just means that the body of the aircraft contributes to lift. The Shuttle is a lifting body with wings, it's a hybrid.
All bodies, if flying with an AOA, generate some lift.

Either way though, can we get back to S2?

Throwing in th term "lifting body" didn't add any value to the discussion.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Jim on 08/10/2017 02:33 PM
.

Either way though, can we get back to S2?

Throwing in th term "lifting body" didn't add any value to the discussion.

Yes, it did.  You are making generalizations that are simply not true.   By fixating on wings, you are assuming (wrongly) that all vehicles that glide are not as robust as a capsule.  You are trying to apply SS2 flaws to all gliding vehicles, which is blatantly wrong.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/10/2017 02:37 PM
.

Either way though, can we get back to S2?

Throwing in th term "lifting body" didn't add any value to the discussion.

Yes, it did.  You are making generalizations that are simply not true.   By fixating on wings, you are assuming (wrongly) that all vehicles that glide are not as robust as a capsule.  You are trying to apply SS2 flaws to all gliding vehicles, which is blatantly wrong.
You made the generalization.

What I said was that wings on spacecraft  as is the case with SS2, is unsafe.

Lifting bodies are better.  But also irrelevant to the SS2 discussion.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: ccdengr on 08/10/2017 03:58 PM
Air-launched/winged and ground-launched/ballistic are both legitimate solutions to the engineering problem and each has pros and cons.  Saying that one solution is always superior to the other is an overgeneralization.  The details of each specific implementation are, IMHO, more important.

Only time will tell if SS2, NS, or other implementations survive in the marketplace.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/11/2017 12:22 AM
Air-launched/winged and ground-launched/ballistic are both legitimate solutions to the engineering problem and each has pros and cons.  Saying that one solution is always superior to the other is an overgeneralization.  The details of each specific implementation are, IMHO, more important.

Only time will tell if SS2, NS, or other implementations survive in the marketplace.

That's a generic statement that's not always true.  Some designs are simply deficient.

I don't think you need time in order to determine that air-drop is not a good match for manned flight.

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Jim on 08/11/2017 12:25 AM
Air-launched/winged and ground-launched/ballistic are both legitimate solutions to the engineering problem and each has pros and cons.  Saying that one solution is always superior to the other is an overgeneralization.  The details of each specific implementation are, IMHO, more important.

Only time will tell if SS2, NS, or other implementations survive in the marketplace.

That's a generic statement that's not always true.  Some designs are simply deficient.

I don't think you need time in order to determine that air-drop is not a good match for manned flight.

Again, there is no data to support such a claim and is uninformed opinion.
Air dropped is no different than staging and can be safer.  Like ejection seats, abort rockets don't guarantee success and even with success recovery will likely still cause injury.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/11/2017 12:55 AM
Air-launched/winged and ground-launched/ballistic are both legitimate solutions to the engineering problem and each has pros and cons.  Saying that one solution is always superior to the other is an overgeneralization.  The details of each specific implementation are, IMHO, more important.

Only time will tell if SS2, NS, or other implementations survive in the marketplace.

That's a generic statement that's not always true.  Some designs are simply deficient.

I don't think you need time in order to determine that air-drop is not a good match for manned flight.

Again, there is no data to support such a claim and is uninformed opinion.
Air dropped is no different than staging and can be safer.  Like ejection seats, abort rockets don't guarantee success and even with success recovery will likely still cause injury.
Yeah well the opinions upthread about the problems with the SS2 design were much better reasoned then those just saying "there is no problem".

Winged vehicles have had accidents and almost-accidents that go beyond propulsion related issues, (SS2, STS), so there's both data and engineering arguments that support the premise.

You can keep denying the problems, it doesn't make them go away.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Jim on 08/11/2017 01:32 AM
Yep, keep denying the problems

Missions with capsule problems with injuries

Soyuz 1
Soyuz 5
Soyuz 18a
Soyuz 23
Apollo Soyuz
Soyuz TMA-1
Soyuz TMA-11

Missions with capsule issues
Apollo 7  pad abort contraints
Liberty 7
Voskhod 2
Apollo 15




Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/11/2017 01:49 AM
Yep, keep denying the problems

Missions with capsule problems with injuries

Soyuz 1
Soyuz 5
Soyuz 18a
Soyuz 23
Apollo Soyuz
Soyuz TMA-1
Soyuz TMA-11

Missions with capsule issues
Apollo 7  pad abort contraints
Liberty 7
Voskhod 2
Apollo 15
Except that being winged doesn't remove ascent propulsion, so all the ascent risks are still there, only increased by the wings. 

STS (several incidents) and (on topic) SS2.  Small fraction of total flights, large fraction of fatalities.


And beyond the data, you're looking at a set of obvious risks, like the fragility of the spacecraft and it's sensitivity to damage, lack of abort system, etc - and keep doing the jedi mind trick "there are no problems here".

The fact that rockets have issues does not make a deficient alternative design criticism-proof.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Jim on 08/11/2017 02:18 AM

Except that being winged doesn't remove ascent propulsion, so all the ascent risks are still there, only increased by the wings. 


I only listed landing problems and not launch aborts (Soyuz T-10A) or issues unrelated to flight regime (Soyuz 11)


STS (several incidents) and (on topic) SS2.  Small fraction of total flights, large fraction of fatalities.

And beyond the data, you're looking at a set of obvious risks, like the fragility of the spacecraft and it's sensitivity to damage, lack of abort system, etc - and keep doing the jedi mind trick "there are no problems here".


Lying with statistics

STS had large fraction of fatalities only because it carried 2 to 7 times more crew than other vehicles.
It had only two fatal accidents over 135 launches.  No different than the 2 Soyuz accidents had over the same number of launches.   But the shuttle didn't cause injuries like Soyuz did on other flights.



and keep doing the jedi mind trick "there are no problems here".

Which is exactly what you are doing.

You keep on stating that capsules are "safer", but the numbers don't show that.

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/11/2017 02:40 AM

Except that being winged doesn't remove ascent propulsion, so all the ascent risks are still there, only increased by the wings. 


I only listed landing problems and not launch aborts (Soyuz T-10A) or issues unrelated to flight regime (Soyuz 11)


STS (several incidents) and (on topic) SS2.  Small fraction of total flights, large fraction of fatalities.

And beyond the data, you're looking at a set of obvious risks, like the fragility of the spacecraft and it's sensitivity to damage, lack of abort system, etc - and keep doing the jedi mind trick "there are no problems here".


Lying with statistics

STS had large fraction of fatalities only because it carried 2 to 7 times more crew than other vehicles.
It had only two fatal accidents over 135 launches.  No different than the 2 Soyuz accidents had over the same number of launches.   But the shuttle didn't cause injuries like Soyuz did on other flights.



and keep doing the jedi mind trick "there are no problems here".

Which is exactly what you are doing.

You keep on stating that capsules are "safer", but the numbers don't show that.
If we keep going back to STS, it had other wing damage incidents that by happenstance didn't kille people.

But let's stick to the SS1 design, since this is the topic at hand, remember?  Not STD, not lifting bodies.

So you're saying it is a good design?

Nevermind the generalizations.

SS2, air dropped, hybrid ignition, feathering, no escape system - the whole parcel.  Do you think this is a safe system when compared with, for example, BO's NS system?


Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: ccdengr on 08/11/2017 02:55 AM
SS2, air dropped, hybrid ignition, feathering, no escape system - the whole parcel.  Do you think this is a safe system when compared with, for example, BO's NS system?
Meaningless question without sufficient statistics of accident rates.  SS1 flew above 100 km three times without incident, NS, also three times (not counting an earlier loss of a booster)?  Too early to tell statistically.  SS1 has all the attributes of SS2 that you find so unsafe, so I think that's a reasonable comparison.

We know what you think since you've said the same thing over a dozen times in this thread, but I don't think the facts prove your point.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/11/2017 02:59 AM
SS2, air dropped, hybrid ignition, feathering, no escape system - the whole parcel.  Do you think this is a safe system when compared with, for example, BO's NS system?
Meaningless question without sufficient statistics of accident rates.  SS1 flew above 100 km three times without incident, NS, also three times (not counting an earlier loss of a booster)?  Too early to tell statistically.  SS1 has all the attributes of SS2 that you find so unsafe, so I think that's a reasonable comparison.

We know what you think since you've said the same thing over a dozen times in this thread, but I don't think the facts prove your point.
You can point out dangers without waiting for accidents.

Not to mention that accidents already occurred.  SS1 flights were certainly not without incidents, either.

I don't see the "everything is ok" crowd presenting any convincing evidence.  But it's always easier to argue based on "you don't have proof".   Of course I don't. I never claimed to foretell the future.  I'm just showing you obvious risks, and some people won't look at those until there's sufficient statistical accident record.  What can I say.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: ccdengr on 08/11/2017 03:41 AM
I don't see the "everything is ok" crowd presenting any convincing evidence.
I'm far from a VG/Scaled fanboy and it's obvious that flying in SS2 (or any rocket) is a lot more dangerous than standing on the ground.  I'm not sure what you're looking for out of this discussion, but you seem to believe that it's incontrovertible that SS2 is too dangerous to be allowed to fly, or something, and I'm simply pointing out that I don't agree and the facts to date don't support it.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Jim on 08/11/2017 11:12 AM
air dropped - it can do an abort landing
hybrid ignition - no different than other rockets.  It is just a matter of qualification.  If they don't work out any bugs, just like any other engine, then it is problem
feathering - no different than relying on landing rockets or parachute.
no escape system -  It can glide
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 08/15/2017 04:52 AM
Need to fly 109 commercial flights for 650 ticket holders. Plus flight tests. 99 percent reliability means you lose 1 ship and 8 people maximum. Company only has one ship. Vehicles take years to build and test.


Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/17/2017 04:41 PM
air dropped - it can do an abort landing
hybrid ignition - no different than other rockets.  It is just a matter of qualification.  If they don't work out any bugs, just like any other engine, then it is problem
feathering - no different than relying on landing rockets or parachute.
no escape system -  It can glide
The last SS2 had an aerodynamic failure during early stage of ascent.  The precise cause is irrelevant - failures happen.

It didn't glide very well afterwards - it disintegrated instead.

The point of an escape system is to escape a non functional craft  not use itself for escape.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TrevorMonty on 08/17/2017 05:09 PM


air dropped - it can do an abort landing
hybrid ignition - no different than other rockets.  It is just a matter of qualification.  If they don't work out any bugs, just like any other engine, then it is problem
feathering - no different than relying on landing rockets or parachute.
no escape system -  It can glide

The point of an escape system is to escape a non functional craft  not use itself for escape.

How would you apply that to a capsule, that is non functional.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/17/2017 05:39 PM


air dropped - it can do an abort landing
hybrid ignition - no different than other rockets.  It is just a matter of qualification.  If they don't work out any bugs, just like any other engine, then it is problem
feathering - no different than relying on landing rockets or parachute.
no escape system -  It can glide

The point of an escape system is to escape a non functional craft  not use itself for escape.

How would you apply that to a capsule, that is non functional.
The capsule is separate from the ascent vehicle.  If there's a failure in the ascent vehicle, the capsule escapes using a separate mechanism.

Also, look at dragon emerging from from the CRS failure, even with no escape system.  A capsule is a lot less fragile than a flying vehicle like SS2.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Ric Capucho on 08/17/2017 09:28 PM


air dropped - it can do an abort landing
hybrid ignition - no different than other rockets.  It is just a matter of qualification.  If they don't work out any bugs, just like any other engine, then it is problem
feathering - no different than relying on landing rockets or parachute.
no escape system -  It can glide

The point of an escape system is to escape a non functional craft  not use itself for escape.

How would you apply that to a capsule, that is non functional.
The capsule is separate from the ascent vehicle.  If there's a failure in the ascent vehicle, the capsule escapes using a separate mechanism.

Also, look at dragon emerging from from the CRS failure, even with no escape system.  A capsule is a lot less fragile than a flying vehicle like SS2.

Indeed it is a lot less fragile, which is why a capsule will always make a better defined crater. Heavier, innit.

Look, we have a paradigm problem here: capsules with escape systems (that saved how many thus far?) versus "rocket planes" that glide out of trouble... and did so a bunch of times in the late 1960s. Which is better? Well we can hamster wheel over and over, or give both systems a chance to develop.

Is SS2 the perfect way ahead for rocket planes? Erm, I don't think so, but who knows. But a capsule clearly isn't the perfect solution.

Right, shall retire with a coke and popcorn and watch the hamster wheel squeak some more.

Ric
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 08/18/2017 04:45 AM


air dropped - it can do an abort landing
hybrid ignition - no different than other rockets.  It is just a matter of qualification.  If they don't work out any bugs, just like any other engine, then it is problem
feathering - no different than relying on landing rockets or parachute.
no escape system -  It can glide

The point of an escape system is to escape a non functional craft  not use itself for escape.

How would you apply that to a capsule, that is non functional.
The capsule is separate from the ascent vehicle.  If there's a failure in the ascent vehicle, the capsule escapes using a separate mechanism.

Also, look at dragon emerging from from the CRS failure, even with no escape system.  A capsule is a lot less fragile than a flying vehicle like SS2.

Indeed it is a lot less fragile, which is why a capsule will always make a better defined crater. Heavier, innit.

Look, we have a paradigm problem here: capsules with escape systems (that saved how many thus far?) versus "rocket planes" that glide out of trouble... and did so a bunch of times in the late 1960s. Which is better? Well we can hamster wheel over and over, or give both systems a chance to develop.

Is SS2 the perfect way ahead for rocket planes? Erm, I don't think so, but who knows. But a capsule clearly isn't the perfect solution.

Right, shall retire with a coke and popcorn and watch the hamster wheel squeak some more.

Ric

I believe that 100% of the times a capsule escaped a failing rocket, in all stages of flight, the escape was successful.

SS2, when it had an aerodynamic failure during ascent, was not able to glide back home, or even come close to surviving.

So I don't think you can credibly talk about "gliding away from adversity"
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: GClark on 08/18/2017 07:15 AM
... and did so a bunch of times in the late 1960s.

Nice sidestep of this phrase.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Apollo-phill on 08/23/2017 09:30 PM
Dara O'Briain, a wellknown comedian in UK , who also has hosted BBC TV  Stargazing episodes , was recently interviewed by the UK Saga magazine (Sept 2017 issue pg 14-15) while promoting his book "Beyond the Sky".

An interesting comment he made was in response to the question " If you could head for the stars, where would you go ? " to which he was reported as replying with :-

" To see Mars or the sweep of Saturn's rings would be amazing .But, I wouldn't want to go on one of those USD250,000 Virgin Galactic flights to the edge of space .We've all bought expensive tickets to a West End show and sat there thinking ' This is good, but not £125 good.'



Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Comga on 08/23/2017 11:14 PM
Dara O'Briain, a wellknown comedian in UK , who also has hosted BBC TV  Stargazing episodes , was recently interviewed by the UK Saga magazine (Sept 2017 issue pg 14-15) while promoting his book "Beyond the Sky".

An interesting comment he made was in response to the question " If you could head for the stars, where would you go ? " to which he was reported as replying with :-

" To see Mars or the sweep of Saturn's rings would be amazing .But, I wouldn't want to go on one of those USD250,000 Virgin Galactic flights to the edge of space .We've all bought expensive tickets to a West End show and sat there thinking ' This is good, but not £125 good.'

He's a comedian.
Not an authority on spaceflight or aerospace flight.
That's not saying I disagree with him.....
On the other hand, we had people saying the same thing about driving 3 or 4 hours to the path of totality for Monday's total solar eclipse. 
Wow  Did they ever make a poor choice. 
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/05/2017 05:09 AM
For those with access to the BBC:

Quote
Tune in to @BBCTwo 9pm BST Tuesday for The 21st Century Race for Space as @ProfBrianCox explores the importance of space exploration

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/904795082641039360
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 09/06/2017 02:15 PM
You can find some updates regarding Space Ship Two in my post about the BBC show The 21st Century Race for Space in this thread.

http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=43647
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/07/2017 05:31 PM
Quote
Whitesides: Virgin Galactic is “still trucking away”, getting close to powered flight of second SpaceShipTwo.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/905841646868291585

Quote
Whitesides: have a “very small number” of glide flights of SS2 left before starting powered flights.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/905841985075937280

Quote
Whitesides: done with engine testing of SS2’s hybrid rocket motor. It’s the most advanced hybrid rocket motor ever built.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/905842374101872644

Quote
Whitesides: building two more SpaceShipTwos right now; recently bonded the cabin for one of them.
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/905842842836271105
Title: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 09/07/2017 07:00 PM
In that documentary I mention above I am sure it's one of these two that is seen being worked on & Brian Cox does some 'presenter construction' on.

Quote
Jeff Foust @jeff_foust
Whitesides: we’ll start commercial service when done with test flight program. Whenever I release a date, the journalists…[voice trails off]
6:33 pm · 7 Sep 2017

https://mobile.twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/905846565834817536
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/08/2017 06:54 PM
Write-up of George Whitesides' remarks yesterday:

Quote
Virgin Galactic nearing powered SpaceShipTwo test flights
by Jeff Foust — September 8, 2017

http://spacenews.com/virgin-galactic-nearing-powered-spaceshiptwo-test-flights/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/24/2017 09:57 PM
Quote
Richard Branson tells sailors aiding disaster relief in BVI that he thinks he’ll go to space “by April next year."
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4914212/Sir-Richard-Branson-tours-HMS-Ocean-thank-sailors-hurricane-relief-effort.html”

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/912066812061163520 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/912066812061163520)

That 'not giving out dates' resolution contrinues to not hold up too well!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/26/2017 07:38 AM
Quote
What's next for @virgingalactic?  Glide flight tests, powered flight to space & moving operations to New Mexico. #IAC2017
https://twitter.com/spacechelle/status/912531491288113152 (https://twitter.com/spacechelle/status/912531491288113152)

Quote
Richard DalBello (a late add to panel) gives quick overview of Virgin Galactic SS2; hopes ops move to Spaceport America next year. #IAC2017
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/912531628676726784 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/912531628676726784)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/26/2017 06:53 PM
Quote
George Whitesides is giving an invited talk for @virgingalactic at NSRC-2017.

https://twitter.com/nsrc2017/status/912742877264072706 (https://twitter.com/nsrc2017/status/912742877264072706)

NSRC 2017 is Dec 18 - 20, so hopefully an interesting point in SS2 testing - after first powered flight with new engine?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 09/29/2017 04:19 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn1cBrUFnqg (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qn1cBrUFnqg)

Quote
Published on 29 Sep 2017
The Virgin Galactic ground crew plays an essential role in our commercial spaceline operations. Meet our spaceship mechanics and watch them prepare our vehicles VSS Unity and VMS Eve for a flight -- right up until they pull chocks for taxi and take-off.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: A_M_Swallow on 09/29/2017 08:31 PM
From the video Branson has decided to call his women employees 'wenches'. Will their mothers approve?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 09/29/2017 08:44 PM
Quote
Richard Branson tells sailors aiding disaster relief in BVI that he thinks he’ll go to space “by April next year."
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4914212/Sir-Richard-Branson-tours-HMS-Ocean-thank-sailors-hurricane-relief-effort.html”

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/912066812061163520 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/912066812061163520)

That 'not giving out dates' resolution contrinues to not hold up too well!

To put it simply, the last glide test was almost two months ago... A gap appears to be looming in VG tests.

If a new glide test occurs in early October (which I doubt), powered flights could start theoretically in November. But spaceflight until the end of 2017? Not likely at all.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 09/30/2017 02:14 AM
In lieu of an actual test flight, enjoy this fine promotional video of our awesome people building our awesome ship that will go to space some day.  It's been eight weeks since the last glide test. Unusually long time if as they claimed things have been going well.

Friday was the 13th anniversary of SpaceShipOne's first Ansari X Prize flight. The second occurred on Oct. 4. Branson announced Virgin Galactic a couple days before the first Ansari flight, so the program has now entered its 14th year.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 09/30/2017 08:52 AM
In lieu of an actual test flight, enjoy this fine promotional video of our awesome people building our awesome ship that will go to space some day.  It's been eight weeks since the last glide test. Unusually long time if as they claimed things have been going well.

Friday was the 13th anniversary of SpaceShipOne's first Ansari X Prize flight. The second occurred on Oct. 4. Branson announced Virgin Galactic a couple days before the first Ansari flight, so the program has now entered its 14th year.

Guess you’re one of those glass half empty kind of people.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 09/30/2017 03:35 PM
In lieu of an actual test flight, enjoy this fine promotional video of our awesome people building our awesome ship that will go to space some day.  It's been eight weeks since the last glide test. Unusually long time if as they claimed things have been going well.

Friday was the 13th anniversary of SpaceShipOne's first Ansari X Prize flight. The second occurred on Oct. 4. Branson announced Virgin Galactic a couple days before the first Ansari flight, so the program has now entered its 14th year.

Guess you’re one of those glass half empty kind of people.
HALF empty?!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 10/05/2017 06:58 PM
In lieu of an actual test flight, enjoy this fine promotional video of our awesome people building our awesome ship that will go to space some day.  It's been eight weeks since the last glide test. Unusually long time if as they claimed things have been going well.

Friday was the 13th anniversary of SpaceShipOne's first Ansari X Prize flight. The second occurred on Oct. 4. Branson announced Virgin Galactic a couple days before the first Ansari flight, so the program has now entered its 14th year.

Guess you’re one of those glass half empty kind of people.

They've spent 13 years and hundreds of millions on a dead end technology that's dangerous and just doesn't scale. It sucks, but it's reality.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 10/10/2017 03:21 PM
Richard Branson says he will be in space within six months

Quote
Speaking at the Nordic Business Forum in Helsinki, Finland last week, Mr Branson said: “We are hopefully about three months before we are in space, maybe six months before I'm in space.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/richard-branson-space-flight-exploration-mission-6-months-virgin-unity-a7992266.html
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 10/10/2017 03:41 PM
Richard Branson says he will be in space within six months

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Speaking at the Nordic Business Forum in Helsinki, Finland last week, Mr Branson said: “We are hopefully about three months before we are in space, maybe six months before I'm in space.”

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/richard-branson-space-flight-exploration-mission-6-months-virgin-unity-a7992266.html
That's called "building confidence in the system" if it turns out to be true... ;)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/11/2017 06:17 AM
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Former NASA shuttle commander/our pilot CJ Sturckow with @VP & Karen Pence during #Mojave visit @TheSpaceshipCo @GOPLeader
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/917923905867726849 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/917923905867726849)

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Ret Lieutenant Colonel/our pilot Kelly Latimer with @VP during #Mojave visit @TheSpaceshipCo @GOPLeader
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/917924115909971973 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/917924115909971973)

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[email protected] @secondlady and @GOPLeader inspect cabin for new spaceship @virgingalactic #Mojave
https://twitter.com/thespaceshipco/status/917924381061365760
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/12/2017 03:47 PM
Hmm, I fear Richard Branson is going to be disappointed again ...

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#ISPCS2017 Virgin Galactic President Mike Moses updating flight test status and showing two more space ships in production
https://twitter.com/waynehale/status/918499716593106944 (https://twitter.com/waynehale/status/918499716593106944)

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Why the 2+ gap in flights?
https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/918501697940369409 (https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/918501697940369409)

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Many technical issues apparently
https://twitter.com/waynehale/status/918502067328630784 (https://twitter.com/waynehale/status/918502067328630784)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/12/2017 05:44 PM
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@virgingalactic has 700+ customers from 58 countries, president Mike Moses says. Powered flight testing begins late 2017. #ISPCS2017

https://twitter.com/justinbachman/status/918503799743844352
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: mainmind on 10/12/2017 06:15 PM
Maybe Branson won't be getting his astronaut wings when he takes that flight in April...

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Mike Moses confirms initial @virgingalactic #unity flights will not reach Karman line due to added safety mass, will reach it eventually
https://twitter.com/fiaanaut/status/918502685174849536 (https://twitter.com/fiaanaut/status/918502685174849536)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 10/13/2017 01:49 AM
Virgin Galactic has said it will issue astronaut wings to anyone who gets about 50 miles. There is precedent for that with USAF X-15.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: bad_astra on 10/13/2017 05:38 PM
I'm sure that will be kindly regarded by all the deposit holders that get to watch the goalposts get moved.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/13/2017 06:23 PM
I'm sure that will be kindly regarded by all the deposit holders that get to watch the goalposts get moved.

It’s long been rumoured that VG contracts stipulate a minimum of 50 miles, not 100 km.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/13/2017 06:30 PM
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Virgin Galactic VP, at Las Cruces conference, says company close to Spaceport America move

Jason Gibbs | Las Cruces Sun-News
7:04 p.m. MT Oct. 12, 2017

LAS CRUCES - Without committing to a specific date, Virgin Galactic Vice President Mike Moses hinted at encouraging news about the company’s long-awaited move to Spaceport America while speaking Thursday at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight.

http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/2017/10/12/virgin-galactic-vp-las-cruces-conference-says-company-close-spaceport-america-move/759951001/ (http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/local/2017/10/12/virgin-galactic-vp-las-cruces-conference-says-company-close-spaceport-america-move/759951001/)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: yg1968 on 10/13/2017 11:40 PM
http://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/a28627/virgin-galactic-fly-spaceshiptwo-space-2017/

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This week, Virgin Galactic President Mike Moses said at the International Symposium for Personal and Commercial Spaceflight that he hopes "to be in space by the end of this year," as reported by Aviation Week. Powered flight tests in the atmosphere will come first, which involve firing up the VSS Unity's rocket engine for the first time. A last round of flight testing beyond the atmosphere is expected to proceed the launch of commercial tourism and research flights to suborbital space.[...]

The VSS Unity was under construction at the time of the incident, and in response to the crash, the second ship was reinforced with a more robust structure and outfitted with more instrumentation, making the VSS Unity heavier than the Enterprise. As a result, the Unity will not fly above the internationally recognized border of space—the 100 km (62 mi) Karaman line—but rather will fly above 80 km (50 mi), which the U.S. Air Force recognizes as the border of outer space.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 10/14/2017 12:20 AM
I'm sure that will be kindly regarded by all the deposit holders that get to watch the goalposts get moved.

It’s long been rumoured that VG contracts stipulate a minimum of 50 miles, not 100 km.

Not a rumor. It is written into the contract that 50 miles is the minimum. They advertised it as higher before the accident, but the agreements with customers never required it.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/16/2017 08:28 AM
Maybe it's high time for a redefinition of the term "space"? It's necessary because there are many companies that are conducting flights to near-space, which is often interpreted by journalists as "the edge of space", which is ... space.
 
For example, World View (one of my favourite balloon companies) sent a chicken sandwich into "space" just months ago.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/16/2017 09:15 AM
Everyone in the world agrees that 100 km is in space.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/16/2017 09:18 AM
Apparently when certain companies send payloads to space when it's not 100km means that some disagree. Cluck-cluck! :)

The truth is, the Earth atmosphere doesn't stop abruptly, so it's hard to define where exactly space lies.

And even the ISS lies within the thermosphere.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Nibb31 on 10/16/2017 10:00 AM
IMO, if the atmosphere is still dense enough to provide bouyancy to a balloon, then you're not in space.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: ethan829 on 10/16/2017 10:53 AM
Somewhat off-topic, but Jonathan McDowell did some interesting analysis of the boundary of space here (https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/858892220639977473). Based on his analysis, a more accurate boundary is between 66 and 88 km. Unfortunately I don't think the full paper has been published yet.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/16/2017 11:05 AM
Somewhat off-topic, but Jonathan McDowell did some interesting analysis of the boundary of space here (https://twitter.com/planet4589/status/858892220639977473). Based on his analysis, a more accurate boundary is between 66 and 88 km. Unfortunately I don't think the full paper has been published yet.

Very interesting discussion there, thanks.

IMO whether it's 80km or 100km is rather nit-picking. I understand the engineering logic - VSS Unity is heavier, the design has changed due to the 2014 disaster and Virgin Galactic want to play safe. I'll be happy to have "space tourism" even if the spaceship reaches 80 km though.

For a customer perspective? I don't know. I want to fly in space and the highest place I've been (via an airplane) is somewhat 10km above the ground. I'll be happier if some day I'm able to go higher and higher.

On the other side, just a month ago I reached the highest peak in Southeastern Europe - 2925 m. (Musala Peak) - the highest point I reached by land. Even that could have turned out disastrous because thunderstorms were following us, but everything was fine. The experience after that was rather good: hey, it was successful... but why, why isn't this peak higher, why isn't it 3k at least?

In this specific case I think I'll be happy just to reach near-space. That'll be enough for me, even if I'm left afterwards with the feeling "why not higher?". Virgin Galactic flight to 80km altitude? Then I'm fine. If World View presents me with a cheaper alternative, a balloon flight to near-space - then I'll probably choose this one.

I just hope all of the companies - VG, BO, WV to succeed sooner than later.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: saliva_sweet on 10/16/2017 11:43 AM
I agree with Svetoslav. The Karman line is arbitrary and apparently calculated wrong. It's a nice round number, but it's actively stifling innovation. The bar for space tourism is pointlessly high and seen as all or nothing.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: saliva_sweet on 10/16/2017 12:04 PM
IMO, if the atmosphere is still dense enough to provide bouyancy to a balloon, then you're not in space.

Is there a theoretical reason why a balloon can't go above the Karman line?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: nacnud on 10/16/2017 12:53 PM
Depends on what you mean by balloon, if you mean a thing that is less buoyant than it's surrounding atmosphere then the balloon would have to weigh less than 5.6×10−7 kg/m3 or half a microgram per cubic meter
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: saliva_sweet on 10/16/2017 01:25 PM
Depends on what you mean by balloon, if you mean a thing that is less buoyant than it's surrounding atmosphere then the balloon would have to weigh less than 5.6×10−7 kg/m3 or half a microgram per cubic meter

So there, the atmosphere at 100 km is still dense enough to provide buoyancy to a balloon.

P.S. That's half a milligram per cubic meter btw.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/16/2017 01:40 PM

So there, the atmosphere at 100 km is still dense enough to provide buoyancy to a balloon.

P.S. That's half a milligram per cubic meter btw.

So, a small chipsat could fly to the Real Space with a balloon :)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: nacnud on 10/16/2017 01:42 PM
...weigh less than 5.6×10−7 kg/m3 or half a microgram per cubic meter
P.S. That's half a milligram per cubic meter btw.

Damn, missed the insignificant k in front of the g :D
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: vt_hokie on 10/16/2017 01:47 PM

For a customer perspective? I don't know. I want to fly in space and the highest place I've been (via an airplane) is somewhat 10km above the ground. I'll be happier if some day I'm able to go higher and higher.

I'd be happy just to break Mach 1 and see 50k to 60k ft.  Man, I regret not flying on the Concorde before its 2003 retirement every day!  Honestly, aside from bragging rights, does that not provide just as good a view, for a longer time, and with the added comfort of a nice meal at much less cost and risk?  I doubt the view at 300k ft is that dramatically different than this view, as evidenced by Scaled's blatant use of fisheye lenses for the Discovery Channel SS1 documentary to exaggerate Earth's curvature.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQenNw2s1cA
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: vt_hokie on 10/16/2017 02:19 PM
Heck, for that matter, here's a shot I got from a 757 at 40,000 ft!

https://www.instagram.com/p/BMQFXH_Fea4
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: saliva_sweet on 10/16/2017 02:31 PM
So, a small chipsat could fly to the Real Space with a balloon :)

In theory, but in practice the balloon would have to be so huge a rocket launch is cheaper.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 10/16/2017 03:34 PM
Everyone in the world agrees that 100 km is in space.

Some people think "space" means "orbital", and that the Karman line is completely meaningless, ironically pulled from obscurity by no other than VG themselves.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: nacnud on 10/16/2017 03:35 PM
You mean by the Ansari X Prize.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/16/2017 07:40 PM
Some people think "space" means "orbital", and that the Karman line is completely meaningless, ironically pulled from obscurity by no other than VG themselves.

Perhaps it's because of how we perceive history. Most people think that the space age begins with Sputnik and the first dog to go to space is Laika.

Of course, we know that neither Sputnik was the first machine to travel to space, nor Laika was the first "space animal".

Back then Khrushchev joked that Shepard's flight is a flea jump compared to Gagarin's orbit.

Now we hope that Virgin Galacitic and Blue Origin will make flea jumps accessible for the masses :)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 10/16/2017 07:44 PM
Some people think "space" means "orbital", and that the Karman line is completely meaningless, ironically pulled from obscurity by no other than VG themselves.

Perhaps it's because of how we perceive history. Most people think that the space age begins with Sputnik and the first dog to go to space is Laika.

Of course, we know that neither Sputnik was the first machine to travel to space, nor Laika was the first "space animal".

Back then Khrushchev joked that Shepard's flight is a flea jump compared to Gagarin's orbit.

Now we hope that Virgin Galacitic and Blue Origin will make flea jumps accessible for the masses :)
Interesting... So who was it that was "first to space"?

To me, space is about "going to space", which implies orbital velocities /energies.

Suborbital is just a short lived ballistic trajectory, which you can do to 50 km, 50 miles, 100km, whatever...

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: whitelancer64 on 10/16/2017 07:58 PM
Some people think "space" means "orbital", and that the Karman line is completely meaningless, ironically pulled from obscurity by no other than VG themselves.

Perhaps it's because of how we perceive history. Most people think that the space age begins with Sputnik and the first dog to go to space is Laika.

Of course, we know that neither Sputnik was the first machine to travel to space, nor Laika was the first "space animal".

Back then Khrushchev joked that Shepard's flight is a flea jump compared to Gagarin's orbit.

Now we hope that Virgin Galacitic and Blue Origin will make flea jumps accessible for the masses :)
Interesting... So who was it that was "first to space"?

To me, space is about "going to space", which implies orbital velocities /energies.

Suborbital is just a short lived ballistic trajectory, which you can do to 50 km, 50 miles, 100km, whatever...

"First to space" would be the Nazis, during a V-2 test launch on 20 June 1944.

The first animals sent into space were fruit flies, on a U.S.-launched V-2 rocket on 20 February 1947. The U.S. and the Soviets launched (and killed) dozens of monkeys and a zoo's worth of other species in launches in the 40s, 50s, and 60s.

Of course, those were all sub-orbital. If orbital flight is where "space history" begins, then yes, Sputnik and Laika are the firsts.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: saliva_sweet on 10/16/2017 08:13 PM
To me, space is about "going to space", which implies orbital velocities /energies.

Suborbital is just a short lived ballistic trajectory, which you can do to 50 km, 50 miles, 100km, whatever...

...around the moon. Not yet space?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 10/16/2017 08:20 PM
To me, space is about "going to space", which implies orbital velocities /energies.

Suborbital is just a short lived ballistic trajectory, which you can do to 50 km, 50 miles, 100km, whatever...

...around the moon. Not yet space?

?!

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/16/2017 08:23 PM

To me, space is about "going to space", which implies orbital velocities /energies.

Suborbital is just a short lived ballistic trajectory, which you can do to 50 km, 50 miles, 100km, whatever...


Space is about visting it physically. Just like I could visit the next town by bike, train, car or whatever.

Even if you fly to a ballistic trajectory, you still go to space. The problem is that you stay there for a short time. But you still have been there.

Oh, and by the way when we climbed Musala peak, we had to stay for several short minutes. We were in the midst of a storm and it was dangerous, so we had to go downhill to the nearest shelter. But we were there even for a short time.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: saliva_sweet on 10/16/2017 08:29 PM
To me, space is about "going to space", which implies orbital velocities /energies.

Suborbital is just a short lived ballistic trajectory, which you can do to 50 km, 50 miles, 100km, whatever...

...around the moon. Not yet space?

?!

You can do a short lived (a few days) suborbital ballistic trajectory around the moon. Would that not be "going to space"?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 10/16/2017 08:31 PM
Because that "suborbital trajectory" you describe requires orbital speeds and energies, which was my point.

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 10/16/2017 08:35 PM
Space, unlike a mountain top, is not a point destination.

It's more of a gravitational/kinetic energy state thing... -GMm/r and all that.

Of course I don't expect the marketing department at VG to understand that...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: saliva_sweet on 10/16/2017 08:42 PM
Because that "suborbital trajectory" you describe requires orbital speeds and energies, which was my point.

I think it's weird to define space by velocity. An ASAT weapon can hit a target in space without itself being in space? Makes no sense to me.

edit: clarified phrasing
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/16/2017 08:52 PM
Space, unlike a mountain top, is not a point destination.

Space, like a mountain top, could be treated as a tourist destination. As such, it requires specialized vehicles (shuttles, gondolas), specific training, suitable clothing etc etc etc... And in both places you can die miserably if you don't follow simple safety measures.

So they have a lot in common :)

Of course, I could treat the mountain as a kinetic energy state thing. You put efforts to go there.

The marketing department of Virgin Galactic understands a very simple thing - you can make space a tourist destination. The demand is high, the supply is low.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 10/16/2017 08:55 PM
What can I say.  Both the difficulties and possibilities are all about energy/velocity.

That's why it's all measured in delta-v, not in km.  (Both challenges and capabilities)

Earth orbit is 8 km/sec away. The moon (in you example) is about 11.

The moon's surface, physically closer to Earth than a fly-around, is actually further away in terms of dV.

If you're measuring the distance to your goal in km, then you're still earth bound.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: saliva_sweet on 10/16/2017 09:13 PM
What can I say.  Both the difficulties and possibilities are all about energy/velocity.

Sure, and I'm perfectly capable of appreciating the energy differences of things in space that are on orbital and suborbital trajectories. And I am right here on earth, so are electrons flying in CRT TVs and protons being accelerated in particle accelerators despite traveling at relativistic speeds.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 10/16/2017 10:07 PM
What can I say.  Both the difficulties and possibilities are all about energy/velocity.

Sure, and I'm perfectly capable of appreciating the energy differences of things in space that are on orbital and suborbital trajectories. And I am right here on earth, so are electrons flying in CRT TVs and protons being accelerated in particle accelerators despite traveling at relativistic speeds.
You're giving extreme examples such as electrons in free trajectory inside a CRT, and "suborbital" lunar fly-bys, but the reality of it is that other than in the marketing department of VG, a 5 minutes suborbital flight is not "going to space".
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: saliva_sweet on 10/17/2017 07:19 AM
the reality

You have a high opinion of the convoluted workings of your mind.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/17/2017 11:35 AM
meekGee, if you have the chance to visit space for 5 minutes, would you go?

That's the defining question.

I think we want space tourism not because we want to calculate equations up there, but to experience what it is like to be an astronaut, even if it's for a short time
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 10/18/2017 03:13 AM
meekGee, if you have the chance to visit space for 5 minutes, would you go?

That's the defining question.

I think we want space tourism not because we want to calculate equations up there, but to experience what it is like to be an astronaut, even if it's for a short time

If you're asking if I'd buy a suborbital ticket if I had a spare $100k, sure.  But I'd know what it was, and would not be wearing "astronaut wings" because of it.

Now, if I had a bit more cash and could get a ticket for LEO or round-the-moon, then I'd buy THAT, and say that I truly went to space, not had a brief peek of it.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 10/18/2017 03:16 AM
the reality

You have a high opinion of the convoluted workings of your mind.

This from the guy talking about electrons in a CRT and "suborbital round-the-moon trajectories"...  :)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 10/18/2017 06:06 AM
So where does "air" ends and "space" begins. First, we all know that space has atoms in it, and thus has a pressure and density. So what differentiates Earth air from space air? Perhaps its the state of the atoms. In the US Standard atmosphere they calculate the pressure and density based in two regions, one below 86 km and one above 86 km.

The lower atmosphere is explicitly stated with relatively simple equations for molecular temperature T_M (K) and pressure P (Pa). The upper atmosphere is much more complicated, requiring numerical integration to determine the number densities n_i (m^{-3}) of the major gas constituents (N2, O, O2, Ar, He, and H).

So, 86 km would be a good definition of where space begins. 50 miles or 100 km are just arbitrary definitions, but are easy to remember. Whether Space Ship Two reaches either of those altitudes will not make difference for the experience they have, but it will for bragging rights, which is why a lot of rich people go on these trips.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: saliva_sweet on 10/18/2017 09:28 AM
But I'd know what it was, and would not be wearing "astronaut wings" because of it.

Wait, does this whole crazy definition of space by the effort to get there boil down to you not liking space tourists getting the "astronaut wings"? It makes no sense to me otherwise.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/18/2017 10:03 AM

Wait, does this whole crazy definition of space by the effort to get there boil down to you not liking space tourists getting the "astronaut wings"? It makes no sense to me otherwise.

IMO recognition is important. In my country we have a booklet with a stamp you obtain after climbing every major mountain peak. When you collect enough stamps, you will be given a badge.

Right now people going to space are being awarded astronaut wings. Everyone who goes above 80km should also be able to get astronaut wings, regardless of whether he's just a tourist or a government agency employee.

Also - I think a posthumous astronaut recognition should be given to a person who perished aboard a rocketship, regardless of whether he reached space on his specific flight. To me Mike Alsbury is an astronaut.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: SweetWater on 10/18/2017 10:08 AM
But I'd know what it was, and would not be wearing "astronaut wings" because of it.

Wait, does this whole crazy definition of space by the effort to get there boil down to you not liking space tourists getting the "astronaut wings"? It makes no sense to me otherwise.

I think that if/when suborbital space tourism becomes common, we will see a change in the way we commonly understand - though not necessarily the dictionary definition of - the word astronaut.

This is just my opinion, but someone who has the disposable income to spend a couple hundred grand on a few minutes of weightlessness isn't an astronaut, regardless of what altitude they got to. That's like me saying I'm a skydiver because I've done a single tandem jump or someone saying they are a scuba diver when they have done a single 20-minute, 10-meter discovery dive with a divemaster who never let go of their tank.

I think my personal hang-up is the lack of training, preparation, and knowledge of a tourist compared to other astronauts, regardless of whether orbital or suborbital. An astronaut is someone who has invested time and energy in understanding their craft and how it works, their mission and how to accomplish it, etc. Even the space tourists who have gone to Mir and the ISS have had extended training in how to live and work during their stays in space. The same will not be true of suborbital tourists.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Kryten on 10/18/2017 10:21 AM
 There's already two definitions of astronaut; very few people would say a trained member of NASA's astronaut corps isn't an astronaut, even if they haven't flown. Maybe we need different terms for astronaut-as-a-job and astronaut-as-an-achievement.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 10/18/2017 10:27 AM
I want many, many people to start flying in suborbital space as soon as possible. If for no other reason than this will start a slow but inevitable decline in the number of mentally deficient d1ckhead trolls peppering social media and mainstream media with flat earth garbage and 'space isn't real; just computer artwork'.

I'm quite serious... >:(  Also; I'd like to do a sub-orbital flight before I die ;)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/18/2017 10:37 AM
I want many, many people to start flying in suborbital space as soon as possible. If for no other reason than this will start a slow but inevitable decline in the number of mentally deficient d1ckhead trolls peppering social media and mainstream media with flat earth garbage and 'space isn't real; just computer artwork'.

I'm quite serious... >:(  Also; I'd like to do a sub-orbital flight before I die ;)


Won't happen. Those people are so dyed-in-the-wool that even if they see the proof with their own eyes, they still won't believe it. Think about Nibiru nuts - even though all of their prophecies failed, the movement never disappeared. Plus not all flat earthers are spaceflight denialists - some believe that rockets and spaecraft fly up there, but they use fisheye lens.

What I can promise you is that this pseudoscientific garbage will decline soon. It won't go away completely though. But just like all other pseudoscience theories have a rise through they years, they also have periods of decline. So the flat earther movement will decline soon, even if it won't completely go away.

Regardless, spaceflight tourism should start soon. We've been waiting long enough.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: jebbo on 10/18/2017 10:44 AM
Should this discussion over what constitutes space and/or being an "astronaut" really be in this thread?

--- Tony
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 10/18/2017 11:01 AM
Yeah; you're right,  Svetoslav... Though at least we are in partial agreement. At the moment; there are less than 600 people who have flown into space (?) and even when that figure soars past 1,000 and 2,000; we'll still have these morons. Some people have said to me "Take a chill pill - don't worry about them" or even "You're making it up - it's not that bad..."

No; actually it is that bad. These are losers who don't seem to have any life other than actively expending energy, hanging around all the mainstream, popular science feeds on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit etc and even the Space.com feeds saying that they're tired of all the fake NASA lies and computer generated images and artwork. And about how all Astronauts - even the Chinese and Russian ones - are all 'actors' hanging on wire rigs on a delayed timelag, so special effects artists can erase evidence of their 'flying rigs'. And, about how all spacewalks are staged in a massive underwater set - and that bubbles can be frequently seen in the camera shots!! Only today I was battling a nutcase who tried to put up #Proof!! by placing a YouTube link showing footage from one of the ISS's frequent ammonia coolant leaks!! "See the bubbles!! FAKE!!" God; don't even try to tell them what they were looking at. They literally must be ret4rded, or at least, having a laugh. On nearly every post about spaceflight or Astronomy; nearly every first post in the comments is a pre-emptive hoaxtard strike. This is organized; it would be hard to convince me otherwise.

But there is a darker side to their activities. The persistent spreading of a meme - even a clearly false one - can cause damage when they take hold, even a little. The dumbing-down of society into clueless little consumers, who 'question everything' that's a well-established fact because... Well; just because...  The continued dumbing down is already having serious side effects. It's hard enough for science and exploration to get attention and funding when there are people who don't even believe meteorology and related sciences are real, that James Cameron didn't really go to the bottom of the deep ocean trench 'because he's a special effects guy' and that people aren't even really living and working in the Antarctic because - wait for it - there is no continent down there...

Come on, Richard Branson and company. Light The Candle. (Arnold Scwharzenegger-like accented growl) "Do it! Do it nowww..."
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/18/2017 11:10 AM
MATTBLAK, I recommend you to read this book:

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Expertise-Campaign-Established-Knowledge/dp/0190469412

It's a real eye opener of what's going on.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 10/18/2017 11:20 AM
Thanks; I'll check it out. In a nutshell; I just want Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin to get on with the Space Tourism flights. I know they have to iron out the bugs and exhaustively test the safety measures. But come on, Branson and Bezos - it's been nearly a decade already! Light the candle... Virgin Galactic's waiting list is so long, some of these people have dropped off the list because they've developed age-related issues, or their financial circumstances have changed.

Then again; my financial circumstances haven't changed much - I still can't afford a ride on Spaceship Two! :'(
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/18/2017 11:38 AM
My  financial circumstances have changed only a little - I also can't afford it (yet), but I'm hopeful.

Thus I want to point out - there are customers and customers. Some of us want more safety guarantees than others.

Except for waiting for space tourism to come out soon, I'll also be waiting for at least several years to pass. I want to be sure that people come and go back safely. I want to get assured that the spacecraft will be as safe as a commercial airliner.

So I don't want to be one of the first space tourists. I want to get to space... eventually.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 10/18/2017 12:13 PM
One suborbital flight would be all I could possibly afford - but then I'd have to sell my house to do it (not an option) or win Lotto. In fact - a space tourism flight is now the only reason I still buy a Lotto ticket. The SpaceX lunar Dragon tourist flight - if it ever happens - would be all the spaceflight I could ever want. But even winning our country's biggest ever lottery prize ($50 million N.Z. dollars approx.) still wouldn't put me in the ballpark for that!! In fact; I wrote a short novella earlier this year, dramatizing the SpaceX Circumlunar tourist flight - I put it on the Nasaspaceflight.com SpaceX Circumlunar discussion page and it was downloaded a couple hundred times. I'm currently redrafting it and updating it slightly, and I'll be reposting it on the SpaceX Circumlunar page very soon.

Then I'm going to write a sequel to it... Stay tuned! ;)

But with millions of dollars; I'd make one suborbital flight each of the Virgin and Blue Origin systems, then I'd set up a 'STEM' scholarship for young people to have the kind of education I should have gotten, but didn't.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 10/18/2017 12:52 PM
Should this discussion over what constitutes space and/or being an "astronaut" really be in this thread?

--- Tony

I agree with you but it doesn’t look like anyone is listening.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: vt_hokie on 10/18/2017 02:19 PM
Does she count as an astronaut?  :)

http://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/local/watercooler/2017/10/17/florida-candidate-congress-aliens-took-me-aboard-their-ship-age-7/772280001/

Was there not a time when 50,000 ft was considered sufficient to qualify for astronaut status?  Just above 50k is where bodily fluids would start to boil, so it's not entirely arbitrary I suppose.  As for whether the discussion is relevant, I would argue that it is insofar as the whole business case for VG is based upon getting people to space as opposed to just getting them higher than the average airline passenger or even the Concorde crowd. 
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: whitelancer64 on 10/18/2017 03:09 PM
So where does "air" ends and "space" begins. First, we all know that space has atoms in it, and thus has a pressure and density. So what differentiates Earth air from space air? Perhaps its the state of the atoms. In the US Standard atmosphere they calculate the pressure and density based in two regions, one below 86 km and one above 86 km.

The lower atmosphere is explicitly stated with relatively simple equations for molecular temperature T_M (K) and pressure P (Pa). The upper atmosphere is much more complicated, requiring numerical integration to determine the number densities n_i (m^{-3}) of the major gas constituents (N2, O, O2, Ar, He, and H).

So, 86 km would be a good definition of where space begins. 50 miles or 100 km are just arbitrary definitions, but are easy to remember. Whether Space Ship Two reaches either of those altitudes will not make difference for the experience they have, but it will for bragging rights, which is why a lot of rich people go on these trips.

100 km, the Karman Line, isn't exactly arbitrary, but is a round number close to the value calculated where aircraft must be going at orbital speeds to achieve lift. The exact altitude varies on conditions in the atmosphere, which fluctuate, therefore a round number was proposed to demarcate where aeronautics ends and astronautics begins.

It's a reasonable place to set a dividing line between atmospheric flight and space flight.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: whitelancer64 on 10/18/2017 03:17 PM
Does she count as an astronaut?  :)

http://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/local/watercooler/2017/10/17/florida-candidate-congress-aliens-took-me-aboard-their-ship-age-7/772280001/

Was there not a time when 50,000 ft was considered sufficient to qualify for astronaut status?  Just above 50k is where bodily fluids would start to boil, so it's not entirely arbitrary I suppose.  As for whether the discussion is relevant, I would argue that it is insofar as the whole business case for VG is based upon getting people to space as opposed to just getting them higher than the average airline passenger or even the Concorde crowd.

As far as I can tell, the threshold for astronaut wings has never been less than 50 miles.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: saliva_sweet on 10/18/2017 04:04 PM
100 km, the Karman Line, isn't exactly arbitrary, but is a round number close to the value calculated where aircraft must be going at orbital speeds to achieve lift.

It is arbitrary because neither air lifting aircraft nor satellites can work at these altitudes. Nothing meaningful happens at the 100km line. A set of irrelevant equations gives this value when given certain (wrong) inputs. It has served nicely so far, but it's crippling space tourism because the provider have to chase that line - which is difficult, expensive and simply dangerous at this time.

Everything that's really important and IMO defining about space: the black sky with stars at daytime, the curvature of the earth, if you stick your head out the window you eyeballs will boil and the "zero-g" can be experienced at 30-40 km.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: vt_hokie on 10/18/2017 04:10 PM
Here's an interesting take (https://books.google.com/books?id=H8pgFPv9-W4C&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=50,000+ft+space&source=bl&ots=Nu69wqxiAM&sig=LUs5WFcUqoQLlZDvHLryyFqXRQ0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj9vZahxvrWAhXB0iYKHeIjDn0Q6AEIXjAM#v=onepage&q=50%2C000%20ft%20space&f=false):

Physiologic zone: sea level to 10,000 ft
Physiologically deficient zone: 10,000 ft to 50,000 ft
Space-equivalent zone: 50,000 ft to 250,000 ft
Space: altitudes beyond 250,000 ft

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: whitelancer64 on 10/18/2017 04:12 PM
100 km, the Karman Line, isn't exactly arbitrary, but is a round number close to the value calculated where aircraft must be going at orbital speeds to achieve lift.

It is arbitrary because neither air lifting aircraft nor satellites can work at these altitudes. Nothing meaningful happens at the 100km line. A set of irrelevant equations gives this value when given certain (wrong) inputs. It has served nicely so far, but it's crippling space tourism because the provider have to chase that line - which is difficult, expensive and simply dangerous at this time.

Everything that's really important and IMO defining about space: the black sky with stars at daytime, the curvature of the earth, if you stick your head out the window you eyeballs will boil and the "zero-g" can be experienced at 30-40 km.

Are you saying you'd be happy if VG would only be able to fly SS2 to 30-40 km?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: saliva_sweet on 10/18/2017 04:20 PM
Are you saying you'd be happy if VG would only be able to fly SS2 to 30-40 km?

Ecstatic.

Edit: And astronaut wings for everyone. Order a wagonload from China.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: whitelancer64 on 10/18/2017 04:22 PM
Here's an interesting take (https://books.google.com/books?id=H8pgFPv9-W4C&pg=PA55&lpg=PA55&dq=50,000+ft+space&source=bl&ots=Nu69wqxiAM&sig=LUs5WFcUqoQLlZDvHLryyFqXRQ0&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj9vZahxvrWAhXB0iYKHeIjDn0Q6AEIXjAM#v=onepage&q=50%2C000%20ft%20space&f=false):

Physiologic zone: sea level to 10,000 ft
Physiologically deficient zone: 10,000 ft to 50,000 ft
Space-equivalent zone: 50,000 ft to 250,000 ft
Space: altitudes beyond 250,000 ft

It is an interesting source; a book on the transportation of medical patients.

What can be said is that what "space" is in relation to our atmosphere can be defined differently for different applications. That doesn't make any of the various definitions "arbitrary" but does mean they suit different needs. What works for delineating aeronautics and astronautics for the FAI won't necessarily work for atmospheric research, or for medical transport, etc.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: david1971 on 10/18/2017 06:01 PM
I flew on SOFIA a few years ago, you would be shocked at how many people in the general public need to be explained that 43,000ft is not "outer space".  I'd think that "can you get there on a 747?" would be a pretty big clue, even if it is a NASA 747.

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/18/2017 06:31 PM

Are you saying you'd be happy if VG would only be able to fly SS2 to 30-40 km?

Let's assume that Virgin Galatic will conduct only supersonic trips to 40-50 km. That's near-space.

Even that won't be that bad, because so far they're one of the very few able to do that. They'll rather compete with World View, in contrast to Blue Origin.

Again - I suppose SS2 could be able to do some day trips to near-space at half the cost it currently offers.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 10/18/2017 07:17 PM
Flying any customer to 1000 ft would be an achievement at this point in time.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 10/18/2017 10:24 PM
Does she count as an astronaut?  :)

http://www.naplesnews.com/story/news/local/watercooler/2017/10/17/florida-candidate-congress-aliens-took-me-aboard-their-ship-age-7/772280001/

Was there not a time when 50,000 ft was considered sufficient to qualify for astronaut status?  Just above 50k is where bodily fluids would start to boil, so it's not entirely arbitrary I suppose.  As for whether the discussion is relevant, I would argue that it is insofar as the whole business case for VG is based upon getting people to space as opposed to just getting them higher than the average airline passenger or even the Concorde crowd.

As far as I can tell, the threshold for astronaut wings has never been less than 50 miles.
You are absolutely right - though I have lost count of the number of times I've seen lazy writing about how high-school students are sending balloons into 'space' or at best 'the edge of space'  ::)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: vt_hokie on 10/19/2017 03:21 AM
Not to mention...

http://www.migflug.com/en/jet-fighter-flights/flying-with-a-jet/mig-29-edge-of-space.html
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 10/19/2017 10:38 AM
I'd love to do that MIG-29 flight.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/19/2017 11:05 AM
17'500 € for a near-space flight! That's relatively affordable compared to the lowest prices of Virgin Galactic, Blue origin and World View!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 10/19/2017 11:44 AM
Yes - and the MIG-29s, 25s and 31s are capable of flying much higher than 70,000ft in a ballistic climb; but they are thinking of the safety and comfort of the paying passengers. A MIG-25 has more than once zoom-climbed to over 100,000ft - 30 kilometers. But at those kind of altitudes the aircraft can be tricky to control when aerosurfaces become almost useless and engines are hard to restart. As a safety feature, at 70,000ft the MIG engines can be left in 'idle' and as long as such altitudes aren't sustained; it shouldn't damage the engines or force stressful restart procedures. If I were paying for a very high stratospheric flight; I'd want to know that there was a good chance I wouldn't have to make a dangerous ejection as well when an engine or two cooks themselves!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 10/19/2017 02:10 PM
If you had one of those vehicles, and you were trying to make a business out of showing people the darkened sky and the curvature of the Earth, I'd hope you'd invest in a reaction control system. Not that I imagine you'd need to do a ballistic climb to do that.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 10/19/2017 03:10 PM
Let's get this back on to SS2, as I'm getting sick of people reporting to mod about how this thread is wandering all over the place and hitting me over the head as if I'm sat right here nodding and saying "YES, MORE OF THIS PLEASE!" ;D
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: MATTBLAK on 10/19/2017 10:05 PM
Chris is right; even though the majority of our remarks were about closely related 'space tourism'.

**Has Branson or other officials given any fresh hints about the first sub-orbital test flights, or at least the first high supersonic flight envelope tests?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 10/20/2017 01:24 AM
Chris is right; even though the majority of our remarks were about closely related 'space tourism'.

**Has Branson or other officials given any fresh hints about the first sub-orbital test flights, or at least the first high supersonic flight envelope tests?

Branson gives fresh hints about the next flight all the time.

Sadly you can find more reliable information in MAD magazine.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 10/20/2017 01:56 AM
Chris is right; even though the majority of our remarks were about closely related 'space tourism'.

**Has Branson or other officials given any fresh hints about the first sub-orbital test flights, or at least the first high supersonic flight envelope tests?

President Mike Moses said last week that Branson's prediction of reaching some definition of space (50 miles plus) within three months is close to the mark. He also said Virgin was hoping to reach that mark by the end of this year, which may not be realistic. After the last glide flight back on Oct. 4, George Whitesides indicated there would be one more glide flight before powered flights begin.

Moses also knocked down Branson's hope that they would begin commercial service in six months as being unrealistic. Moses also said that SpaceShipTwo would not initially reach the 100 km boundary of space.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 10/20/2017 03:35 PM
"There is no discrete physical boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. Different organizations have named different altitudes in an attempt to codify space’s official border:

    NASA and the US Air Force use the threshold of 50 miles (80 kilometers) to award astronaut wings, recognizing the pilots of the iconic X-15 program that so inspired our own vehicles.
    The “Kármán line” of 100 kilometers (62 miles) is also used, particularly outside of the USA.

Although its exact apogee may vary from flight to flight, SpaceShipTwo is designed to reach altitudes above these thresholds."
http://www.virgingalactic.com/human-spaceflight/your-flight-to-space/

Sir Richard, if we don't exceed those thresholds as outlined on your web page, do we get a refund or re-flight?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/20/2017 04:20 PM
Chris is right; even though the majority of our remarks were about closely related 'space tourism'.

**Has Branson or other officials given any fresh hints about the first sub-orbital test flights, or at least the first high supersonic flight envelope tests?

President Mike Moses said last week that Branson's prediction of reaching some definition of space (50 miles plus) within three months is close to the mark. He also said Virgin was hoping to reach that mark by the end of this year, which may not be realistic. After the last glide flight back on Oct. 4, George Whitesides indicated there would be one more glide flight before powered flights begin.

Moses also knocked down Branson's hope that they would begin commercial service in six months as being unrealistic. Moses also said that SpaceShipTwo would not initially reach the 100 km boundary of space.

The last glide flight was in august, if I recall correctly.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: john smith 19 on 10/20/2017 06:57 PM
Chris is right; even though the majority of our remarks were about closely related 'space tourism'.

**Has Branson or other officials given any fresh hints about the first sub-orbital test flights, or at least the first high supersonic flight envelope tests?

Branson gives fresh hints about the next flight all the time.

Sadly you can find more reliable information in MAD magazine.
So would that be before or after FH finally flies, in your opinion?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 10/20/2017 09:56 PM
Chris is right; even though the majority of our remarks were about closely related 'space tourism'.

**Has Branson or other officials given any fresh hints about the first sub-orbital test flights, or at least the first high supersonic flight envelope tests?

Branson gives fresh hints about the next flight all the time.

Sadly you can find more reliable information in MAD magazine.
So would that be before or after FH finally flies, in your opinion?
While this is not a SpaceX thread,   are you saying that Branson's occasional uniformed statements are in the same universe as FH's delay?

(Hint: how many things did VG achieve during SS2's delays?  Is today's SS2 more capable than originally envisioned or less so?)

Stick with VG... Bringing SpaceX into the conversation does not make VG or Branson look any better...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Dao Angkan on 10/20/2017 10:09 PM
This stuff is difficult, probably a lot more difficult than Branson expected. At least he has stuck with it, and continued to invest in it, rather than cutting his losses and running. I can understand the negativity when companies are financing their plans from others money, but don't really get it when people are spending their own money on their own plans. Surely customers can get a refund if they don't get what they paid for.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 10/21/2017 04:01 AM
"There is no discrete physical boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. Different organizations have named different altitudes in an attempt to codify space’s official border:

    NASA and the US Air Force use the threshold of 50 miles (80 kilometers) to award astronaut wings, recognizing the pilots of the iconic X-15 program that so inspired our own vehicles.
    The “Kármán line” of 100 kilometers (62 miles) is also used, particularly outside of the USA.

Although its exact apogee may vary from flight to flight, SpaceShipTwo is designed to reach altitudes above these thresholds."
http://www.virgingalactic.com/human-spaceflight/your-flight-to-space/

Sir Richard, if we don't exceed those thresholds as outlined on your web page, do we get a refund or re-flight?

The ticket holder agreement stipulates 50 miles. Saying the ship is designed to reach these altitudes is different from saying it will.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: john smith 19 on 10/21/2017 10:19 AM
This stuff is difficult, probably a lot more difficult than Branson expected. At least he has stuck with it, and continued to invest in it, rather than cutting his losses and running. I can understand the negativity when companies are financing their plans from others money, but don't really get it when people are spending their own money on their own plans. Surely customers can get a refund if they don't get what they paid for.
Not really. Branson doens't mind putting the Virgin brand name on the project.

Putting his money in is something else.

Most of the recent money came from an investment fund in the Middle East (Kuwait I think).
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Kryten on 10/21/2017 10:31 AM
Most of the recent money came from an investment fund in the Middle East (Kuwait I think).
Aabar, owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 10/21/2017 01:48 PM
"There is no discrete physical boundary between the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. Different organizations have named different altitudes in an attempt to codify space’s official border:

    NASA and the US Air Force use the threshold of 50 miles (80 kilometers) to award astronaut wings, recognizing the pilots of the iconic X-15 program that so inspired our own vehicles.
    The “Kármán line” of 100 kilometers (62 miles) is also used, particularly outside of the USA.

Although its exact apogee may vary from flight to flight, SpaceShipTwo is designed to reach altitudes above these thresholds."
http://www.virgingalactic.com/human-spaceflight/your-flight-to-space/

Sir Richard, if we don't exceed those thresholds as outlined on your web page, do we get a refund or re-flight?

The ticket holder agreement stipulates 50 miles. Saying the ship is designed to reach these altitudes is different from saying it will.
So if on "my' flight we only get to 49 miles, then what??
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: nacnud on 10/21/2017 05:35 PM
I think the answers are fairly obvious, once SS2 is flying customers and the performance is known if you don't want the experience on offer then you get a refund on your deposite. If you still want to fly then pay the rest of the fair and away you go.

The only way to know for sure though is to take a look at the contract.

I suspect that it will be worded such that you are paying for a flight on a vehicle, not a specific altitude and that Virgin has the right to change the conditions if needed.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 10/22/2017 01:34 AM
I think the answers are fairly obvious, once SS2 is flying customers and the performance is known if you don't want the experience on offer then you get a refund on your deposite. If you still want to fly then pay the rest of the fair and away you go.

The only way to know for sure though is to take a look at the contract.

I suspect that it will be worded such that you are paying for a flight on a vehicle, not a specific altitude and that Virgin has the right to change the conditions if needed.

A customer agreement was posted a few years ago online. I can't find it now, but it stipulated 50 miles.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: john smith 19 on 10/23/2017 09:41 AM
Most of the recent money came from an investment fund in the Middle East (Kuwait I think).
Aabar, owned by the government of Abu Dhabi.
Thank you for correcting me.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/24/2017 07:00 PM
Quote
It’s official: FAA has added our future home base @Spaceport_NM as an approved launch site in our operator license. We are getting #NMReady

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/922900185465982977 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/922900185465982977)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Barrie on 10/24/2017 07:10 PM
So if on "my' flight we only get to 49 miles, then what??

You get a 2% refund?      ???
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: nacnud on 10/24/2017 07:16 PM
So if on "my' flight we only get to 49 miles, then what??

You get a 2% refund?      ???

and then move the operation to Denver.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 10/24/2017 07:35 PM
Or get an "attack-dog" lawyer like Roy Cohn...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/25/2017 05:30 PM
Quote
It’s official: FAA has added our future home base @Spaceport_NM as an approved launch site in our operator license. We are getting #NMReady

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/922900185465982977 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/922900185465982977)

The revised license has now been posted on-line (attached).
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/26/2017 02:55 PM
Cross-posting for info, suggest keep follow-ups in original thread:

Wow:

Quote
Press release: Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) has announced plans to invest $1 billion in Virgin Galactic, TSC, Virgin Orbit.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/923560891647488000 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/923560891647488000)

Quote
The release describes this as a “a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a partnership” with option for addl. $480M investment.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/923561188658688000 (https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/923561188658688000)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 10/26/2017 04:34 PM
SN article regarding this development.

http://spacenews.com/virgin-signs-agreement-with-saudi-arabia-for-billion-dollar-investment/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Darkseraph on 10/26/2017 09:59 PM
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/10/26/virgin-galactics-spaceshipthree/

The image in the above article is supposedly SpaceShipThree, a point to point spaceplane.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/26/2017 10:14 PM
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/10/26/virgin-galactics-spaceshipthree/

The image in the above article is supposedly SpaceShipThree, a point to point spaceplane.

I doubt that is anything more than an artist’s impression to look good and suggest there’s something to the supersonic p2p travel. I find it hard to believe, with all the issues they’ve had, that VG has put any real money into this yet. However, presumably the $1B now gives them the resources to look at this more seriously. It’ll be interesting to see what happens, but I’m not holding my breath!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 10/26/2017 10:30 PM
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/10/26/virgin-galactics-spaceshipthree/

The image in the above article is supposedly SpaceShipThree, a point to point spaceplane.

I doubt that is anything more than an artist’s impression to look good and suggest there’s something to the supersonic p2p travel. I find it hard to believe, with all the issues they’ve had, that VG has put any real money into this yet. However, presumably the $1B now gives them the resources to look at this more seriously. It’ll be interesting to see what happens, but I’m not holding my breath!

And how many billions does someone have to invest before you do stop holding your breath on the matter?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 10/27/2017 12:20 AM
And how many billions does someone have to invest before you do stop holding your breath on the matter?

How many billions have they sunk into SS2 already? It really does seem like the more money you have the slower you go... *cough*Blue Origin*cough*
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/27/2017 12:36 AM
Cancel SS2. Hybrids are a dead end. Give everyone refunds AND priority as first passengers on SS3.

IMHO.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: CameronD on 10/27/2017 02:50 AM
Cancel SS2. Hybrids are a dead end. Give everyone refunds AND priority as first passengers on SS3.

IMHO.

Undoubtably choosing a smoky, polluting, lethal, hybrid was the wrong horse for SS2 - but, if NASA's latest SST research is anything to go by, SS3 (as currently advertised) isn't going to happen without spending billions of dollars and decades of time.  Given their target audience, many of their current ticket-holders will be dead by then.  Methinks they're locked into their current trajectory and there ain't a lot they can do about it.

IMHO.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Robotbeat on 10/27/2017 02:56 AM
SS3 can work just as BFR, though probably they're planning on skipping quite a bit.

This is the real justification for developing those liquid rocket engines.

As far as taking decades of time, we'll see.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: CameronD on 10/27/2017 03:00 AM
As far as taking decades of time, we'll see.

Weeell... they've been at this for more than a decade already.  SS1 was hung from the ceiling in 2004.

Yes indeed, we shall see.  Now, who's got the popcorn?  8)
 
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 10/27/2017 04:24 AM
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/10/26/virgin-galactics-spaceshipthree/

The image in the above article is supposedly SpaceShipThree, a point to point spaceplane.

I doubt that is anything more than an artist’s impression to look good and suggest there’s something to the supersonic p2p travel. I find it hard to believe, with all the issues they’ve had, that VG has put any real money into this yet. However, presumably the $1B now gives them the resources to look at this more seriously. It’ll be interesting to see what happens, but I’m not holding my breath!

And how many billions does someone have to invest before you do stop holding your breath on the matter?

Are you kidding?  The willingness of VCs or foreign royalty families to invest in something is almost anti-correlated to the worthiness of a technology.  It's mostly related to how well the CEO can sell the snake oil dejour.  Examples are everywhere, and they reach the $1B bracket.

Further, there is no $1B investment here. There's a loose MOU that mentions the amount $1B.  You have no idea what they have.

Remember this is VG.  "The unveiling company".  They have, and unveiled, multiple hangers, a spaceport, a number of carrier airplanes, an official Vodka, an official hotel chain, an official dog food brand (no the last one is a joke)

They issue PRs when a run-of-the-mill 747 takes off towards Mojave, arrives at Mojave, takes a flight around Mojave...

You know the one thing they don't have?   

That's right - a SpaceShip.  Or rather a suborbital glider, since that vehicle is not a spaceship, even if you insist on calling a 5 minute suborbital "going into space".

So SS3 - it's not a thing they can pursue, since it doesn't exist.  For real manned P2P travel, you need to build what is essentially a heavy orbital booster. 

How exactly would VG do that exactly?
Title: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 10/27/2017 05:48 PM
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/10/26/virgin-galactics-spaceshipthree/

The image in the above article is supposedly SpaceShipThree, a point to point spaceplane.

I doubt that is anything more than an artist’s impression to look good and suggest there’s something to the supersonic p2p travel. I find it hard to believe, with all the issues they’ve had, that VG has put any real money into this yet. However, presumably the $1B now gives them the resources to look at this more seriously. It’ll be interesting to see what happens, but I’m not holding my breath!

And how many billions does someone have to invest before you do stop holding your breath on the matter?

Are you kidding?  The willingness of VCs or foreign royalty families to invest in something is almost anti-correlated to the worthiness of a technology.  It's mostly related to how well the CEO can sell the snake oil dejour.  Examples are everywhere, and they reach the $1B bracket.

Further, there is no $1B investment here. There's a loose MOU that mentions the amount $1B.  You have no idea what they have.

Remember this is VG.  "The unveiling company".  They have, and unveiled, multiple hangers, a spaceport, a number of carrier airplanes, an official Vodka, an official hotel chain, an official dog food brand (no the last one is a joke)

They issue PRs when a run-of-the-mill 747 takes off towards Mojave, arrives at Mojave, takes a flight around Mojave...

You know the one thing they don't have?   

That's right - a SpaceShip.  Or rather a suborbital glider, since that vehicle is not a spaceship, even if you insist on calling a 5 minute suborbital "going into space".

So SS3 - it's not a thing they can pursue, since it doesn't exist.  For real manned P2P travel, you need to build what is essentially a heavy orbital booster. 

How exactly would VG do that exactly?

All unsupported and pretty biased commentary. There’s nothing in this post that says why anyone should take any notice of what amounts to little more than a soapbox rant.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 10/27/2017 06:16 PM
http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/10/26/virgin-galactics-spaceshipthree/

The image in the above article is supposedly SpaceShipThree, a point to point spaceplane.

I doubt that is anything more than an artist’s impression to look good and suggest there’s something to the supersonic p2p travel. I find it hard to believe, with all the issues they’ve had, that VG has put any real money into this yet. However, presumably the $1B now gives them the resources to look at this more seriously. It’ll be interesting to see what happens, but I’m not holding my breath!

And how many billions does someone have to invest before you do stop holding your breath on the matter?

Are you kidding?  The willingness of VCs or foreign royalty families to invest in something is almost anti-correlated to the worthiness of a technology.  It's mostly related to how well the CEO can sell the snake oil dejour.  Examples are everywhere, and they reach the $1B bracket.

Further, there is no $1B investment here. There's a loose MOU that mentions the amount $1B.  You have no idea what they have.

Remember this is VG.  "The unveiling company".  They have, and unveiled, multiple hangers, a spaceport, a number of carrier airplanes, an official Vodka, an official hotel chain, an official dog food brand (no the last one is a joke)

They issue PRs when a run-of-the-mill 747 takes off towards Mojave, arrives at Mojave, takes a flight around Mojave...

You know the one thing they don't have?   

That's right - a SpaceShip.  Or rather a suborbital glider, since that vehicle is not a spaceship, even if you insist on calling a 5 minute suborbital "going into space".

So SS3 - it's not a thing they can pursue, since it doesn't exist.  For real manned P2P travel, you need to build what is essentially a heavy orbital booster. 

How exactly would VG do that exactly?

All unsupported and pretty biased commentary. There’s nothing in this post that says why anyone should take any notice of what amounts to little more than a soapbox rant.
Heh it had more reasoning than the vague notice about the MOU...

Again, manned P2P travel requires a heavy orbital-class launcher.

What has VG done that demonstrates they are remotely capable of that?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Darkseraph on 10/27/2017 07:15 PM
I hear Virgin has some kind of other business that's gained lots of experience with liquid engines. Maybe they might help Virgin Galactic out with that somehow.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: abaddon on 10/27/2017 07:27 PM
All unsupported and pretty biased commentary. There’s nothing in this post that says why anyone should take any notice of what amounts to little more than a soapbox rant.
Based on the number of likes [full disclosure: mine included] of the post you are quoting, at least some people appear to disagree with you.

And that's coming from someone who is relatively positive about SS2 and hopes it finds success.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 10/27/2017 08:01 PM
Compilation of public-sector support for Virgin Galactic, direct investments and indirect (Spaceport America). Total would be up to $1.6 billion if the Saudi deal goes through. If the Saudis fully exercise their option, it would increase to $2 billion

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/10/27/fastfacts-publicsector-financial-support-richard-bransons-space-companies/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 10/29/2017 05:34 PM
"Virgin Deal With Saudi Arabia Includes Possible Space Entertainment Center"

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2017/10/29/virgin-deal-saudi-arabia-includes-space-entertainment-center/

In my below quoted post, had I added that "Why don't they start a space-themed entertainment park", people would have thought I was being too sarcastic.  I would have thought so too.

But, reality trumps imagination, again.

...

Remember this is VG.  "The unveiling company".  They have, and unveiled, multiple hangers, a spaceport, a number of carrier airplanes, an official Vodka, an official hotel chain, an official dog food brand (no the last one is a joke)

They issue PRs when a run-of-the-mill 747 takes off towards Mojave, arrives at Mojave, takes a flight around Mojave...

You know the one thing they don't have?   

That's right - a SpaceShip.  Or rather a suborbital glider, since that vehicle is not a spaceship, even if you insist on calling a 5 minute suborbital "going into space".

So SS3 - it's not a thing they can pursue, since it doesn't exist.  For real manned P2P travel, you need to build what is essentially a heavy orbital booster. 

How exactly would VG do that exactly?


Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 10/29/2017 05:50 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlBtCl-z2Uk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlBtCl-z2Uk)

At about 1:25 in Branson briefly talks to the new aeroplane. Claims Virgin are building it and it will go at Mach 4 or 5.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Barrie on 10/29/2017 06:34 PM
Cancel SS2. Hybrids are a dead end. Give everyone refunds AND priority as first passengers on SS3.

IMHO.

I suggest they buy everyone a ticket for New Shepard instead.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 10/29/2017 07:05 PM
This IMO is getting pathetic. We'll see how powered flights will perform. I'm personally optimistic.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 10/30/2017 03:42 AM
Your gas dollars at work!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Comga on 10/30/2017 04:54 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlBtCl-z2Uk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlBtCl-z2Uk)

At about 1:25 in Branson briefly talks to the new aeroplane. Claims Virgin are building it and it will go at Mach 4 or 5.

3 months until SS2 "goes into space"
4 months until Virgin Orbit launches to orbit
Almost no time at all until they build a Mach 4-5 passenger plane
Probably another decade or two before Branson answers a question believably

I wish I shared Svetoslav's optimism, but I more agree with his first sentiment.
To be honest, I couldn't watch the whole video.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 11/10/2017 01:42 PM
Quote
‘We know you’ve waited a long time,’ Virgin Galactic says
By Andrew Oxford | The New Mexican Nov 8, 2017

Virgin Galactic says to be patient, New Mexico. It is coming.

Officials from the company at the center of Spaceport America’s hopes for success say they are getting ready for a “big move,” with plans to base an additional 85 employees in the Las Cruces area over the next year.

http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/business/we-know-you-ve-waited-a-long-time-virgin-galactic/article_193053d4-8f61-5fad-8e31-ba18b25a14b9.html (http://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/business/we-know-you-ve-waited-a-long-time-virgin-galactic/article_193053d4-8f61-5fad-8e31-ba18b25a14b9.html)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 11/30/2017 10:01 PM
Some tests are going on, apparently...

Via twitter:

Parabolicarc.com‏
@spacecom
 4m4 minutes ago
More
#WhiteKnightTwo flying about today solo. One of the few things that remind me I'm in the 21st century out here. Everything else is American Mid-century Dilapidated style.'

Parabolicarc.com‏
@spacecom
 12m12 minutes ago
More
#virginGalactic #WhiteKnightTwo doing touch and goes at #MASP apparent. Also an Extra chase plane. Must. Mean. Something.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/07/2017 04:55 PM
Quote
Virgin Galactic to relocate dozens of Mojave employees to Spaceport

Next year could finally bring some things New Mexico has been waiting on for years: Virgin Galactic's commercial space flights, and the economic prosperity that would follow.

https://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2017/12/06/virgin-galactic-to-move-mojave-desert-team-to.html
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: CameronD on 12/08/2017 12:06 AM
Quote
Virgin Galactic to relocate dozens of Mojave employees to Spaceport

Next year could finally bring some things New Mexico has been waiting on for years: Virgin Galactic's commercial space flights, and the economic prosperity that would follow.

https://www.bizjournals.com/albuquerque/news/2017/12/06/virgin-galactic-to-move-mojave-desert-team-to.html

Well.. we all live in hope for good things "next year".  ::)

Here's hoping it works out for them.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/16/2017 01:33 PM
Quote
Interesting note in this article about Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo flights at Spaceport America: they’ll take place on Thursdays, after training there Monday through Wednesday: http://www.dchieftain.com/news/space-tourism-to-launch-in/article_da9df51a-e05d-11e7-8b7d-2f5c4be72d91.html

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/942035939433615365
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/18/2017 05:01 PM
Quote
George Whitesides, Virgin Galactic: will be finishing up facilities at Spaceport America in 2018. Most done now; working now on “customer-facing” elements. #NSRC2017
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/942811422001696769

Quote
Whitesides: making “good progress” on flight test program for SpaceShipTwo. Glide test program (which started just over a year ago) has gone well. No details (yet) on upcoming powered flight tests. #NSRC2017
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/942812867895660545

Quote
Whitesides: Italian Space Agency has signed  letter of intent to purchase a full SS2 research flight, with an Italian payload specialist flying on it. Scheduled for 2019. #NSRC2017
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/942814324262883328

Quote
Whitesides: doing a lot of work on the vehicle to prepare it for powered test flights. Anticipating a full series of test flights in 2018; will take the time to do it right. #NSRC2017
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/942815094555148289

Quote
Whitesides: still planning to do one more glide flight before beginning powered test flights. #NSRC2017
https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/942815982908858368
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/19/2017 12:54 PM
Jeff Foust's write-up of yesterday's remarks:

Quote
Virgin Galactic signs SpaceShipTwo research flight deal with Italian space agency
by Jeff Foust — December 19, 2017

http://spacenews.com/virgin-galactic-signs-spaceshiptwo-research-flight-deal-with-italian-space-agency/ (http://spacenews.com/virgin-galactic-signs-spaceshiptwo-research-flight-deal-with-italian-space-agency/)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Comga on 12/19/2017 11:41 PM
Jeff Foust's write-up of yesterday's remarks:

Quote
Virgin Galactic signs SpaceShipTwo research flight deal with Italian space agency
by Jeff Foust — December 19, 2017

http://spacenews.com/virgin-galactic-signs-spaceshiptwo-research-flight-deal-with-italian-space-agency/ (http://spacenews.com/virgin-galactic-signs-spaceshiptwo-research-flight-deal-with-italian-space-agency/)

This was stated at the Suborbital Research Conference in Broomfield, Colorado yesterday.
Foust’s SpaceNews article has nothing really new about SpaceShip Two. 
Another glide flight planned. An undetermined or just unstated number of powered flights and no projected dates for entry into commercial service. The billion or billion and a half dollar investment by Saudi Arabia is still being negotiated. NASA’s flight has not occurred because SpaceShip Two hasn’t flown.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 12/21/2017 03:23 PM
Audio recording of a talk last week by Jim Vanderploeg, Virgin Galatctic’s cheif medical officer:

https://www.aerosociety.com/news/video-and-audio-archive-stewart-named-lecture-2017/ (https://www.aerosociety.com/news/video-and-audio-archive-stewart-named-lecture-2017/)

Quote
This year’s lecture reviews the past 10 years of progress toward preparing for routine space flight for members of the public. The lecturer reviews the regulatory and legal climate affecting preparations for flying commercial space flight participants under the auspices of the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. Results from research conducted to evaluate the challenges presented by the broad range of individuals wishing to fly to space on commercial vehicles will be discussed.  Dr. Vanderploeg includes a review of pre-flight testing and training used to identify and quantify the medical risks for commercial space flight participants and the mitigation of those risks.  The lecture concludes with the application of results and recommendations from research and practical experience to the medical program at Virgin Galactic.  As commercial space flight operations commence over the next one to two years, the opportunities to practice Aerospace Medicine in new and exciting ways will become a reality.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Steven Pietrobon on 12/23/2017 12:01 AM
Posting this here as it is not relevant to SpaceX.

SpaceX should be able to claim the cost of the booster as a tax deduction if it is donated to a museum. That's why SpaceShip One ended up in the Smithsonian, instead of taking up tourists.

Spaceship One did not fly tourists because it was too unstable and dangerous... that’s why it was retired immediately, a tax deduction was not a major factor.

OK, that is not my understanding. Here is Paul Allen saying they achieved a net positive return from the donation.

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=I2XUC0mp4wIC&pg=PT299&lpg=PT299&dq=spaceship+one++smithsonian+tax&source=bl&ots=qeZN7sRoP-&sig=PzsMPcKrbDfvYnwcD7TQyObjNlg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjj-oeV9J7YAhWFW5QKHUswBekQ6AEITjAG#v=onepage&q=spaceship%20one%20%20smithsonian%20tax&f=false

"As predicted, SpaceShipOne wound up taking longer and costing more than planned. The final price tag was $28 million, money well spent. Adding up the X Prize, the tax credit from our Smithsonian donation, and the Virgin licensing revenues, we achieved a net positive return by 2006."

Do you have a reference that says Paul Allen donated SpaceShipOne because it wasn't safe?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 12/23/2017 12:31 AM
Steven, he said it didn't fly tourists because it was unstable and dangerous - not that it was donated for that reason. This is, of course, a non-sequitur - Soyuz is unstable and dangerous and has flown the only "tourists" that have ever flown to space. Rutan simply thought he could do better than SpaceShipOne and with Richard Branson's money he had the chance. Then he retired... and here we are.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 12/23/2017 04:00 AM
Rutan had a plan to continue flying SpaceShipOne with friends of his and Allen as passengers to popularize space tourism. But Allen had enough and decided not to fund any additional flights. I believe he was unnerved by some of the things that had happened during test flights. So he figured hey I can quit while I'm ahead and claim a hefty tax credit for the donation before this thing crashes and kills some people and there's nothing left to put in the Smithsonian.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/08/2018 12:08 PM
Guys?

This article just appeared on Parabolic Arc:

http://parabolicarc.com/2018/01/08/richard-bransons-latest-memoir-lost-space/


There's a lot of harsh criticism there.

What do you think?

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Kabloona on 01/09/2018 01:59 AM
Guys?

This article just appeared on Parabolic Arc:

http://parabolicarc.com/2018/01/08/richard-bransons-latest-memoir-lost-space/


There's a lot of harsh criticism there.

What do you think?

The essence of Doug's criticism is this quote from his post:

Quote
More than 14 years after Tai’s accidental discovery, Branson is still waiting for his ride to space along with about 650 Virgin Galactic ticket holders. The SpaceShipTwo program has consumed more than $600 million while producing more deaths (4) than successful powered flights (3), all without getting anywhere near space. The effort has dragged on longer than the Apollo moon program that inspired Branson’s love of space.

I haven't read Branson's book, but what Doug says in the above paragraph speaks for itself, and whatever Branson says in his book isn't going to change that dismal record.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lars-J on 01/09/2018 03:46 AM
I think Doug is fair. Few journalists (if any) have as much knowledge about Scaled and VG as he does.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/09/2018 08:13 AM
Today we're expecting another article from Parabolicarc. The article will be called "A dangerous illusion is shattered in the skies over the Mojave."

Meanwhile on 4th of January we passed a 5-month gap of flights. The last gliding test was in august. If this lull continues, there will be half a year without flights.

This is in sharp contrast with what Virgin Galactic envisioned last fall. They said that until the end of 2017 Unity will be doing powered flights, and "powered tests are set to take place every three weeks".

Nothing like this happened and it's really curious what's going on behind the curtains. Are they still having trouble with the engine?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: LaunchedIn68 on 01/09/2018 04:30 PM
Guys?

This article just appeared on Parabolic Arc:

http://parabolicarc.com/2018/01/08/richard-bransons-latest-memoir-lost-space/


There's a lot of harsh criticism there.

What do you think?

Typical.  More of the same from that site, one sided "reporting"...more akin to blogging I would say.  After the VSS Enterprise accident, he reported it was the engine as expected all along, that blew up.  I look at the available photos posted on his own site would prove otherwise, as was later revealed. 
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: tleski on 01/09/2018 05:50 PM
Today we're expecting another article from Parabolicarc. The article will be called "A dangerous illusion is shattered in the skies over the Mojave."

Meanwhile on 4th of January we passed a 5-month gap of flights. The last gliding test was in august. If this lull continues, there will be half a year without flights.

This is in sharp contrast with what Virgin Galactic envisioned last fall. They said that until the end of 2017 Unity will be doing powered flights, and "powered tests are set to take place every three weeks".

Nothing like this happened and it's really curious what's going on behind the curtains. Are they still having trouble with the engine?

Part 2:

http://parabolicarc.com/2018/01/09/bransons-autobiography-part-ii-bad-day-koehn-lake/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/09/2018 06:21 PM
Guys?

This article just appeared on Parabolic Arc:

http://parabolicarc.com/2018/01/08/richard-bransons-latest-memoir-lost-space/


There's a lot of harsh criticism there.

What do you think?

The essence of Doug's criticism is this quote from his post:

Quote
More than 14 years after Tai’s accidental discovery, Branson is still waiting for his ride to space along with about 650 Virgin Galactic ticket holders. The SpaceShipTwo program has consumed more than $600 million while producing more deaths (4) than successful powered flights (3), all without getting anywhere near space. The effort has dragged on longer than the Apollo moon program that inspired Branson’s love of space.

I haven't read Branson's book, but what Doug says in the above paragraph speaks for itself, and whatever Branson says in his book isn't going to change that dismal record.

I think that's the core of it. But, there's a lot more to it. He has written in the past about how rushed the flight test program had become at the time of the accident due to money and time pressures. About the pilot error safety waiver FAA issued under pressure to keep program on track. FAA realizes it screwed that up bigly. Sure all that will be written about in next two parts.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Kabloona on 01/09/2018 11:15 PM
Guys?

This article just appeared on Parabolic Arc:

http://parabolicarc.com/2018/01/08/richard-bransons-latest-memoir-lost-space/


There's a lot of harsh criticism there.

What do you think?

Typical.  More of the same from that site, one sided "reporting"...more akin to blogging I would say.  After the VSS Enterprise accident, he reported it was the engine as expected all along, that blew up.  I look at the available photos posted on his own site would prove otherwise, as was later revealed.

Yes, that was a mistake, and to be fair, he then admitted he had jumped to a false conclusion and apologized. That doesn't mean all his other critiques of the SS2 program are invalid.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 01/10/2018 03:54 AM
Guys?

This article just appeared on Parabolic Arc:

http://parabolicarc.com/2018/01/08/richard-bransons-latest-memoir-lost-space/


There's a lot of harsh criticism there.

What do you think?

Typical.  More of the same from that site, one sided "reporting"...more akin to blogging I would say.  After the VSS Enterprise accident, he reported it was the engine as expected all along, that blew up.  I look at the available photos posted on his own site would prove otherwise, as was later revealed.

That's right.  VG actually had more issues in their craft and operations, beyond the engine issues that were correctly reported on on PA.

His initial guess as to what's happened was wrong, but that hardly makes his engine reporting faulty, or VG look any better.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: woods170 on 01/10/2018 07:21 AM
Guys?

This article just appeared on Parabolic Arc:

http://parabolicarc.com/2018/01/08/richard-bransons-latest-memoir-lost-space/ (http://parabolicarc.com/2018/01/08/richard-bransons-latest-memoir-lost-space/)


There's a lot of harsh criticism there.

What do you think?

Typical.  More of the same from that site, one sided "reporting"...more akin to blogging I would say.  After the VSS Enterprise accident, he reported it was the engine as expected all along, that blew up.  I look at the available photos posted on his own site would prove otherwise, as was later revealed.

That's right.  VG actually had more issues in their craft and operations, beyond the engine issues that were correctly reported on on PA.

His initial guess as to what's happened was wrong, but that hardly makes his engine reporting faulty, or VG look any better.

Indeed. But, look at it this way. We are talking about Doug Messier here. A guy that has in fact been banned from here (NSF) for having an "agenda" AND relentlessly pursuing that agenda here on NSF.
His reporting on VG is generally correct, however his handicap is that he is incapable of keeping his own (twisted IMO) opinion out of his reporting blogging.

I notice this because I have the same handicap. So that's why I:
1. Don't blog
2. Have not answered to this call (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44622.0) from Chris.

But I digress.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Ric Capucho on 01/10/2018 06:51 PM
Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Ric


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lars-J on 01/10/2018 07:07 PM
Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Ric


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

What two wrongs are you referring to?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 01/10/2018 10:03 PM
I think Doug is just as obsessed with "safety" as Virgin Galactic is. If both were more concerned with actually flying people who are willing to open their wallets and take the risk, we'd have an actual industry by now.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lars-J on 01/10/2018 11:32 PM
I think Doug is just as obsessed with "safety" as Virgin Galactic is. If both were more concerned with actually flying people who are willing to open their wallets and take the risk, we'd have an actual industry by now.

Hardly. With this level of risk, letting passengers "take the risk" is how you end your company. We aren't dealing with NASA uber requirements here to reduce LOC numbers to absurd levels. We are in "a decent chance you might die" territory here.

VG are not going to do more powered test flights until they are comfortable with the risks (which will still be magnitudes more than NASA would be OK with), they do NOT want to kill more test pilots.

VG's fundamental problem is that
A) They chose a fundamentally unsafe propulsion method. (could be made to work, but at great cost and time expense)
B) Their vehicle requires a pilot.  (otherwise they could do many unmanned flights and iron out issues)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 01/10/2018 11:37 PM
People die all the time doing lots of activities much more risky than this. The only reason anyone would think (suborbital) spaceflight is "safe" is because the marketing has been misleading them.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/10/2018 11:51 PM
Guys?

This article just appeared on Parabolic Arc:

http://parabolicarc.com/2018/01/08/richard-bransons-latest-memoir-lost-space/ (http://parabolicarc.com/2018/01/08/richard-bransons-latest-memoir-lost-space/)


There's a lot of harsh criticism there.

What do you think?

Typical.  More of the same from that site, one sided "reporting"...more akin to blogging I would say.  After the VSS Enterprise accident, he reported it was the engine as expected all along, that blew up.  I look at the available photos posted on his own site would prove otherwise, as was later revealed.

That's right.  VG actually had more issues in their craft and operations, beyond the engine issues that were correctly reported on on PA.

His initial guess as to what's happened was wrong, but that hardly makes his engine reporting faulty, or VG look any better.

Indeed. But, look at it this way. We are talking about Doug Messier here. A guy that has in fact been banned from here (NSF) for having an "agenda" AND relentlessly pursuing that agenda here on NSF.
His reporting on VG is generally correct, however his handicap is that he is incapable of keeping his own (twisted IMO) opinion out of his reporting blogging.

I notice this because I have the same handicap. So that's why I:
1. Don't blog
2. Have not answered to this call (https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=44622.0) from Chris.

But I digress.

Part III went live a bit ago.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/01/10/bransons-autobiography-spaceshiptwo-blame-game-begins/

Might want to read relevant sections of Sir Richard's bio and the series then review the NTSB report. Series is about how Branson's account of events is way off from reality.

Or do nothing and just pass judgment.

Up to you.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/10/2018 11:57 PM
Guys?

This article just appeared on Parabolic Arc:

http://parabolicarc.com/2018/01/08/richard-bransons-latest-memoir-lost-space/


There's a lot of harsh criticism there.

What do you think?

Typical.  More of the same from that site, one sided "reporting"...more akin to blogging I would say.  After the VSS Enterprise accident, he reported it was the engine as expected all along, that blew up.  I look at the available photos posted on his own site would prove otherwise, as was later revealed.

That's right.  VG actually had more issues in their craft and operations, beyond the engine issues that were correctly reported on on PA.

His initial guess as to what's happened was wrong, but that hardly makes his engine reporting faulty, or VG look any better.

Part III dropped a while ago.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/01/10/bransons-autobiography-spaceshiptwo-blame-game-begins/

It explains why he and the two photographers with him thought an explosion happened and why the truth didn't become public for two days. One of the photographers was Ken Brown who took most of the photos people saw that day. His resume includes working on rockets at Masten. He thought so, too.   
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/11/2018 06:18 AM
People die all the time doing lots of activities much more risky than this. The only reason anyone would think (suborbital) spaceflight is "safe" is because the marketing has been misleading them.

But because of the marketing, how can we have any idea how risky SS2 really is?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/11/2018 06:23 AM
Space Tourism Market is like that : demand is very high, supply (so far) is zero. I'm pretty sure VG could survive one more failure, if funding is not the issue.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: woods170 on 01/11/2018 06:44 AM
Guys?

This article just appeared on Parabolic Arc:

http://parabolicarc.com/2018/01/08/richard-bransons-latest-memoir-lost-space/


There's a lot of harsh criticism there.

What do you think?

Typical.  More of the same from that site, one sided "reporting"...more akin to blogging I would say.  After the VSS Enterprise accident, he reported it was the engine as expected all along, that blew up.  I look at the available photos posted on his own site would prove otherwise, as was later revealed.

That's right.  VG actually had more issues in their craft and operations, beyond the engine issues that were correctly reported on on PA.

His initial guess as to what's happened was wrong, but that hardly makes his engine reporting faulty, or VG look any better.

Part III dropped a while ago.

http://www.parabolicarc.com/2018/01/10/bransons-autobiography-spaceshiptwo-blame-game-begins/

It explains why he and the two photographers with him thought an explosion happened and why the truth didn't become public for two days. One of the photographers was Ken Brown who took most of the photos people saw that day. His resume includes working on rockets at Masten. He thought so, too.   

My problem with Doug Messier is that he thought he saw an explosion AND immediately reported that "there was an explosion". In his rush to have a journalistic "first" he violated one of the fundamentals of good journalism: you only report the facts.

What he did was presenting his assumption as a "fact".

That was stupid. Just plain stupid.

He recognized his error after the fact and apologized. But the damage had already been done.

That is why the Chris, Chris G, and the other reporters here stand out: they do good journalism. They don't report facts until they have it confirmed as facts. That is why, IMO, NasaSpaceflight.com stands-out over 99.9 percent of all other space news websites.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/11/2018 06:49 AM
I'm pretty sure VG could survive one more failure, if funding is not the issue.

I think that would depend on the nature and cause of the failure. If it became clear that corners had been cut or that they’d fail to learn from the previous accidents then I don’t see how they’d be trusted going forward.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lars-J on 01/11/2018 08:07 AM
My problem with Doug Messier is that he thought he saw an explosion AND immediately reported that "there was an explosion". In his rush to have a journalistic "first" he violated one of the fundamentals of good journalism: you only report the facts.

What he did was presenting his assumption as a "fact".

That was stupid. Just plain stupid.

He recognized his error after the fact and apologized. But the damage had already been done.

That is why the Chris, Chris G, and the other reporters here stand out: they do good journalism. They don't report facts until they have it confirmed as facts. That is why, IMO, NasaSpaceflight.com stands-out over 99.9 percent of all other space news websites.

Oh come on. He wasn’t just a journalist there - he was an eye-witness, and you report what you see (or speculate one what you think you saw). 99% of eyewitnesses in the area would have made the same assumption - it sure looked like SS2 blew up! Journalists (yes even real journalists) do during breaking new speculate quite a bit, and many details are in retrospect wrong.

So I think you just cling on to this incident to explain your general dislike, since you otherwise can not find any other factual issue with his reporting on VG to explain it.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: woods170 on 01/11/2018 08:40 AM
My problem with Doug Messier is that he thought he saw an explosion AND immediately reported that "there was an explosion". In his rush to have a journalistic "first" he violated one of the fundamentals of good journalism: you only report the facts.

What he did was presenting his assumption as a "fact".

That was stupid. Just plain stupid.

He recognized his error after the fact and apologized. But the damage had already been done.

That is why the Chris, Chris G, and the other reporters here stand out: they do good journalism. They don't report facts until they have it confirmed as facts. That is why, IMO, NasaSpaceflight.com stands-out over 99.9 percent of all other space news websites.

Oh come on. He wasn’t just a journalist there - he was an eye-witness, and you report what you see (or speculate one what you think you saw). 99% of eyewitnesses in the area would have made the same assumption - it sure looked like SS2 blew up! Journalists (yes even real journalists) do during breaking new speculate quite a bit, and many details are in retrospect wrong.

So I think you just cling on to this incident to explain your general dislike, since you otherwise can not find any other factual issue with his reporting on VG to explain it.

Doug has been factually wrong many times. His consistent pushing of incorrect "facts" is one of the things that got him banned from NSF.

Other than that Doug could have simply reported "SpaceShip One came came apart in mid-air and crashed before my eyes", and he still would have had his "first".
At least it would have been a helluvalot more factual.

Speculating is not what a good journalist/reporter should be doing. Unfortunately, most so-called "journalists" almost exclusively speculate. That has, unfortunately, become the norm, to the point that certain folks can't even recall what a good journalist is supposed to be.

I stand with my opinion: Doug is neither a good journalist, nor a good reporter.
Feel free to disagree.

But I digress.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 01/11/2018 10:10 AM
My problem with Doug Messier is that he thought he saw an explosion AND immediately reported that "there was an explosion". In his rush to have a journalistic "first" he violated one of the fundamentals of good journalism: you only report the facts.

What he did was presenting his assumption as a "fact".

That was stupid. Just plain stupid.

He recognized his error after the fact and apologized. But the damage had already been done.

That is why the Chris, Chris G, and the other reporters here stand out: they do good journalism. They don't report facts until they have it confirmed as facts. That is why, IMO, NasaSpaceflight.com stands-out over 99.9 percent of all other space news websites.

Oh come on. He wasn’t just a journalist there - he was an eye-witness, and you report what you see (or speculate one what you think you saw). 99% of eyewitnesses in the area would have made the same assumption - it sure looked like SS2 blew up! Journalists (yes even real journalists) do during breaking new speculate quite a bit, and many details are in retrospect wrong.

So I think you just cling on to this incident to explain your general dislike, since you otherwise can not find any other factual issue with his reporting on VG to explain it.

Doug has been factually wrong many times. His consistent pushing of incorrect "facts" is one of the things that got him banned from NSF.

Other than that Doug could have simply reported "SpaceShip One came came apart in mid-air and crashed before my eyes", and he still would have had his "first".
At least it would have been a helluvalot more factual.

Speculating is not what a good journalist/reporter should be doing. Unfortunately, most so-called "journalists" almost exclusively speculate. That has, unfortunately, become the norm, to the point that certain folks can't even recall what a good journalist is supposed to be.

I stand with my opinion: Doug is neither a good journalist, nor a good reporter.
Feel free to disagree.

But I digress.

I back you on this. My big problem with him is he posts as if VG had run over his wife & kids. Any points he may have are obscured by his attitude issues.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 01/11/2018 12:20 PM
My problem with Doug Messier is that he thought he saw an explosion AND immediately reported that "there was an explosion". In his rush to have a journalistic "first" he violated one of the fundamentals of good journalism: you only report the facts.

What he did was presenting his assumption as a "fact".

That was stupid. Just plain stupid.

He recognized his error after the fact and apologized. But the damage had already been done.

That is why the Chris, Chris G, and the other reporters here stand out: they do good journalism. They don't report facts until they have it confirmed as facts. That is why, IMO, NasaSpaceflight.com stands-out over 99.9 percent of all other space news websites.

Oh come on. He wasn’t just a journalist there - he was an eye-witness, and you report what you see (or speculate one what you think you saw). 99% of eyewitnesses in the area would have made the same assumption - it sure looked like SS2 blew up! Journalists (yes even real journalists) do during breaking new speculate quite a bit, and many details are in retrospect wrong.

So I think you just cling on to this incident to explain your general dislike, since you otherwise can not find any other factual issue with his reporting on VG to explain it.

Doug has been factually wrong many times. His consistent pushing of incorrect "facts" is one of the things that got him banned from NSF.

Other than that Doug could have simply reported "SpaceShip One came came apart in mid-air and crashed before my eyes", and he still would have had his "first".
At least it would have been a helluvalot more factual.

Speculating is not what a good journalist/reporter should be doing. Unfortunately, most so-called "journalists" almost exclusively speculate. That has, unfortunately, become the norm, to the point that certain folks can't even recall what a good journalist is supposed to be.

I stand with my opinion: Doug is neither a good journalist, nor a good reporter.
Feel free to disagree.

But I digress.

I back you on this. My big problem with him is he posts as if VG had run over his wife & kids. Any points he may have are obscured by his attitude issues.
Doug is a person.  VG is a rocket company.

Doug is not perfect and certainly does not like how VG is run, but has been, overall, pretty accurate about both coverage and predictions.

VG's track record as a rocket company has been dismal.

Given how much money they have, they are the worst performing newspace company out there.

I personally find their attitude repulsive.  Marketing-centric, dismissive of everyone else, and it's never their fault.

I think history has shown Doug's coverage and attitude to be appropriate.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 01/11/2018 12:30 PM
My problem with Doug Messier is that he thought he saw an explosion AND immediately reported that "there was an explosion". In his rush to have a journalistic "first" he violated one of the fundamentals of good journalism: you only report the facts.

What he did was presenting his assumption as a "fact".

That was stupid. Just plain stupid.

He recognized his error after the fact and apologized. But the damage had already been done.

That is why the Chris, Chris G, and the other reporters here stand out: they do good journalism. They don't report facts until they have it confirmed as facts. That is why, IMO, NasaSpaceflight.com stands-out over 99.9 percent of all other space news websites.

Oh come on. He wasn’t just a journalist there - he was an eye-witness, and you report what you see (or speculate one what you think you saw). 99% of eyewitnesses in the area would have made the same assumption - it sure looked like SS2 blew up! Journalists (yes even real journalists) do during breaking new speculate quite a bit, and many details are in retrospect wrong.

So I think you just cling on to this incident to explain your general dislike, since you otherwise can not find any other factual issue with his reporting on VG to explain it.

Doug has been factually wrong many times. His consistent pushing of incorrect "facts" is one of the things that got him banned from NSF.

Other than that Doug could have simply reported "SpaceShip One came came apart in mid-air and crashed before my eyes", and he still would have had his "first".
At least it would have been a helluvalot more factual.

Speculating is not what a good journalist/reporter should be doing. Unfortunately, most so-called "journalists" almost exclusively speculate. That has, unfortunately, become the norm, to the point that certain folks can't even recall what a good journalist is supposed to be.

I stand with my opinion: Doug is neither a good journalist, nor a good reporter.
Feel free to disagree.

But I digress.

I back you on this. My big problem with him is he posts as if VG had run over his wife & kids. Any points he may have are obscured by his attitude issues.
Doug is a person.  VG is a rocket company.

Doug is not perfect and certainly does not like how VG is run, but has been, overall, pretty accurate about both coverage and predictions.

VG's track record as a rocket company has been dismal.

Given how much money they have, they are the worst performing newspace company out there.

I personally find their attitude repulsive.  Marketing-centric, dismissive of everyone else, and it's never their fault.

I think history has shown Doug's coverage and attitude to be appropriate.

Well I disagree strongly with you & regard your post as pretty OTT. Not pretending that VG are prefect far from it in fact but in this particular case I’d rather take the word of literally any other website in their coverage of the company than his website.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: jebbo on 01/11/2018 12:38 PM
Quote
Our team is prepping for a #SpaceShipTwo flight test today
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/951447984331468805 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/951447984331468805)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: jebbo on 01/11/2018 12:44 PM
Quote
VMS Eve & VSS Unity are headed out to the runway for final checks #SpaceShipTwo
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/951448922161115136 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/951448922161115136)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: curtquarquesso on 01/11/2018 12:54 PM
Do we know whether this test flight is captive carry, drop/glide, or powered flight?
Going to be an exciting day...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/11/2018 12:58 PM
I asked them on Twitter.

But they did say before that more gliding tests were expected before powered flights.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/11/2018 02:31 PM
Via Twitter - VG :
Today VSS Unity is loaded with water ballast to simulate weight & positioning replicating that in rocket-powered flight #SpaceShipTwo
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/11/2018 02:54 PM
Virgin Galactic

Quote
@virgingalactic

It looks like a great day for flying in Mojave #SpaceShipTwo
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/11/2018 03:20 PM
Virgin Galactic


Quote
Take off! VMS Eve & VSS Unity have taken to the skies #SpaceShipTwo #WhiteKnightTwo
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/11/2018 03:23 PM
Quote
Today is 11th flight for VSS Unity #SpaceShipTwo, 242nd for VMS Eve #WhiteKnightTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/951489309923688448 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/951489309923688448)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/11/2018 04:22 PM
Quote
Ss2 just dropped...

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/951504413029363712 (https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/951504413029363712)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/11/2018 04:25 PM
Quote
Exciting day for @virgingalactic with #SpaceShipTwo dropping down from 50,000ft straight down at 0.9 Mach - (hopefully) final glide test flight

https://twitter.com/richardbranson/status/951505093664309250 (https://twitter.com/richardbranson/status/951505093664309250)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/11/2018 04:26 PM
Quote
VSS Unity has just been released from her mothership, VMS Eve for her 7th glide flight test #SpaceShipTwo #WhiteKnightTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/951505415933779968
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/11/2018 04:30 PM
Quote
#SpaceShipTwo and chase plane...

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/951506285299564544
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/11/2018 04:31 PM
Quote
Touch down! Another smooth landing for VSS Unity. In VSS Unity today were pilots Mark Stucky and Michael Masucci #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/951506721893240833
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/11/2018 04:35 PM
Congrats to VG for another successful flight! Let's hope powered flights will begin soon... and smoothly!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/11/2018 04:47 PM
Quote
Smooth landing for #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/951510352637906944
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: dwheeler on 01/11/2018 04:55 PM
Quote
Exciting day for @virgingalactic with #SpaceShipTwo dropping down from 50,000ft straight down at 0.9 Mach - (hopefully) final glide test flight

https://twitter.com/richardbranson/status/951505093664309250 (https://twitter.com/richardbranson/status/951505093664309250)

I'm not sure if "straight down" is just hyperbole but it's sounds like a pretty intense flight regardless. Those test pilots earned their pay today.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/11/2018 05:23 PM
Quote
VMS Eve has landed, completing today’s test. Crew today were pilots CJ Sturckow, Kelly Latimer & flight test engr Richard Starke #WhiteKnightTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/951518020534525953
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 01/11/2018 05:42 PM
Makes a good glider anyway...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/11/2018 05:58 PM

January blues? Not a problem in Mojave today as VSS Unity successfully completed her seventh glide flight!

It’s been a few months since our last flight, during which we worked through a planned period of focused ground time. This involved extensive analysis, testing and small modifications to ensure vehicle readiness for the higher loads and forces of powered test flight. Today we tested that work by pushing Unity’s atmospheric capabilities hard, touching top-end glide speeds as pilots Mark ‘Forger’ Stucky and Michael ‘Sooch’ Masucci completed a busy test card.

Alongside confirming the work that has taken place on the ground, the glide flight tested transonic flight performance, stability and control. After release from mothership VMS Eve, the spaceship was immediately pushed into a sharp descent, accelerating to Mach 0.9 which is around the maximum airspeed we can achieve without igniting the rocket motor!

At this stage of the glide flight programme, each flight is essentially a dry run for rocket-powered test flights. Where possible the team replicates those powered flight conditions by, for example, adding water ballast to simulate the weight and positioning of the rocket motor. As during previous flights, the water ballast was jettisoned at around 22,000 feet, allowing the pilots to complete the flight and land in a lighter configuration, again simulating the conditions which will apply during space flight. Also as a precursor to powered flight, VSS Unity flew today with her thermal protection system (TPS) fully applied. This ensures that heat loads generated by air friction during rocket-powered boost and supersonic re-entry cause no damage to the vehicle. If you look carefully you should be able to see that the upper surfaces of the previously white feather flaps are now covered in a protective silvered film.

Congratulations to Forger and Sooch, as well as VMS Eve crew, CJ Sturckow, Kelly Latimer and Richard Starke, for a well-executed flight, supported of course by the Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company teams on the ground.

Please stay tuned to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn as well as this site to keep fully updated on our test flight program and other news.

https://www.virgingalactic.com/update-from-mojave-vss-unity-successfully-completes-high-speed-glide-flight/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/11/2018 06:14 PM
ARTICLE: SpaceShipTwo begins 2018 test campaign in preparation for powered flight -
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/spaceshiptwo-2018-test-campaign-preparation-powered-flight/

Debut NSF article by Michael Baylor! :)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 01/11/2018 06:19 PM
Great first article Michael, congrats! :)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/11/2018 06:20 PM
WoW, very well written article!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: tobi453 on 01/11/2018 06:26 PM
Quote
The crash of VSS Enterprise in 2014 was a massive setback. The program was already years behind schedule, and many wondered if it could recover from the disaster. Fortunately, the cause was not a design flaw with the hardware, and thus no major design changes were necessary.

An NTSB investigation into the accident concluded that a pilot prematurely deployed the feathering system on the spacecraft. The system is used to increase drag during reentry. Many experts heavily criticised operator Virgin Galactic and manufacturer Scaled Composites for not having a fail-safe in place to prevent an early deployment. In response, a fail-safe was implemented, and a program-wide safety review was conducted.

These two statements contradict each other. A missing fail safe is a design flaw with the hardware.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 01/11/2018 08:29 PM
Quote
The crash of VSS Enterprise in 2014 was a massive setback. The program was already years behind schedule, and many wondered if it could recover from the disaster. Fortunately, the cause was not a design flaw with the hardware, and thus no major design changes were necessary.

An NTSB investigation into the accident concluded that a pilot prematurely deployed the feathering system on the spacecraft. The system is used to increase drag during reentry. Many experts heavily criticised operator Virgin Galactic and manufacturer Scaled Composites for not having a fail-safe in place to prevent an early deployment. In response, a fail-safe was implemented, and a program-wide safety review was conducted.

These two statements contradict each other. A missing fail safe is a design flaw with the hardware.


We went over this at the time of the NTSB. Opinion's don't over ride the investigation's findings. Pilot error.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/11/2018 10:33 PM
NTSB Report
Probable Cause

The  National  Transportation  Safety  Board  determines  that  the  probable  cause  of  this  accident  was  Scaled  Composites’  failure  to  consider  and  protect  against  the  possibility  that  a   single  human  error  could  result  in  a  catastrophic  hazard  to  the  SpaceShipTwo  vehicle. This  failure set the stage for the copilot’s premature unlocking of the feather system as a result of time pressure  and  vibration   and   loads   that   he   had   not   recently   experienced,   which   led   to uncommanded feather extension and the subsequent aerodynamic overload and in-flight breakup of the vehicle.

Why did this happen? Scaled submitted a flawed safety systems analysis to FAA AST. FAA AST accepted it. When the flaw was pointed out, FAA management overruled its own safety experts and granted a waiver on software and pilot error. Fifteen months later, there was a pilot error that nobody had properly evaluated and mitigated.

Yes, pilot error. But, contributing factors that led to it. Nothing to prevent the error. No challenge response. No lockouts. Nothing. They assumed the mistake wouldn't be made. Virgin had to re-engineer the feather system to prevent a recurrence of this error.

Not the first time poor safety analysis killed someone in the program. They assumed nitrous oxide was safe until it blew up.

This is explained in part 3 of the series on PA.

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/12/2018 01:07 AM
ARTICLE: SpaceShipTwo begins 2018 test campaign in preparation for powered flight -
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/spaceshiptwo-2018-test-campaign-preparation-powered-flight/

Debut NSF article by Michael Baylor! :)
"naturally orientate " - shouldn't that be "naturally orient"?

Nice article.

(Does anyone know how well the surviving pilot is doing? Haven't heard.)

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/12/2018 01:47 AM
ARTICLE: SpaceShipTwo begins 2018 test campaign in preparation for powered flight -
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/01/spaceshiptwo-2018-test-campaign-preparation-powered-flight/

Debut NSF article by Michael Baylor! :)
"naturally orientate " - shouldn't that be "naturally orient"?

Nice article.

(Does anyone know how well the surviving pilot is doing? Haven't heard.)

He's flying....

https://twitter.com/jrvianney/status/918832872961859585
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/12/2018 02:04 AM
My problem with Doug Messier is that he thought he saw an explosion AND immediately reported that "there was an explosion". In his rush to have a journalistic "first" he violated one of the fundamentals of good journalism: you only report the facts.

What he did was presenting his assumption as a "fact".

That was stupid. Just plain stupid.

He recognized his error after the fact and apologized. But the damage had already been done.

That is why the Chris, Chris G, and the other reporters here stand out: they do good journalism. They don't report facts until they have it confirmed as facts. That is why, IMO, NasaSpaceflight.com stands-out over 99.9 percent of all other space news websites.

Oh come on. He wasn’t just a journalist there - he was an eye-witness, and you report what you see (or speculate one what you think you saw). 99% of eyewitnesses in the area would have made the same assumption - it sure looked like SS2 blew up! Journalists (yes even real journalists) do during breaking new speculate quite a bit, and many details are in retrospect wrong.

So I think you just cling on to this incident to explain your general dislike, since you otherwise can not find any other factual issue with his reporting on VG to explain it.

Doug has been factually wrong many times. His consistent pushing of incorrect "facts" is one of the things that got him banned from NSF.

Other than that Doug could have simply reported "SpaceShip One came came apart in mid-air and crashed before my eyes", and he still would have had his "first".
At least it would have been a helluvalot more factual.

Speculating is not what a good journalist/reporter should be doing. Unfortunately, most so-called "journalists" almost exclusively speculate. That has, unfortunately, become the norm, to the point that certain folks can't even recall what a good journalist is supposed to be.

I stand with my opinion: Doug is neither a good journalist, nor a good reporter.
Feel free to disagree.

But I digress.

I back you on this. My big problem with him is he posts as if VG had run over his wife & kids. Any points he may have are obscured by his attitude issues.
Doug is a person.  VG is a rocket company.

Doug is not perfect and certainly does not like how VG is run, but has been, overall, pretty accurate about both coverage and predictions.

VG's track record as a rocket company has been dismal.

Given how much money they have, they are the worst performing newspace company out there.

I personally find their attitude repulsive.  Marketing-centric, dismissive of everyone else, and it's never their fault.

I think history has shown Doug's coverage and attitude to be appropriate.

Well I disagree strongly with you & regard your post as pretty OTT. Not pretending that VG are prefect far from it in fact but in this particular case I’d rather take the word of literally any other website in their coverage of the company than his website.

If we're talking about assumptions, Scaled and Virgin and FAA AST made some that cost four people their lives and put three in hospital. An erroneous report SS2 blew up instead of broke up pales by comparison.

If we're talking about reliability, Branson's autobiography is not. That's what the series focuses on in looking at the two accidents. That lack of reliability in the book is not a fluke. It's certainly not new.

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 01/12/2018 02:06 AM
My problem with Doug Messier is that he thought he saw an explosion AND immediately reported that "there was an explosion". In his rush to have a journalistic "first" he violated one of the fundamentals of good journalism: you only report the facts.

What he did was presenting his assumption as a "fact".

That was stupid. Just plain stupid.

He recognized his error after the fact and apologized. But the damage had already been done.

That is why the Chris, Chris G, and the other reporters here stand out: they do good journalism. They don't report facts until they have it confirmed as facts. That is why, IMO, NasaSpaceflight.com stands-out over 99.9 percent of all other space news websites.

Oh come on. He wasn’t just a journalist there - he was an eye-witness, and you report what you see (or speculate one what you think you saw). 99% of eyewitnesses in the area would have made the same assumption - it sure looked like SS2 blew up! Journalists (yes even real journalists) do during breaking new speculate quite a bit, and many details are in retrospect wrong.

So I think you just cling on to this incident to explain your general dislike, since you otherwise can not find any other factual issue with his reporting on VG to explain it.

Doug has been factually wrong many times. His consistent pushing of incorrect "facts" is one of the things that got him banned from NSF.

Other than that Doug could have simply reported "SpaceShip One came came apart in mid-air and crashed before my eyes", and he still would have had his "first".
At least it would have been a helluvalot more factual.

Speculating is not what a good journalist/reporter should be doing. Unfortunately, most so-called "journalists" almost exclusively speculate. That has, unfortunately, become the norm, to the point that certain folks can't even recall what a good journalist is supposed to be.

I stand with my opinion: Doug is neither a good journalist, nor a good reporter.
Feel free to disagree.

But I digress.

I back you on this. My big problem with him is he posts as if VG had run over his wife & kids. Any points he may have are obscured by his attitude issues.
Doug is a person.  VG is a rocket company.

Doug is not perfect and certainly does not like how VG is run, but has been, overall, pretty accurate about both coverage and predictions.

VG's track record as a rocket company has been dismal.

Given how much money they have, they are the worst performing newspace company out there.

I personally find their attitude repulsive.  Marketing-centric, dismissive of everyone else, and it's never their fault.

I think history has shown Doug's coverage and attitude to be appropriate.

Well I disagree strongly with you & regard your post as pretty OTT. Not pretending that VG are prefect far from it in fact but in this particular case I’d rather take the word of literally any other website in their coverage of the company than his website.

If we're talking about assumptions, Scaled and Virgin and FAA AST made some that cost four people their lives and put three in hospital. An erroneous report SS2 blew up instead of broke up pales by comparison.

If we're talking about reliability, Branson's autobiography is not. That's what the series focuses on in looking at the two accidents. That lack of reliability in the book is not a fluke. It's certainly not new.
And it's certainly not going to be corrected, by the author, the minute it turns out it wasn't accurate.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/12/2018 06:27 AM
Quote
It was a beautiful day for flying in Mojave, CA today! Here's a shot of VSS Unity after being released from her mothership, VMS Eve on her 7th glide flight. Getting #NMReady #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/951632073306947584
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Olaf on 01/12/2018 07:31 AM
(Does anyone know how well the surviving pilot is doing? Haven't heard.)
Quote
Re: FAILURE: Space Ship Two Test Flight - UPDATES - Oct. 31, 2014
« Reply #482 on: 10/12/2017 07:53 PM »
It looks like Peter Siebold is back.
https://twitter.com/SETP_ORG/status/918325740847820802
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: SimonFD on 01/12/2018 07:46 AM

"naturally orientate " - shouldn't that be "naturally orient"?


Depends on which side of the Atlantic you are. On this side "orientate" is correct.  8)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/12/2018 11:28 AM
Richard Branson blog:

Quote
Exciting day for Virgin Galactic with VSS Unity’s fastest ever glide flight achieved in the latest test.

At this stage of the glide flight programme, each flight is essentially a dry run — and one step closer to commercial service in New Mexico’s Spaceport America.

VSS Unity was released from the mothership VMS Eve and dropped from 50,000ft, reaching speed of Mach 0.9. That is around the maximum airspeed we can achieve before the rocket motor ignites.

Behind every test flight is months of hard work, preparation and analysis on the ground. To replicate the conditions of rocket-powered flights, water ballast is added to simulate the weight and positioning of the rocket motor where possible. VSS Unity also flew with her thermal protection system fully applied. This makes sure that heat loads generated by air friction during rocket-powered boost and supersonic re-entry cause no damage to the spaceship. It’s a good look though, with the upper surfaces of the previously white feather flaps are now covered in a protective silvered film.

Congratulations to VSS Unity pilots Mark “Forger” Stucky and Mike “Sooch” Masucci, as well as VMS Eve crew, CJ Sturckow, Kelly Latimer and Richard Starke, for a well-executed flight, supported of course by the Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company teams on the ground.



I still have to pinch myself every time Virgin Galactic does a test flight. I was asked recently whether I ever thought when I started out with the Virgin brand that I would be trying to go into space. The answer is never, but I’m so proud of how far we’ve come and I’m sure the team are busy analysing all the results of the test to see what comes next.

You can follow Virgin Galactic’s latest updates on their website and social channels.

https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/virgin-galactics-fastest-ever-glide-flight (https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/virgin-galactics-fastest-ever-glide-flight)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 01/12/2018 01:55 PM
My problem with Doug Messier is that he thought he saw an explosion AND immediately reported that "there was an explosion". In his rush to have a journalistic "first" he violated one of the fundamentals of good journalism: you only report the facts.

What he did was presenting his assumption as a "fact".

That was stupid. Just plain stupid.

He recognized his error after the fact and apologized. But the damage had already been done.

That is why the Chris, Chris G, and the other reporters here stand out: they do good journalism. They don't report facts until they have it confirmed as facts. That is why, IMO, NasaSpaceflight.com stands-out over 99.9 percent of all other space news websites.

Oh come on. He wasn’t just a journalist there - he was an eye-witness, and you report what you see (or speculate one what you think you saw). 99% of eyewitnesses in the area would have made the same assumption - it sure looked like SS2 blew up! Journalists (yes even real journalists) do during breaking new speculate quite a bit, and many details are in retrospect wrong.

So I think you just cling on to this incident to explain your general dislike, since you otherwise can not find any other factual issue with his reporting on VG to explain it.

Doug has been factually wrong many times. His consistent pushing of incorrect "facts" is one of the things that got him banned from NSF.

Other than that Doug could have simply reported "SpaceShip One came came apart in mid-air and crashed before my eyes", and he still would have had his "first".
At least it would have been a helluvalot more factual.

Speculating is not what a good journalist/reporter should be doing. Unfortunately, most so-called "journalists" almost exclusively speculate. That has, unfortunately, become the norm, to the point that certain folks can't even recall what a good journalist is supposed to be.

I stand with my opinion: Doug is neither a good journalist, nor a good reporter.
Feel free to disagree.

But I digress.

I back you on this. My big problem with him is he posts as if VG had run over his wife & kids. Any points he may have are obscured by his attitude issues.
Doug is a person.  VG is a rocket company.

Doug is not perfect and certainly does not like how VG is run, but has been, overall, pretty accurate about both coverage and predictions.

VG's track record as a rocket company has been dismal.

Given how much money they have, they are the worst performing newspace company out there.

I personally find their attitude repulsive.  Marketing-centric, dismissive of everyone else, and it's never their fault.

I think history has shown Doug's coverage and attitude to be appropriate.

Well I disagree strongly with you & regard your post as pretty OTT. Not pretending that VG are prefect far from it in fact but in this particular case I’d rather take the word of literally any other website in their coverage of the company than his website.

If we're talking about assumptions, Scaled and Virgin and FAA AST made some that cost four people their lives and put three in hospital. An erroneous report SS2 blew up instead of broke up pales by comparison.

If we're talking about reliability, Branson's autobiography is not. That's what the series focuses on in looking at the two accidents. That lack of reliability in the book is not a fluke. It's certainly not new.

If you want quality reporting keep to sites like this don’t refer to people who’ve been banned from here.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: imprezive on 01/12/2018 02:31 PM
There is an argument to be made that there are really only 4 new space launch companies anywhere near flying the US: Blue Origin, RocketLab, Virgin, and maybe Vector. I’d think if people where space enthusiasts they’d want all of them to succeed. It sure feels there are people here hoping Virgin doesn’t.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Eric Hedman on 01/12/2018 02:42 PM
Daily Mail Article:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5261965/Virgin-Galactic-set-send-tourists-space-YEAR.html (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-5261965/Virgin-Galactic-set-send-tourists-space-YEAR.html)

Good video and pictures.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Kabloona on 01/12/2018 04:27 PM
There is an argument to be made that there are really only 4 new space launch companies anywhere near flying the US: Blue Origin, RocketLab, Virgin, and maybe Vector. I’d think if people where space enthusiasts they’d want all of them to succeed. It sure feels there are people here hoping Virgin doesn’t.

You may not have been reading this forum for the last several years. My impression is that most people here do/did want VG to succeed and have become disappointed/disillusioned by VG's lack of progress, fatal accidents, etc, not to mention Branson's relentless cheery schedule over-optimism that repeatedly sets the fan club up for disappointment.

We're all space fans here, and we had hoped for better results from VG. There's a difference between disappointment and hoping for a program to fail. The disappointments are from hopes that have been repeatedly dashed by failures, schedule slips, etc.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/12/2018 05:02 PM
You may not have been reading this forum for the last several years. My impression is that most people here do/did want VG to succeed and have become disappointed/disillusioned by VG's lack of progress, fatal accidents, etc, not to mention Branson's relentless cheery schedule over-optimism that repeatedly sets the fan club up for disappointment.

We're all space fans here, and we had hoped for better results from VG. There's a difference between disappointment and hoping for a program to fail. The disappointments are from hopes that have been repeatedly dashed by failures, schedule slips, etc.

Every space entrepreneur has given unrealitic schedule. Every. Single. One. Remember Bezos who said he expected manned flights to happen in 2017? What about Elon Musk, who said after Atlantis conducted her final flight that there won't be gap in manned launches? Well... Falcon 9 never sent people to orbit - not in 2011, not in 2012, not (even as pessimists expected) in 2016. Hell, not even in 2017 and most probably it won't happen in 2018. Oh, 2018 was expected to be the year when people fly beyond Low Earth Orbit, on a circumlunar trajectory.

But Musk is forgiven for that. Because he's Musk, right?

Schedules always tend to slip, and Virgin Galactic makes no difference. The only difference between VG and other space companies is that VG conducts manned flights right from the beginning - and that's why there are in-flight accidents. Some people will say it's reckless. Maybe they're right. But other companies are faaar too hesitant. Extremely cautious.

Branson doesn't always express optimism. This is what certain people deliberately choose to read.

Here are some of his words people tend to ignore:

"Setbacks are one thing, but what if the worst happens: could Virgin Galactic survive a second crash? We can't guarantee that there won't be another one, and we can't guarantee that the next one won't be technical. What would we do if that happened? How would we all feel? We'd have to look at what had gone wrong and then decide at the time. But I'm not one for giving up. In my ballooning adventures we had many catastrophes but we kept pushing on. So my instinct would be that, whatever happens, we'll carry on until we succeed."

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/12/2018 05:07 PM
Quote
If we're talking about assumptions, Scaled and Virgin and FAA AST made some that cost four people their lives and put three in hospital. An erroneous report SS2 blew up instead of broke up pales by comparison.

If we're talking about reliability, Branson's autobiography is not. That's what the series focuses on in looking at the two accidents. That lack of reliability in the book is not a fluke. It's certainly not new.
And it's certainly not going to be corrected, by the author, the minute it turns out it wasn't accurate.
[/quote]

Branson would have to write a new book to fix all the mistakes in this one about Virgin Galactic. Readers will be surprised to learn there was a WhiteKnightOne. He moves the rollout of WhiteKnightTwo from July to January. And that doesn't even get into his selective retelling of the crash.

But, I digress.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/12/2018 05:09 PM
Quote
If we're talking about assumptions, Scaled and Virgin and FAA AST made some that cost four people their lives and put three in hospital. An erroneous report SS2 blew up instead of broke up pales by comparison.

If we're talking about reliability, Branson's autobiography is not. That's what the series focuses on in looking at the two accidents. That lack of reliability in the book is not a fluke. It's certainly not new.

If you want quality reporting keep to sites like this don’t refer to people who’ve been banned from here.
[/quote]

Avoid Branson's book as well.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Archibald on 01/12/2018 05:25 PM
Is Doug Messier as bad as Keith Cowing ?  ::) I used to read Nasa watch... a long time ago.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/12/2018 07:42 PM
These current reports are the best to hear about reasonable plans to finish Space Ship Two such that it may be flown as a commercial space tourism service.

Suggest that BO's NS is an excellent motivator for this. SX's lunar free return also.

The last thing Branson wants is "negative bragging rights" owning to being a complete and total business idiot from day one regarding Space Ship One/Two (attempted to do in one program, something already difficult if done as three separate programs - rationalize/stabalize SS1 and fly it with few passengers to learn/prove concept as a business, build/fly SS2 experimental only w/o making 100km, refine SS2 props/operations to replace SS1 expanding the business *safely*).

He may recast history as much as he likes, silly but meaningless. The real issue is that of getting a reliable vehicle with propulsion flying many mission without further incident. Before NS does the same.

SX/BO/ULA haven't killed anyone. Everyone except VG, who is literally and figuratively dead last.

And its only Branson's fault. Too cheap, risky, quick, and stupid. Really, really bad combo. SC got out of the picture awhile ago.

Perhaps he can dig himself out of this mess he caused himself.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Archibald on 01/13/2018 06:56 AM
From my parallel readings of Parabolic Arc and NASA watch, I felt that Parabolic Arc was far better.

I would tell that, bar the specific case of Branson and VG, and very unlike Cowing - that liked to pick (FUTILE) fights with the entire world of aerospace - Messier looked pretty neutral in his reporting. He reports launches and events without being much opiniated.

This said, what Woods170 said is troubling

Quote
Doug has been factually wrong many times. His consistent pushing of incorrect "facts" is one of the things that got him banned from NSF.


need to learn more about this.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: whitelancer64 on 01/13/2018 07:35 AM
From my parallel readings of Parabolic Arc and NASA watch, I felt that Parabolic Arc was far better.

I would tell that, bar the specific case of Branson and VG, and very unlike Cowing - that liked to pick (FUTILE) fights with the entire world of aerospace - Messier looked pretty neutral in his reporting. He reports launches and events without being much opiniated.

This said, what Woods170 said is troubling

Quote
Doug has been factually wrong many times. His consistent pushing of incorrect "facts" is one of the things that got him banned from NSF.


need to learn more about this.

Mr. Messier repeatedly made the claim (supposedly from his inside sources) that NASA found problems with the Falcon 9 during the CRS-7 failure other than the faulty strut, and that the strut was not the cause of the failure.

*edit

Here's the only remaining post with a quote from him (parabolicarc) that I can find.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40621.msg1555109#msg1555109

/edit
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/13/2018 08:25 AM

SX/BO/ULA haven't killed anyone. Everyone except VG, who is literally and figuratively dead last.

And its only Branson's fault. Too cheap, risky, quick, and stupid. Really, really bad combo. SC got out of the picture awhile ago.


Depends on what you call "dead last". Yes, BO, ULA and SX have sent hardware to space, but they never conducted even a single manned test.

VG is still the only company that has conducted manned rocket flights in the post-shuttle era.

Such comments, frankly, amuse me. Flying test aircraft is always risky, and test pilots are well aware with the risks. Critics, on the other side, contribute to the culture of extreme risk aversion. Has our world has become too nice and fearful? Do we think that the recent past was grim and the distand past - disgusting?

VG takes more risks and that's why I think the company should be applauded.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Darkseraph on 01/13/2018 03:46 PM
It's difficult to applaud Virgin Galactic taking unnecessary risks with human lives. However, I can unequivocally applaud the bravery of their pilots and ground crew.

Space travel will never be 100% safe but it's the 21st Century and gigantic leaps have been made with autonomous control of vehicles. Some risks are now pointless and actually counterproductive. SpaceX and Blue Origin will both have conducted dozens of umanned tests of their systems before a single paying passenger steps aboard. I'll be happy to see SpaceShipTwo fly above the Karman Line eventually but it appears Virgin Galactic bet on the wrong horse and latched on to a dead-end technology that scales poorly and is fundamentally less safe than competing systems.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/13/2018 04:55 PM

SX/BO/ULA haven't killed anyone. Everyone except VG, who is literally and figuratively dead last.

And its only Branson's fault. Too cheap, risky, quick, and stupid. Really, really bad combo. SC got out of the picture awhile ago.


Depends on what you call "dead last". Yes, BO, ULA and SX have sent hardware to space, but they never conducted even a single manned test.
Depends on what you mean by conducting a manned test.

Dragon and NS have launched HSF capsules, and both claim that humans along would have been safe on those flights, only held back because doing so would contravene (and thus slow down) the ability to fly them as qualified for both national need (NASA to ISS), as well as commercial use (SX - lunar, BO - suborbital) in this case tourism.

(And NASA has alluded to if Soyuz was unable to fly, there might be means of using existing flying vehicles (Dragon) to do so under duress.)

Quote
VG is still the only company that has conducted manned rocket flights in the post-shuttle era.
To what advantage? Perhaps because it was cheaper than teleoperated flight?

Quote
Such comments, frankly, amuse me. Flying test aircraft is always risky, and test pilots are well aware with the risks.
This appalls me.

You take risks when it will get you somewhere.

And ... in VG's case, they did avoid risk where they could have gained. They could have reflown SS1, as I mentioned above, to the benefit of finishing the original program, being able ultimately to fly 2-4 tourists. So why not take the risk, to get the certain benefit?

Quote
Critics, on the other side, contribute to the culture of extreme risk aversion. Has our world has become too nice and fearful? Do we think that the recent past was grim and the distand past - disgusting?
You misunderstand my above post.

Like fighter pilots that think they are brave when they fly just off the skin of a larger aircraft to "haze", they're just foolhardy.

Combining flight programs was just cheap and stupid, and the risk did not advantage them. I'm saying Branson "chickened out" on SS1, and got cheap.

Yes HSF is risky. Many are/have been willing to risk. But just to save a buck? No point.

Even greater is the irony that the above post suggests something that in the end would have gotten you your fannish delight of first manned 100k passengers cheaper/quicker/safer, and would have led to the brilliant success of VG.

I was trying to get you your success after all. Apparently, you need to believe Branson's foolishness more than simple professionalism. What I was arguing for.

Now, with SX, the same cannot be true. CC is a political football, as you know. So it doesn't apply.

As to NS, suggest its about Bezos desire for "gradatim" unlike VG which hasn't and has hurt them and others.

Something for nothing??

Quote
VG takes more risks and that's why I think the company should be applauded.
Applauded for which specific gains please? Perhaps I'm missing something?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/13/2018 05:01 PM
It's difficult to applaud Virgin Galactic taking unnecessary risks with human lives. However, I can unequivocally applaud the bravery of their pilots and ground crew.

Space travel will never be 100% safe but it's the 21st Century and gigantic leaps have been made with autonomous control of vehicles. Some risks are now pointless and actually counterproductive. SpaceX and Blue Origin will both have conducted dozens of umanned tests of their systems before a single paying passenger steps aboard. I'll be happy to see SpaceShipTwo fly above the Karman Line eventually but it appears Virgin Galactic bet on the wrong horse and latched on to a dead-end technology that scales poorly and is fundamentally less safe than competing systems.

Even if I'm just a biologist, and not an engineer, I know that scaling is a nasty beast. You can't scale up the same machine and expect it to have the same behaviour. 

So forgive me if I'm wrong, but I remember that there were problems of that type during the whole Apollo on Steroids debacle - when the Ares I first stage didn't scale up as expected, and the huge Orion capsule turned out to be more complex than expected.

Otherwise... I still disagree about risk-taking. Manned spaceflight will always be about taking risk and the honest question is whether we're willing to accept and understand that occasionally fatal accidents will occur.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/13/2018 05:47 PM
From my parallel readings of Parabolic Arc and NASA watch, I felt that Parabolic Arc was far better.

I would tell that, bar the specific case of Branson and VG, and very unlike Cowing - that liked to pick (FUTILE) fights with the entire world of aerospace - Messier looked pretty neutral in his reporting. He reports launches and events without being much opiniated.

This said, what Woods170 said is troubling

Quote
Doug has been factually wrong many times. His consistent pushing of incorrect "facts" is one of the things that got him banned from NSF.


need to learn more about this.

Mr. Messier repeatedly made the claim (supposedly from his inside sources) that NASA found problems with the Falcon 9 during the CRS-7 failure other than the faulty strut, and that the strut was not the cause of the failure.

*edit

Here's the only remaining post with a quote from him (parabolicarc) that I can find.

https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=40621.msg1555109#msg1555109

/edit

Off topic, but read the NASA OIG report. NASA's separate investigation didn't find a probable cause.

https://oig.nasa.gov/audits/reports/FY16/IG-16-025.pdf

"LSP did not identify a single probable cause for the launch failure, instead listing several “credible causes.” In addition to the material defects in the strut assembly SpaceX found during its testing, LSP pointed to manufacturing damage or improper installation of the assembly  in to the rocket as possible initiators of the failure. LSP also highlighted improper material selection and such practices as individuals standing on flight hardware during the assembly process, as possible contributing factors."



Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 01/13/2018 09:19 PM

If you want quality reporting keep to sites like this don’t refer to people who’ve been banned from here.

Ironically, in the case of VG, the most distorted statements come from company officials.  The coverage at PA was largely spot on, and when a mistake was made it was quickly acknowledged, corrected, and mea culpa'd.   Good luck finding VG executives doing the same.

There is an argument to be made that there are really only 4 new space launch companies anywhere near flying the US: Blue Origin, RocketLab, Virgin, and maybe Vector. I’d think if people where space enthusiasts they’d want all of them to succeed. It sure feels there are people here hoping Virgin doesn’t.

VG crossed a line with me when they took the stance of blaming Michael Alsbury for the SS2 crash.

VG was founded on the ethos of the leather-jacket-clad ace test pilot.  It was their explicit design philosophy to avoid automation and rely on pilot's skills.

They then designed an in-cockpit mechanism which was basically a death trap. After the accident, instead of admitting to a design mistake, they chose to blame the pilot.  (The NTSB, in deliberations, applied the "substitution test" which basically said that any competent and well meaning pilot was likely to have pulled that lever early sooner or later.)

Let me underscore that.  Had Alsbury not pulled the lever early on that flight, it would have happened some time later with a full complement of passengers, and no parachutes.

VG then continued to plan a test schedule that included only a few test flights and then commercial service.  Contrast that with BO's NS test plan.

So what I'm hoping is that they change their culture, and that they don't kill anymore people.  Not even "test pilots who are aware of the risks".
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TruthIsStranger on 01/14/2018 02:39 AM


VG crossed a line with me when they took the stance of blaming Michael Alsbury for the SS2 crash.

VG was founded on the ethos of the leather-jacket-clad ace test pilot.  It was their explicit design philosophy to avoid automation and rely on pilot's skills.

They then designed an in-cockpit mechanism which was basically a death trap. After the accident, instead of admitting to a design mistake, they chose to blame the pilot.  (The NTSB, in deliberations, applied the "substitution test" which basically said that any competent and well meaning pilot was likely to have pulled that lever early sooner or later.)

Let me underscore that.  Had Alsbury not pulled the lever early on that flight, it would have happened some time later with a full complement of passengers, and no parachutes.

VG then continued to plan a test schedule that included only a few test flights and then commercial service.  Contrast that with BO's NS test plan.

So what I'm hoping is that they change their culture, and that they don't kill anymore people.  Not even "test pilots who are aware of the risks".

1. Can you please point us to the source where VG blamed Alsbury?
2. Can you please point us to the source of VG's plan to not modify Scaled's flight test vehicle prior to commercial operations?
3. Can you please point us to the source of VG's planned number of test flights prior to commercial service?
4. Can you please point us to BO's NS test plan?

And of course, it should go without saying but quoting Parabolic Arc's musings is not a source ;)

If you do so then thank you in advance for making this forum more accurate, fair, and balanced!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 01/14/2018 02:58 AM




VG crossed a line with me when they took the stance of blaming Michael Alsbury for the SS2 crash.

VG was founded on the ethos of the leather-jacket-clad ace test pilot.  It was their explicit design philosophy to avoid automation and rely on pilot's skills.

They then designed an in-cockpit mechanism which was basically a death trap. After the accident, instead of admitting to a design mistake, they chose to blame the pilot.  (The NTSB, in deliberations, applied the "substitution test" which basically said that any competent and well meaning pilot was likely to have pulled that lever early sooner or later.)

Let me underscore that.  Had Alsbury not pulled the lever early on that flight, it would have happened some time later with a full complement of passengers, and no parachutes.

VG then continued to plan a test schedule that included only a few test flights and then commercial service.  Contrast that with BO's NS test plan.

So what I'm hoping is that they change their culture, and that they don't kill anymore people.  Not even "test pilots who are aware of the risks".

1. Can you please point us to the source where VG blamed Alsbury?
2. Can you please point us to the source of VG's plan to not modify Scaled's flight test vehicle prior to commercial operations?
3. Can you please point us to the source of VG's planned number of test flights prior to commercial service?
4. Can you please point us to BO's NS test plan?

And of course, it should go without saying but quoting Parabolic Arc's musings is not a source ;)

If you do so then thank you in advance for making this forum more accurate, fair, and balanced!

1. I watched the NTSB hearing, it was broadcast live.  VG argued pilot error and no design flaw.  Also, it was all over their PR statements.

2. Where did I say that?

3. Google is your friend on those.  As for Parabolic Arc, don't shoot the messenger.  Doug is not making up statements for VG execs...

4. Are you following BOs program?  Even this new vehicle will only be used for testing.  They are certainly taking their time with it, treating it like, you know, lives are in the balance.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TruthIsStranger on 01/14/2018 03:21 AM
Well you said: Let me underscore that.  Had Alsbury not pulled the lever early on that flight, it would have happened some time later with a full complement of passengers, and no parachutes.

And that infers that VG was going to take the prototype into commercial operations without doing any modifications. I'd like to know the source for that because I do not think it exists. Same for the "no parachutes." You're apparently outraged by things that are only guesses by outsiders and not based on anything Scaled Composites or Virgin Galactic have said.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 01/14/2018 04:44 AM


Well you said: Let me underscore that.  Had Alsbury not pulled the lever early on that flight, it would have happened some time later with a full complement of passengers, and no parachutes.

And that infers that VG was going to take the prototype into commercial operations without doing any modifications. I'd like to know the source for that because I do not think it exists. Same for the "no parachutes." You're apparently outraged by things that are only guesses by outsiders and not based on anything Scaled Composites or Virgin Galactic have said.

That's right.  Had it not been for the accident, that same ship would have flown passengers soon afterwards.

Branson and the other execs were talking about imminent flights, and there was no other ship right behind it. All talk was about Enterprise.

They did start preliminary work on another ship, but no talk surfaced of having identified the lock lever problem in advance, and that ship was years from completion.

So yeah, if you know of another ship that was going to replace Enterprise and be the first in service, please enlighten.

And regarding test schedule, from Wikipedia:
"In October 2017, Branson suggested that he could travel to space aboard a SpaceShipTwo within six months"

How many test flights are planned between now and April?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 01/14/2018 07:35 PM
Come on... ya don't think they're ever gunna fly do ya?

"Safe" is an unattainable standard. They'll keep trying to achieve it until Branson pulls the plug.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/14/2018 07:39 PM
I personally think (and this is just my personal opinion) is that space tourism is still years in the future.

SpaceShipTwo and New Shepard may succeed. I think that some day these vehicles will reach space.

But at least for the several next years they will be mainly used by space agencies. NASA is already considering to fly reserchers on NS flights, and Italian Space Agency has a deal with Virgin Galactic.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 01/14/2018 07:42 PM
NASA may "consider" a certification process to put astronauts on these vehicles, but it'll be of commercial crew -like duration and require extensive insight with the providers.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: the_other_Doug on 01/15/2018 02:51 PM

"naturally orientate " - shouldn't that be "naturally orient"?


Depends on which side of the Atlantic you are. On this side "orientate" is correct.  8)

Only through acceptance of a mistake through repeated misuse.  Unfortunately, even though orientate is NOT a verb, you can't stop people from misusing words, and when certain words are misused often enough and long enough, well, they become akin to the old town prostitute -- they become respectable simply because they've been around so long and people have become comfortable with them.

Still doesn't change the fact the word is not a verb.  Or even a proper word.  No matter which side of the pond you're on.

End of grammar rant.  We return you now to your regularly scheduled thread...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: the_other_Doug on 01/15/2018 03:09 PM
In re Messier's coverage, wasn't the woman who went on CNN the day of the accident, accusing VG of murdering the one pilot by flying him with an engine they knew would explode, associated with his website at the time?  If not, she surely was relying on Messier's reporting when she started demanding on-air that Sir Richard be arrested and charged with murder.

Even if Doug did not cross a line, that woman surely did.  Based on Doug's highly opinionated reporting, which as I recall stated as fact that the engine exploded, and that VG knew it would explode at some point. Which, in my mind, makes him at least somewhat complicit in that very embarrassing incident.  YMMV.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 01/15/2018 04:46 PM
In re Messier's coverage, wasn't the woman who went on CNN the day of the accident, accusing VG of murdering the one pilot by flying him with an engine they knew would explode, associated with his website at the time?  If not, she surely was relying on Messier's reporting when she started demanding on-air that Sir Richard be arrested and charged with murder.

Even if Doug did not cross a line, that woman surely did.  Based on Doug's highly opinionated reporting, which as I recall stated as fact that the engine exploded, and that VG knew it would explode at some point. Which, in my mind, makes him at least somewhat complicit in that very embarrassing incident.  YMMV.

Jumping to conclusion - embarrassing.  Admitting and correcting - the right thing to do.

Now let's talk about VG.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: woods170 on 01/16/2018 08:34 AM
From my parallel readings of Parabolic Arc and NASA watch, I felt that Parabolic Arc was far better.

I would tell that, bar the specific case of Branson and VG, and very unlike Cowing - that liked to pick (FUTILE) fights with the entire world of aerospace - Messier looked pretty neutral in his reporting. He reports launches and events without being much opiniated.

This said, what Woods170 said is troubling

Quote
Doug has been factually wrong many times. His consistent pushing of incorrect "facts" is one of the things that got him banned from NSF.


need to learn more about this.

You can find most of Doug's post here on the forum, as user 'parabolicarc'. However, when he was banned his last set of *incorrect* was deleted by the mods given that those posts did not meet forum rules.
Also, you will find that quite a few of his posts were shameless plugs of his own website. That doesn't go down too well with forum rules either, but was generally tolerated by the mods.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 01/16/2018 10:42 AM
From my parallel readings of Parabolic Arc and NASA watch, I felt that Parabolic Arc was far better.

I would tell that, bar the specific case of Branson and VG, and very unlike Cowing - that liked to pick (FUTILE) fights with the entire world of aerospace - Messier looked pretty neutral in his reporting. He reports launches and events without being much opiniated.

This said, what Woods170 said is troubling

Quote
Doug has been factually wrong many times. His consistent pushing of incorrect "facts" is one of the things that got him banned from NSF.


need to learn more about this.

You can find most of Doug's post here on the forum, as user 'parabolicarc'. However, when he was banned his last set of *incorrect* was deleted by the mods given that those posts did not meet forum rules.
Also, you will find that quite a few of his posts were shameless plugs of his own website. That doesn't go down too well with forum rules either, but was generally tolerated by the mods.

What irked me was half his posts on here seemed to be nothing more than flogging pieces on his website. The other half seemed to be in service of some kind of vendetta again VG.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/16/2018 10:51 AM
I have also been banned from here :) It happened 10 years ago, when I was young and stupid. Now I'm older, but still stupid in many regards.

Anyway, I'm sorry I brought these articles here. Now I'm regularly checking this topic with hopes for a meaningful discussion about SS2 and VG, yet it's all about whether Parabolicarc is a good journalist or not.

Can we bring this back on topic and somebody answer me about whether they changed the engine to nylon, or still use the problematic rubber version.

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/16/2018 10:58 AM
Can we bring this back on topic and somebody answer me about whether they changed the engine to nylon, or still use the problematic rubber version.

I believe they did change the engine to nylon but subsequently changed back to rubber.

Hopefully the next flight will be powered and so things will become clearer.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/16/2018 11:01 AM
Hm.. then I'm not sure why they still keep working with the rubber engine. Now - if what Doug says is right - that the rubber engine produces strong shaking and oscillations, and because of that they can't fire the engine for more than 30 seconds - I don't know why VG goes on with that.

The upcoming powered flight program will be very interesting ...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 01/16/2018 12:56 PM
The reports (I believe by Doug & others) where that modifications to the rubber engine had addressed the significant vibration issues etc and so VG believe it’s now ok to use. Presumably they switched back from nylon due to performance and/or cost reasons.

But as you say, the powered flights will be very interesting. Not just from how SS2 behaves but also how conservative or aggressive VG will be with envelope expansion. Given the history of SS1 & SS2 I really hope VG are more conservative than aggressive!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: SimonFD on 01/16/2018 01:35 PM

"naturally orientate " - shouldn't that be "naturally orient"?


Depends on which side of the Atlantic you are. On this side "orientate" is correct.  8)

Only through acceptance of a mistake through repeated misuse.  Unfortunately, even though orientate is NOT a verb, you can't stop people from misusing words, and when certain words are misused often enough and long enough, well, they become akin to the old town prostitute -- they become respectable simply because they've been around so long and people have become comfortable with them.

Still doesn't change the fact the word is not a verb.  Or even a proper word.  No matter which side of the pond you're on.

End of grammar rant.  We return you now to your regularly scheduled thread...

Not a verb? https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/orientate

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/16/2018 06:16 PM
The reports (I believe by Doug & others) where that modifications to the rubber engine had addressed the significant vibration issues etc and so VG believe it’s now ok to use. Presumably they switched back from nylon due to performance and/or cost reasons.
Keep in mind that some engine options require additional complexity to initiate/stabilize.

They really need a stable development program to prove the craft to a high cadence irrespective of performance needs. So they get used to an expectation of reliable missions with a measurable "base case".

Then they need to optimize mission operations/profile to understand what regular operations will be like, including cabin systems and the like.

Thirdly they need to "tweak" this to reach the customer needs (which may or many not include 100k) while retaining the above gains, where then they can repeatedly fly as if delivering space tourism capability, til they finally do.

When you try to do to much in a program, you get none of the things, because you can't be certain of your gains. You need a stable program, because you will have surprises, and returning to the "stable case" after a deviation becomes routine.

Quote
But as you say, the powered flights will be very interesting. Not just from how SS2 behaves but also how conservative or aggressive VG will be with envelope expansion. Given the history of SS1 & SS2 I really hope VG are more conservative than aggressive!
What I'm looking for is consistency in powered flight program, and no more thrash of propulsion/other systems.

They need to quickly converge on a "good enough" flight configuration to gain traction on proving the vehicle.

If they don't do that they'll risk (at the least) another "time out" on development.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 01/16/2018 06:45 PM
With all the down time they could have considered a switch to a liquid fueled engine including XCOR or ORBITEC variants...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/16/2018 06:49 PM
Some of this is explained in the review of Branson's book on Parabolicarc. Here's a brief summary:

Engineers at SNC solved the problem with vibrations and oscillations before the crash. It required wing tanks and other changes that made the vehicle heavier. The fourth flight that crashed was aiming for a 38 second engine burn, about twice the 20 seconds the ship had been limited to before a solution was found.

SNC were rewarded for their efforts by being dump unceremoniously and without warning when VG announced they were shifting to a nylon engine supplied by Scaled. This was announced on NBC.com on the Friday at the start of Memorial Day weekend 2014. SNC read about it there. This change was supposedly due to performance, but PA reported it was an issue of cost. 

Anyway, they're back to rubber engine now. They say the engine is running a lot better now. According to what I assume is a correct story on this website, VG is aiming at 80 km (50 miles) in the upcoming powered flights. They hope to get the ship to 100 km (62 miles) by lessening the weight of the vehicle. They've been doing some work on reducing of (factors of safety) over the past year.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 01/16/2018 07:00 PM
Then... can we expect the first powered flight to start straightly from 30 seconds burn, or VG will try a more modest approach - first burn 10sec, 20 sec, and increaisng?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: LaunchedIn68 on 01/16/2018 07:01 PM
So, is the rubber engine they came back to the one built by SNC?

Will this same engine (or two) be used on Dream Chaser?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Jim on 01/16/2018 07:22 PM
Dream Chaser is not using hybrid rocket engines
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lar on 01/16/2018 11:43 PM
Water over the dam now since some of this is two pages back.... but lets not do public appraisals of users. Even banned users. Stick to critiquing the content.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/17/2018 01:13 AM
So, is the rubber engine they came back to the one built by SNC?

Will this same engine (or two) be used on Dream Chaser?

No SNC disbanded that team in 2014 after losing the contract with VG and also deciding Dream Chaser would not use hybrids.

To answer another question, VG hasn't indicated what sort of schedule they're using for powered tests or when they will start.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 01/17/2018 03:00 PM
So, is the rubber engine they came back to the one built by SNC?

Will this same engine (or two) be used on Dream Chaser?

No SNC disbanded that team in 2014 after losing the contract with VG and also deciding Dream Chaser would not use hybrids.

To answer another question, VG hasn't indicated what sort of schedule they're using for powered tests or when they will start.
Andy from my recollection after the the commercial Crew down-select to Boeing and SpaceX was when the hybrids were dropped an the new cargo variant was release with them no longer required especially as abort motors...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TruthIsStranger on 01/19/2018 03:38 PM
With all the down time they could have considered a switch to a liquid fueled engine including XCOR or ORBITEC variants...

And which XCOR or ORBITEC demonstrated 60,000 pound thrust class engines are you referring to?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: mheney on 01/19/2018 04:13 PM
With all the down time they could have considered a switch to a liquid fueled engine including XCOR or ORBITEC variants...

And which XCOR or ORBITEC demonstrated 60,000 pound thrust class engines are you referring to?

You're assuming you need to replace the hybrid with a single liquid.  Clustering smaller engines is not an unreasonable approach.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TruthIsStranger on 01/20/2018 02:12 AM
With all the down time they could have considered a switch to a liquid fueled engine including XCOR or ORBITEC variants...

And which XCOR or ORBITEC demonstrated 60,000 pound thrust class engines are you referring to?

You're assuming you need to replace the hybrid with a single liquid.  Clustering smaller engines is not an unreasonable approach.

How do you know what I was assuming? Maybe I was actually assuming what was implied on this forum. You know, cramming 20-24 of the XCOR 2,900# thrust SK-518 motors into SpaceShipTwo's sleek lines so that it looks like a miniature Falcon Heavy. Of course that means 10-12 piston pumps all running dual chambers closed cycle for full duration -- something that I don't know XCOR ever demonstrated with a single chamber. Or maybe I was assuming a cluster of three of XCOR's 25K# thrust class 8H21s, you know the ones that ULA pulled the plug on and that I've never seen any photos or videos running on a test stand.

According to VG press their version of RM2 is ready to go. So despite all the forum criticism of their choice of motor at least their horse is mountable and ready to ride, not some unicorn on a PowerPoint presentation to investors. If given the choice of drinking VG's or XCOR's lemonade, I'll take VG's.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/20/2018 09:41 PM
With all the down time they could have considered a switch to a liquid fueled engine including XCOR or ORBITEC variants...

And which XCOR or ORBITEC demonstrated 60,000 pound thrust class engines are you referring to?

You're assuming you need to replace the hybrid with a single liquid.  Clustering smaller engines is not an unreasonable approach.

How do you know what I was assuming? Maybe I was actually assuming what was implied on this forum. You know, cramming 20-24 of the XCOR 2,900# thrust SK-518 motors into SpaceShipTwo's sleek lines so that it looks like a miniature Falcon Heavy. Of course that means 10-12 piston pumps all running dual chambers closed cycle for full duration -- something that I don't know XCOR ever demonstrated with a single chamber. Or maybe I was assuming a cluster of three of XCOR's 25K# thrust class 8H21s, you know the ones that ULA pulled the plug on and that I've never seen any photos or videos running on a test stand.

According to VG press their version of RM2 is ready to go. So despite all the forum criticism of their choice of motor at least their horse is mountable and ready to ride, not some unicorn on a PowerPoint presentation to investors. If given the choice of drinking VG's or XCOR's lemonade, I'll take VG's.

Lemonade? Isnt it Kool-Aid?

Whatever. The problem was that Burt designed the aircraft before figuring out the engine. Made similar mistake with Stratolaunch. They killed 3 people because they didn't understand that nitrous oxide was a mono propellant. Years of delays. It took them 9 years to figure out how to get the engine to fire for full duration of a minute without shaking the ship apart. They had just begun to test that when discovered they hadn't added sufficient safeguards into the feather system. Another death and 3 years plus delay. The engine they have can't get them much above 50 miles although theyre hoping to lighten the ship enough to at least let it reach 100 km like SpaceShipOne did. Whether that affects factors of safety too much we'll have to see.

The point is it would have been easier and faster to go with a liquid engine from the get go. Didn't have to be XCOR or Orbitec. People at VG realize it would have made the whole thing a lot simpler. Liquid bi-prop was recommended to Burt but he said no.

they are where they are with an engine that still has some nasty failure modes as all engines do. the nitrous oxide could suddenly let go or a piece of rubber gets caught in the nozzle and the whole thing goes boom. SS2 engines only been fired in flight four times not many to determine reliability yet.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TruthIsStranger on 01/20/2018 09:52 PM
Thanks for the clarification, so the reference to actual XCOR or ORBITEC engines was only notional. In other words Burt, instead of developing a hybrid should have developed a liquid motor from scratch. And that would have been cheaper, safer, on time, and on budget. Obviously N2O is more dangerous than other oxideizers and the threat of rubber clogging the nozzle throat is more dangerous than myriad liquid failure modes. Got it.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lars-J on 01/20/2018 10:49 PM
Thanks for the clarification, so the reference to actual XCOR or ORBITEC engines was only notional. In other words Burt, instead of developing a hybrid should have developed a liquid motor from scratch. And that would have been cheaper, safer, on time, and on budget. Obviously N2O is more dangerous than other oxideizers and the threat of rubber clogging the nozzle throat is more dangerous than myriad liquid failure modes. Got it.

Geez, taking this a bit personal aren't you?

Forget those engines. They actually have their own liquid engines that could be used. The Newton series, NewtonThree specifically. (Sure, split off into a sister company now, but they would still be available) That they haven't switched to them already is a sign that VG's heads are still in the sand.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 01/21/2018 01:33 AM
Without the snark, just simply lay out VGs track record against their available funding.

Even the track record on its own is far from impressive, but given their resources, it is downright dismal.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: yg1968 on 01/21/2018 02:20 AM
So, is the rubber engine they came back to the one built by SNC?

Will this same engine (or two) be used on Dream Chaser?

No SNC disbanded that team in 2014 after losing the contract with VG and also deciding Dream Chaser would not use hybrids.

The acquisition of Orbitec and the fact that SNC lost out on CCtCap resulted in SNC dropping the hybrids. When SNC was bidding for CCtCap, it had not yet decided to drop the hybrids but was considering alternatives.

Cargo DC doesn't have an abort motor and I doubt that SNC is working on an alternate abort motor for an eventual crewed DC (if that ever happens). 
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/21/2018 04:02 AM
Thanks for the clarification, so the reference to actual XCOR or ORBITEC engines was only notional. In other words Burt, instead of developing a hybrid should have developed a liquid motor from scratch. And that would have been cheaper, safer, on time, and on budget. Obviously N2O is more dangerous than other oxideizers and the threat of rubber clogging the nozzle throat is more dangerous than myriad liquid failure modes. Got it.

Geez, taking this a bit personal aren't you?

Forget those engines. They actually have their own liquid engines that could be used. The Newton series, NewtonThree specifically. (Sure, split off into a sister company now, but they would still be available) That they haven't switched to them already is a sign that VG's heads are still in the sand.

Yes, but....

I''m not sure how easy it would be to simply plug a Newton engine into SpaceShipTwo. That's been the problem all along; you've got a vehicle of a specific design already. I think they considered it when Tom Markusic was VP of Propulsion. But, it seems not to have gone anywhere.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: HMXHMX on 01/21/2018 04:27 AM
Thanks for the clarification, so the reference to actual XCOR or ORBITEC engines was only notional. In other words Burt, instead of developing a hybrid should have developed a liquid motor from scratch. And that would have been cheaper, safer, on time, and on budget. Obviously N2O is more dangerous than other oxideizers and the threat of rubber clogging the nozzle throat is more dangerous than myriad liquid failure modes. Got it.

Geez, taking this a bit personal aren't you?

Forget those engines. They actually have their own liquid engines that could be used. The Newton series, NewtonThree specifically. (Sure, split off into a sister company now, but they would still be available) That they haven't switched to them already is a sign that VG's heads are still in the sand.

Yes, but....

I''m not sure how easy it would be to simply plug a Newton engine into SpaceShipTwo. That's been the problem all along; you've got a vehicle of a specific design already. I think they considered it when Tom Markusic was VP of Propulsion. But, it seems not to have gone anywhere.

It would require significant redesign of the airframe.

Commenting from personal knowledge and public sources (disclaimer since I have done contract work for VG and have to respect NDAs) it is well known that the N2O tank could not carry LOX as it is designed and built.  This has been the barrier to implementation of any alternative oxidizer.

In January 2013 HMX did submit a proposal to develop a liquid engine system for SS2 that would be a direct "plug in" replacement for the hybrid motor, using N2O as oxidizer and and isopropyl alcohol as fuel.  It would have matched the hybrid Cg and weight but performance and operability/functionality would have been significantly improved.  At first, the proposal was accepted, and then 24 hours later, rejected.  I'll avoid the soap-opera details but will say it ran afoul of internal politics at VG.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/21/2018 06:42 AM
Thanks for the clarification, so the reference to actual XCOR or ORBITEC engines was only notional. In other words Burt, instead of developing a hybrid should have developed a liquid motor from scratch. And that would have been cheaper, safer, on time, and on budget. Obviously N2O is more dangerous than other oxideizers and the threat of rubber clogging the nozzle throat is more dangerous than myriad liquid failure modes. Got it.

Geez, taking this a bit personal aren't you?

Forget those engines. They actually have their own liquid engines that could be used. The Newton series, NewtonThree specifically. (Sure, split off into a sister company now, but they would still be available) That they haven't switched to them already is a sign that VG's heads are still in the sand.

Yes, but....

I''m not sure how easy it would be to simply plug a Newton engine into SpaceShipTwo. That's been the problem all along; you've got a vehicle of a specific design already. I think they considered it when Tom Markusic was VP of Propulsion. But, it seems not to have gone anywhere.

It would require significant redesign of the airframe.

Commenting from personal knowledge and public sources (disclaimer since I have done contract work for VG and have to respect NDAs) it is well known that the N2O tank could not carry LOX as it is designed and built.  This has been the barrier to implementation of any alternative oxidizer.

In January 2013 HMX did submit a proposal to develop a liquid engine system for SS2 that would be a direct "plug in" replacement for the hybrid motor, using N2O as oxidizer and and isopropyl alcohol as fuel.  It would have matched the hybrid Cg and weight but performance and operability/functionality would have been significantly improved.  At first, the proposal was accepted, and then 24 hours later, rejected.  I'll avoid the soap-opera details but will say it ran afoul of internal politics at VG.

My guess is the answers are not invented here syndrome and Tom Markusic.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 01/21/2018 12:40 PM
Thanks for the clarification, so the reference to actual XCOR or ORBITEC engines was only notional. In other words Burt, instead of developing a hybrid should have developed a liquid motor from scratch. And that would have been cheaper, safer, on time, and on budget. Obviously N2O is more dangerous than other oxideizers and the threat of rubber clogging the nozzle throat is more dangerous than myriad liquid failure modes. Got it.

Geez, taking this a bit personal aren't you?

Forget those engines. They actually have their own liquid engines that could be used. The Newton series, NewtonThree specifically. (Sure, split off into a sister company now, but they would still be available) That they haven't switched to them already is a sign that VG's heads are still in the sand.

Yes, but....

I''m not sure how easy it would be to simply plug a Newton engine into SpaceShipTwo. That's been the problem all along; you've got a vehicle of a specific design already. I think they considered it when Tom Markusic was VP of Propulsion. But, it seems not to have gone anywhere.

It would require significant redesign of the airframe.

Commenting from personal knowledge and public sources (disclaimer since I have done contract work for VG and have to respect NDAs) it is well known that the N2O tank could not carry LOX as it is designed and built.  This has been the barrier to implementation of any alternative oxidizer.

In January 2013 HMX did submit a proposal to develop a liquid engine system for SS2 that would be a direct "plug in" replacement for the hybrid motor, using N2O as oxidizer and and isopropyl alcohol as fuel.  It would have matched the hybrid Cg and weight but performance and operability/functionality would have been significantly improved.  At first, the proposal was accepted, and then 24 hours later, rejected.  I'll avoid the soap-opera details but will say it ran afoul of internal politics at VG.
Thanks for the attachment Gary and great proposal. It would have been an excellent opportunity for the conversion during the construction of the new airframe, perhaps an opportunity lost with future repercussions...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Katana on 01/21/2018 03:56 PM
Thanks for the clarification, so the reference to actual XCOR or ORBITEC engines was only notional. In other words Burt, instead of developing a hybrid should have developed a liquid motor from scratch. And that would have been cheaper, safer, on time, and on budget. Obviously N2O is more dangerous than other oxideizers and the threat of rubber clogging the nozzle throat is more dangerous than myriad liquid failure modes. Got it.

Geez, taking this a bit personal aren't you?

Forget those engines. They actually have their own liquid engines that could be used. The Newton series, NewtonThree specifically. (Sure, split off into a sister company now, but they would still be available) That they haven't switched to them already is a sign that VG's heads are still in the sand.

Yes, but....

I''m not sure how easy it would be to simply plug a Newton engine into SpaceShipTwo. That's been the problem all along; you've got a vehicle of a specific design already. I think they considered it when Tom Markusic was VP of Propulsion. But, it seems not to have gone anywhere.

It would require significant redesign of the airframe.

Commenting from personal knowledge and public sources (disclaimer since I have done contract work for VG and have to respect NDAs) it is well known that the N2O tank could not carry LOX as it is designed and built.  This has been the barrier to implementation of any alternative oxidizer.

In January 2013 HMX did submit a proposal to develop a liquid engine system for SS2 that would be a direct "plug in" replacement for the hybrid motor, using N2O as oxidizer and and isopropyl alcohol as fuel.  It would have matched the hybrid Cg and weight but performance and operability/functionality would have been significantly improved.  At first, the proposal was accepted, and then 24 hours later, rejected.  I'll avoid the soap-opera details but will say it ran afoul of internal politics at VG.
Thanks for the attachment Gary and great proposal. It would have been an excellent opportunity for the conversion during the construction of the new airframe, perhaps an opportunity lost with future repercussions...
By the time of designing SS2 airframe, hybrids of SS1 are "proven", no reason to change.

By the time hybrids become problematic, too late. Changing engines may delay the program further.

Besides, N2O biprops are same or more dangerous than N2O hybrids.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: HMXHMX on 01/21/2018 04:58 PM
Thanks for the clarification, so the reference to actual XCOR or ORBITEC engines was only notional. In other words Burt, instead of developing a hybrid should have developed a liquid motor from scratch. And that would have been cheaper, safer, on time, and on budget. Obviously N2O is more dangerous than other oxideizers and the threat of rubber clogging the nozzle throat is more dangerous than myriad liquid failure modes. Got it.

Geez, taking this a bit personal aren't you?

Forget those engines. They actually have their own liquid engines that could be used. The Newton series, NewtonThree specifically. (Sure, split off into a sister company now, but they would still be available) That they haven't switched to them already is a sign that VG's heads are still in the sand.

Yes, but....

I''m not sure how easy it would be to simply plug a Newton engine into SpaceShipTwo. That's been the problem all along; you've got a vehicle of a specific design already. I think they considered it when Tom Markusic was VP of Propulsion. But, it seems not to have gone anywhere.

It would require significant redesign of the airframe.

Commenting from personal knowledge and public sources (disclaimer since I have done contract work for VG and have to respect NDAs) it is well known that the N2O tank could not carry LOX as it is designed and built.  This has been the barrier to implementation of any alternative oxidizer.

In January 2013 HMX did submit a proposal to develop a liquid engine system for SS2 that would be a direct "plug in" replacement for the hybrid motor, using N2O as oxidizer and and isopropyl alcohol as fuel.  It would have matched the hybrid Cg and weight but performance and operability/functionality would have been significantly improved.  At first, the proposal was accepted, and then 24 hours later, rejected.  I'll avoid the soap-opera details but will say it ran afoul of internal politics at VG.
Thanks for the attachment Gary and great proposal. It would have been an excellent opportunity for the conversion during the construction of the new airframe, perhaps an opportunity lost with future repercussions...

Thanks.  To be clear, that PDF was the provisional patent application and not the proposal.  I couldn't post the latter for obvious reasons.  We let the application lapse after they decided not to pursue the approach.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TruthIsStranger on 01/21/2018 06:01 PM
quote: "My guess is the answers are not invented here syndrome and Tom Markusic."

The near form-fit and function bipropellant replacement for the hybrid is an interesting idea but it is rather vague and offering multiple options. I know aircraft designers sometimes cannibalize parts (e.g. landing gear) from existing aircraft to make a prototype aircraft but I can't think of any production design that doesn't start from scratch to optimize the design. And optimizing the design is like an order of magnitude more important for spacecraft than aircraft. It sounds so simple to say "put LOX in the N2O tank" but if the structure wasn't designed for cryogenics then what are the chances it will be so simple? Multi-use tanks are expensive and and tank cycles are critical, how much success have you had taking a thin walled tank glued into a composite structure designed for a non-cryo application and using it for cryogenic liquids? How well will the oxidizer to fuel ratios work? Doesn't it have to be pretty spot on to be worthwhile?

Monday morning quarterbacking aside, the white paper is dated before the accident. It doesn't have to be that they rejected it because it was "not invented here" it could be "the devil is in the details and that sounds too risky for our desired timeframe."
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 01/21/2018 07:29 PM
quote: "My guess is the answers are not invented here syndrome and Tom Markusic."

The near form-fit and function bipropellant replacement for the hybrid is an interesting idea but it is rather vague and offering multiple options. I know aircraft designers sometimes cannibalize parts (e.g. landing gear) from existing aircraft to make a prototype aircraft but I can't think of any production design that doesn't start from scratch to optimize the design. And optimizing the design is like an order of magnitude more important for spacecraft than aircraft. It sounds so simple to say "put LOX in the N2O tank" but if the structure wasn't designed for cryogenics then what are the chances it will be so simple? Multi-use tanks are expensive and and tank cycles are critical, how much success have you had taking a thin walled tank glued into a composite structure designed for a non-cryo application and using it for cryogenic liquids? How well will the oxidizer to fuel ratios work? Doesn't it have to be pretty spot on to be worthwhile?

Monday morning quarterbacking aside, the white paper is dated before the accident. It doesn't have to be that they rejected it because it was "not invented here" it could be "the devil is in the details and that sounds too risky for our desired timeframe."

Almost all of the technical criticism of VG and SS2 predates the accident, so it can hardly be called "Monday morning quarterbacking".

While nobody predicted the exact details of the accident, many have noted the problematic aspects of a sensitive airframe and no escape mechanism.  Also the designed dependency on human skills instead of automation.

Nobody predicted the explosion, but many warned about the choice of engine tech.

And honestly - the attitude and lack of technical people at the top.  Look at BO and RL for comparison.

RL just beat VO to the punch.

BO is easily ahead of VG, with the exception that VG can claim they put people in the vehicle earlier. (which was foolhardy before the accident, and then turned tragic)

You have to wonder at some point whether the confidence you place in Vx is justified.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: HMXHMX on 01/21/2018 09:26 PM
quote: "My guess is the answers are not invented here syndrome and Tom Markusic."

The near form-fit and function bipropellant replacement for the hybrid is an interesting idea but it is rather vague and offering multiple options. I know aircraft designers sometimes cannibalize parts (e.g. landing gear) from existing aircraft to make a prototype aircraft but I can't think of any production design that doesn't start from scratch to optimize the design. And optimizing the design is like an order of magnitude more important for spacecraft than aircraft. It sounds so simple to say "put LOX in the N2O tank" but if the structure wasn't designed for cryogenics then what are the chances it will be so simple? Multi-use tanks are expensive and and tank cycles are critical, how much success have you had taking a thin walled tank glued into a composite structure designed for a non-cryo application and using it for cryogenic liquids? How well will the oxidizer to fuel ratios work? Doesn't it have to be pretty spot on to be worthwhile?

Monday morning quarterbacking aside, the white paper is dated before the accident. It doesn't have to be that they rejected it because it was "not invented here" it could be "the devil is in the details and that sounds too risky for our desired timeframe."

That PDF wasn't a white paper, it is a provisional patent application and thus meant to be broadly based so as to provide priority for future claims.  The proposal, which I can't share for reasons previously mentioned, was both highly detailed and validated by outside (governmental agency, actually) experts, which is why the proposal was accepted on 15 April, 2013, until internal VG opposition spiked it.

Given that it was my HMX business partner Bevin McKinney who first proposed N2O hybrids to Burt (in 1996) and that HMX acted as technical consultants on SSO, and that we strongly advised VG against hybrids for SS2 (in my memo to Branson et al., in 2004, written between the first and second prize flights), and that one of my former employees died in the 2007 test stand accident, you'll forgive me if I take a bit of umbrage at the notion that post-game quarterbacking was involved.  I was there and I know exactly what happened.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/21/2018 10:13 PM
Gary, you're two for two!

Your suggested LAS for Dragon 1 would have moved things faster along, and now this.

What's nice about what you'd proposed was that it fit well with the vehicle/architecture, and it was as safe as what they had. And they could return to the prior propulsion if things changed.

And in someways better than the nylon approach given what you have to do to stabilize combustion.

Appreciate the pragmatism. Understand also the battle being fought.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TruthIsStranger on 01/22/2018 01:27 AM
quote: That PDF wasn't a white paper, it is a provisional patent application and thus meant to be broadly based so as to provide priority for future claims.  The proposal, which I can't share for reasons previously mentioned, was both highly detailed and validated by outside (governmental agency, actually) experts, which is why the proposal was accepted on 15 April, 2013, until internal VG opposition spiked it.

Given that it was my HMX business partner Bevin McKinney who first proposed N2O hybrids to Burt (in 1996) and that HMX acted as technical consultants on SSO, and that we strongly advised VG against hybrids for SS2 (in my memo to Branson et al., in 2004, written between the first and second prize flights), and that one of my former employees died in the 2007 test stand accident, you'll forgive me if I take a bit of umbrage at the notion that post-game quarterbacking was involved.  I was there and I know exactly what happened.
[/quote]

Fair enough. I grow weary and am wary of the criticism of companies from outsiders that often come with claims that a different technology would have saved time and been so much easier and better. Forum members have been saying for years that VG should have teamed with XCOR and I just don't see it. Some are now saying VG should use a Newton motor in SS2. I've seen videos of Newtons firing but that says nothing of how close it is to being operational, how much more would be required to have it human-rated, or the integration effort to make it fit and function in SS2.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 01/22/2018 03:27 AM
Everyone is faster than VG. You could say "they should use spaghetti as the propellant" and it might just have merit...

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/22/2018 06:06 AM
quote: "My guess is the answers are not invented here syndrome and Tom Markusic."

The near form-fit and function bipropellant replacement for the hybrid is an interesting idea but it is rather vague and offering multiple options. I know aircraft designers sometimes cannibalize parts (e.g. landing gear) from existing aircraft to make a prototype aircraft but I can't think of any production design that doesn't start from scratch to optimize the design. And optimizing the design is like an order of magnitude more important for spacecraft than aircraft. It sounds so simple to say "put LOX in the N2O tank" but if the structure wasn't designed for cryogenics then what are the chances it will be so simple? Multi-use tanks are expensive and and tank cycles are critical, how much success have you had taking a thin walled tank glued into a composite structure designed for a non-cryo application and using it for cryogenic liquids? How well will the oxidizer to fuel ratios work? Doesn't it have to be pretty spot on to be worthwhile?

Monday morning quarterbacking aside, the white paper is dated before the accident. It doesn't have to be that they rejected it because it was "not invented here" it could be "the devil is in the details and that sounds too risky for our desired timeframe."

Almost all of the technical criticism of VG and SS2 predates the accident, so it can hardly be called "Monday morning quarterbacking".

While nobody predicted the exact details of the accident, many have noted the problematic aspects of a sensitive airframe and no escape mechanism.  Also the designed dependency on human skills instead of automation.

Nobody predicted the explosion, but many warned about the choice of engine tech.

And honestly - the attitude and lack of technical people at the top.  Look at BO and RL for comparison.

RL just beat VO to the punch.

BO is easily ahead of VG, with the exception that VG can claim they put people in the vehicle earlier. (which was foolhardy before the accident, and then turned tragic)

You have to wonder at some point whether the confidence you place in Vx is justified.

The explosion was not really the problem per se. Those happen. It was not clearing the test stand. I talked to a friend at a rocket company that has known its fair share of setbacks. He was just aghast at the lack of safety protocols. They didn't really understand what they were dealing with. Makes me think that if they had gone ahead and continued flying SSO like Burt wanted to, the thing would have gone boom at some point. Paul Allen was probably wise to quit while he was ahead and get a hefty tax break for donating it to the Smithsonian.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 01/22/2018 06:59 AM
quote: "My guess is the answers are not invented here syndrome and Tom Markusic."

The near form-fit and function bipropellant replacement for the hybrid is an interesting idea but it is rather vague and offering multiple options. I know aircraft designers sometimes cannibalize parts (e.g. landing gear) from existing aircraft to make a prototype aircraft but I can't think of any production design that doesn't start from scratch to optimize the design. And optimizing the design is like an order of magnitude more important for spacecraft than aircraft. It sounds so simple to say "put LOX in the N2O tank" but if the structure wasn't designed for cryogenics then what are the chances it will be so simple? Multi-use tanks are expensive and and tank cycles are critical, how much success have you had taking a thin walled tank glued into a composite structure designed for a non-cryo application and using it for cryogenic liquids? How well will the oxidizer to fuel ratios work? Doesn't it have to be pretty spot on to be worthwhile?

Monday morning quarterbacking aside, the white paper is dated before the accident. It doesn't have to be that they rejected it because it was "not invented here" it could be "the devil is in the details and that sounds too risky for our desired timeframe."

Almost all of the technical criticism of VG and SS2 predates the accident, so it can hardly be called "Monday morning quarterbacking".

While nobody predicted the exact details of the accident, many have noted the problematic aspects of a sensitive airframe and no escape mechanism.  Also the designed dependency on human skills instead of automation.

Nobody predicted the explosion, but many warned about the choice of engine tech.

And honestly - the attitude and lack of technical people at the top.  Look at BO and RL for comparison.

RL just beat VO to the punch.

BO is easily ahead of VG, with the exception that VG can claim they put people in the vehicle earlier. (which was foolhardy before the accident, and then turned tragic)

You have to wonder at some point whether the confidence you place in Vx is justified.

The explosion was not really the problem per se. Those happen. It was not clearing the test stand. I talked to a friend at a rocket company that has known its fair share of setbacks. He was just aghast at the lack of safety protocols. They didn't really understand what they were dealing with. Makes me think that if they had gone ahead and continued flying SSO like Burt wanted to, the thing would have gone boom at some point. Paul Allen was probably wise to quit while he was ahead and get a hefty tax break for donating it to the Smithsonian.

Not clearing personnel from the test stand accounts for the fatalities, but even if they did - it still would have blown up.

All I'm saying here is that in the case of VG, stating that criticism is "Monday morning quarterbacking" simply distorts the truth and timeline.





 
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/22/2018 05:48 PM
quote: "My guess is the answers are not invented here syndrome and Tom Markusic."

The near form-fit and function bipropellant replacement for the hybrid is an interesting idea but it is rather vague and offering multiple options. I know aircraft designers sometimes cannibalize parts (e.g. landing gear) from existing aircraft to make a prototype aircraft but I can't think of any production design that doesn't start from scratch to optimize the design. And optimizing the design is like an order of magnitude more important for spacecraft than aircraft. It sounds so simple to say "put LOX in the N2O tank" but if the structure wasn't designed for cryogenics then what are the chances it will be so simple? Multi-use tanks are expensive and and tank cycles are critical, how much success have you had taking a thin walled tank glued into a composite structure designed for a non-cryo application and using it for cryogenic liquids? How well will the oxidizer to fuel ratios work? Doesn't it have to be pretty spot on to be worthwhile?

Monday morning quarterbacking aside, the white paper is dated before the accident. It doesn't have to be that they rejected it because it was "not invented here" it could be "the devil is in the details and that sounds too risky for our desired timeframe."

Almost all of the technical criticism of VG and SS2 predates the accident, so it can hardly be called "Monday morning quarterbacking".

While nobody predicted the exact details of the accident, many have noted the problematic aspects of a sensitive airframe and no escape mechanism.  Also the designed dependency on human skills instead of automation.

Nobody predicted the explosion, but many warned about the choice of engine tech.

And honestly - the attitude and lack of technical people at the top.  Look at BO and RL for comparison.

RL just beat VO to the punch.

BO is easily ahead of VG, with the exception that VG can claim they put people in the vehicle earlier. (which was foolhardy before the accident, and then turned tragic)

You have to wonder at some point whether the confidence you place in Vx is justified.

The explosion was not really the problem per se. Those happen. It was not clearing the test stand. I talked to a friend at a rocket company that has known its fair share of setbacks. He was just aghast at the lack of safety protocols. They didn't really understand what they were dealing with. Makes me think that if they had gone ahead and continued flying SSO like Burt wanted to, the thing would have gone boom at some point. Paul Allen was probably wise to quit while he was ahead and get a hefty tax break for donating it to the Smithsonian.

Not clearing personnel from the test stand accounts for the fatalities, but even if they did - it still would have blown up.

All I'm saying here is that in the case of VG, stating that criticism is "Monday morning quarterbacking" simply distorts the truth and timeline.

Agreed.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/22/2018 08:54 PM
Makes me think that if they had gone ahead and continued flying SSO like Burt wanted to, the thing would have gone boom at some point.
It remains to be seen if SS2 is any different. It has already killed people, unlike SSO potentially doing so.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 01/22/2018 10:10 PM
It remains to be seen if SS2 is any different. It has already killed people, unlike SSO potentially doing so.

SS2 is still safer... their only mistake was taking it out of the hanger. On the ground it's perfectly safe.

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lar on 01/22/2018 10:40 PM
It remains to be seen if SS2 is any different. It has already killed people, unlike SSO potentially doing so.

SS2 is still safer... their only mistake was taking it out of the hanger. On the ground it's perfectly safe.


That is excessively snarky.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 01/22/2018 11:02 PM
This obsession with safety has killed the nascent industry. If aircraft were developed the same way we'd still be flying biplanes, if at all. Getting to market and servicing willing customers should be the priority, not debating how safe it is. Fly, innovate, fly some more.


 
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Space Ghost 1962 on 01/22/2018 11:18 PM
My point is that the follow on program didn't succeed more, just "killed" more. A less than dubious advantage, especially to a program that originally made a big thing about safety, not me making a big thing about safety.

It was flat out stupid to believe that SSO needed to be avoided as a program because it was unsafe - it was the ideal case to be made effective first, which means stable and reliable (probably also means safe).

Because then you'd have a means to test your propulsion/other systems, concurrent with your commercialization plans. When you'd learned more, including operations, then you might make it handle a higher payload to allow for a better commercial return per flight.

They just assumed they could do it all, at once.

Generally in those cases, it's because you are cheap and impatient, and you get what they got as a direct result.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Jim on 01/22/2018 11:26 PM
This obsession with safety has killed the nascent industry. If aircraft were developed the same way we'd still be flying biplanes, if at all. Getting to market and servicing willing customers should be the priority, not debating how safe it is. Fly, innovate, fly some more.

Aircraft were developed during a timeframe when wars would have casualties of more than 10,000 per day.  Human life was less valued.  It was common for construction projects to lose several people without an uproar.   Now people don't accept any on the job deaths and ring their hands over more than 10 dead per day for any recent battle.

So the comparison to early aviation is invalid because of the different social norms.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 01/22/2018 11:34 PM
Unfortunately (or fortunately?) there's no pressing military need for suborbital spaceflight :)

Double digit annual deaths are okay for skydiving. Same with skiing/snowboarding and, of course, mountain climbing. Adventure sports have fatalities. Rollercoasters are more like single digit annual deaths.

An SSO program that lost two vehicles per year still would have been less dangerous than rollercoasters.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: TruthIsStranger on 01/23/2018 02:15 AM
Everyone is faster than VG. You could say "they should use spaghetti as the propellant" and it might just have merit...

Now that was good!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 01/23/2018 03:15 AM
This obsession with safety has killed the nascent industry. If aircraft were developed the same way we'd still be flying biplanes, if at all. Getting to market and servicing willing customers should be the priority, not debating how safe it is. Fly, innovate, fly some more.

Unfortunately, planes can be rolled off assembly lines. Human spacecraft are hand built and can take years to manufacture and test. It takes the Russians several years to build each Soyuz. Those things have been flying for 50 years.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 01/23/2018 04:46 AM
Unfortunately, planes can be rolled off assembly lines. Human spacecraft are hand built and can take years to manufacture and test. It takes the Russians several years to build each Soyuz. Those things have been flying for 50 years.

Yes, that was the whole point of this suborbital business. It was supposed to be about learning how to make reusable rocket vehicles through self-funding innovation. SpaceX did it with first stages of orbital vehicles instead.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: jebbo on 01/23/2018 06:38 AM
Unfortunately, planes can be rolled off assembly lines. Human spacecraft are hand built and can take years to manufacture and test. It takes the Russians several years to build each Soyuz. Those things have been flying for 50 years.

And that fundamentally is the problem: if you want human spaceflight to be frequent and cheap, you need to be able to roll spacecraft off an assembly line.

--- Tony
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 01/23/2018 01:18 PM
The issue is with VG choice of "a Rube Goldberg solution to solve a non-existing problem" for sub-orbital spaceflight...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 01/23/2018 02:35 PM
This obsession with safety has killed the nascent industry. If aircraft were developed the same way we'd still be flying biplanes, if at all. Getting to market and servicing willing customers should be the priority, not debating how safe it is. Fly, innovate, fly some more.

Aircraft were developed during a timeframe when wars would have casualties of more than 10,000 per day.  Human life was less valued.  It was common for construction projects to lose several people without an uproar.   Now people don't accept any on the job deaths and ring their hands over more than 10 dead per day for any recent battle.

So the comparison to early aviation is invalid because of the different social norms.
True, but this doesn't differentiate between necessary risk taking on the high frontier (good) and being callous (bad).

There's an unmanned example with SpaceX, who has taken plenty of risks to achieve what it did. But integrating customer payloads before the static fires was callous.

VG decided from day one to avoid the 21st century and build a human-controlled rocket plane.  That's already questionable, but fine.  Test pilots and all.

But then they proceeded to build a dangerous human-controlled airplane, and as we found out during the NTSB hearing, were even remiss in properly training the test pilots about some of the dangers.

This (and the cold flow explosion) were both caused not by pushing the envelope, but by not being careful with people's lives.

Anyone who's done engineering knows that mistakes happen, and  hindsight is 20/20. When human lives are at stakes, such mistakes are hugely costly. But after two decades almost of VG, I don't think the people at the top get that.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: JH on 01/23/2018 04:26 PM
Double digit annual deaths are okay for skydiving. Same with skiing/snowboarding and, of course, mountain climbing. Adventure sports have fatalities. Rollercoasters are more like single digit annual deaths.

An SSO program that lost two vehicles per year still would have been less dangerous than rollercoasters.

This is an extremely bad comparison. The odds of dying during a sky dive are 1 in 140,000. It's a bit harder to find data on mountain climbing, but statistics from the government of the UK place the odds of death while climbing at 1 in 320,000. The fatality rate for skiing and snowboarding is < 1/1,000,000. There are fewer than 5 deaths per year from roller coasters. In 2011, for example, there were 1.7 billion rides. This gives a chance of death of < 1/340,000,000.

Arguing about whether or not a higher risk tolerance for crewed spaceflight is warranted for the sake of progress is one thing, but trying to use aggregate fatalities for activities that millions of people do each year to support your case is ridiculous.

--typo
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 01/23/2018 09:42 PM
That's because they are mature activities... they didn't start that way. The point is that the absolute number of annual deaths has been essentially the same as the number of participants has drastically increased. The idea that suborbital human spaceflight can somehow be exempt from fatalities is ridiculous. So long as zero deaths is the expectation, no-one flying should also be the expectation.

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 01/23/2018 10:45 PM
and then there's these people...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: JH on 01/24/2018 01:50 AM
My personal go to for a psychotically dangerous activity is climbing Everest, with fatality rates varying between 1% in 2017 and 100% in 2015 (avalanches caused by an earthquake killed people making attempts at the beginning of season and the mountain was closed for the rest of the season). The cumulative rate is just under 5%.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Archibald on 01/25/2018 07:27 PM
This obsession with safety has killed the nascent industry. If aircraft were developed the same way we'd still be flying biplanes, if at all. Getting to market and servicing willing customers should be the priority, not debating how safe it is. Fly, innovate, fly some more.

Aircraft were developed during a timeframe when wars would have casualties of more than 10,000 per day.  Human life was less valued.  It was common for construction projects to lose several people without an uproar.   Now people don't accept any on the job deaths and ring their hands over more than 10 dead per day for any recent battle.

So the comparison to early aviation is invalid because of the different social norms.


I once checked Aviation Safety Database. 1972 was worst year in civilian aviation history, with a little less than 5000 people dying in aviation disasters. Coincidentally, the very same year, 1972, was the worst in France (alone) car safety history, death toll was an appalling 16 000 people.

 Three times more.

 Still, 45 years years later in 2017, people keep driving their cars like nuts, drunk, stonned, and dying. From 16000 killed, the death rate dropped markedly, but currently stagnate at 3500 dying annually in car wrecks.

Meanwhile people that never got in an aircraft fear flying, when exactly ZERO people died next year in aircraft disasters.

Also, on August 22, 1914 during the early stage of WWI (the so called Battle of the frontiers) an astonishing 22 000 French soldiers were killed in a single day. By comparison the recent string of terror attacks, from Charlie to Nice, killed 251 people in 18 months. Sometimes I wonder how people from a century ago coped with such losses.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Zed_Noir on 01/25/2018 09:21 PM
<snip>
Also, on August 22, 1914 during the early stage of WWI (the so called Battle of the frontiers) an astonishing 22 000 French soldiers were killed in a single day. By comparison the recent string of terror attacks, from Charlie to Nice, killed 251 people in 18 months. Sometimes I wonder how people from a century ago coped with such losses.

Simple. There was no instantaneous 24-7 mass media. News travel at the speed of a horse or a walker. No widespread telephone networks. People mostly get their news by printed media or word of mouth after a period of delay.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: imprezive on 01/26/2018 06:41 AM
<snip>
Also, on August 22, 1914 during the early stage of WWI (the so called Battle of the frontiers) an astonishing 22 000 French soldiers were killed in a single day. By comparison the recent string of terror attacks, from Charlie to Nice, killed 251 people in 18 months. Sometimes I wonder how people from a century ago coped with such losses.

Simple. There was no instantaneous 24-7 mass media. News travel at the speed of a horse or a walker. No widespread telephone networks. People mostly get their news by printed media or word of mouth after a period of delay.

Um they were radios in WW1.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Zed_Noir on 01/26/2018 08:31 AM
<snip>
Also, on August 22, 1914 during the early stage of WWI (the so called Battle of the frontiers) an astonishing 22 000 French soldiers were killed in a single day. By comparison the recent string of terror attacks, from Charlie to Nice, killed 251 people in 18 months. Sometimes I wonder how people from a century ago coped with such losses.

Simple. There was no instantaneous 24-7 mass media. News travel at the speed of a horse or a walker. No widespread telephone networks. People mostly get their news by printed media or word of mouth after a period of delay.

Um they were radios in WW1.

IIRC AM home radio sets only become available after WWI as very luxurious items. They are usually slightly bigger than bodybuilder size furniture.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: imprezive on 01/26/2018 08:46 AM
<snip>
Also, on August 22, 1914 during the early stage of WWI (the so called Battle of the frontiers) an astonishing 22 000 French soldiers were killed in a single day. By comparison the recent string of terror attacks, from Charlie to Nice, killed 251 people in 18 months. Sometimes I wonder how people from a century ago coped with such losses.

Simple. There was no instantaneous 24-7 mass media. News travel at the speed of a horse or a walker. No widespread telephone networks. People mostly get their news by printed media or word of mouth after a period of delay.

Um they were radios in WW1.

IIRC AM home radio sets only become available after WWI as very luxurious items. They are usually slightly bigger than bodybuilder size furniture.

When you said “News travel at the speed of a horse or walker” I took that to mean news organizations. I’m guessing now you meant just the public. Yes the public might get their news the next day but I don’t think anyone goes “oh 22,000 people died good thing that was yesterday.” I think more of it is due to the level and depth of coverage. You might read a ton of soldiers died in the newspaper but you weren’t bombarded with photos and videos from the front line. Honestly we probably agree and I just misinterpreted your post, we are down a rabbit hole now anyway.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: mheney on 01/26/2018 11:51 AM

<snip>... we are down a rabbit hole now anyway.


Yes.  Yes we are.  All further discussion on this should go to NasaRabbitHole.com; we now return you to your "normal" SpaceShip Two conversations.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: bad_astra on 02/06/2018 01:44 PM
Really still taking their time on these test flights. How different a vehicle is Unity from Enterprise? For a company this far behind this is a glacial pace unless this craft is really exhibiting flight characteristics that different.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 02/06/2018 01:46 PM
Really still taking their time on these test flights.

I just hope a test flight isn't planned for this evening :) Just today :D
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: john smith 19 on 02/07/2018 09:43 PM

I once checked Aviation Safety Database. 1972 was worst year in civilian aviation history, with a little less than 5000 people dying in aviation disasters. Coincidentally, the very same year, 1972, was the worst in France (alone) car safety history, death toll was an appalling 16 000 people.

 Three times more.

 Still, 45 years years later in 2017, people keep driving their cars like nuts, drunk, stonned, and dying.
Meanwhile people that never got in an aircraft fear flying, when exactly ZERO people died next year in aircraft disasters.

Also, on August 22, 1914 during the early stage of WWI (the so called Battle of the frontiers) an astonishing 22 000 French soldiers were killed in a single day. By comparison the recent string of terror attacks, from Charlie to Nice, killed 251 people in 18 months. Sometimes I wonder how people from a century ago coped with such losses.
Car driving is a good one for odd ideas about "safety."

Another excellent one turns out to be the "Mass Shootings Tracker,"

https://www.massshootingtracker.org/data/2017

This showed that in the US in 2017  1931 people were shot in groups of 3 or more (the actual definition of a "mass shooting" is 3 dead, not 3 shot, so if you shot 18 people but only killed 1 it would not count). 590 were killed in those incidents.

Given most of these people were shot or killed involuntarily I don't see a problem with people willing to risk a SS2 flight, given they seem quite comfortable with risking that level of injury or death already.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 02/08/2018 02:11 AM

I once checked Aviation Safety Database. 1972 was worst year in civilian aviation history, with a little less than 5000 people dying in aviation disasters. Coincidentally, the very same year, 1972, was the worst in France (alone) car safety history, death toll was an appalling 16 000 people.

 Three times more.

 Still, 45 years years later in 2017, people keep driving their cars like nuts, drunk, stonned, and dying.
Meanwhile people that never got in an aircraft fear flying, when exactly ZERO people died next year in aircraft disasters.

Also, on August 22, 1914 during the early stage of WWI (the so called Battle of the frontiers) an astonishing 22 000 French soldiers were killed in a single day. By comparison the recent string of terror attacks, from Charlie to Nice, killed 251 people in 18 months. Sometimes I wonder how people from a century ago coped with such losses.
Car driving is a good one for odd ideas about "safety."

Another excellent one turns out to be the "Mass Shootings Tracker,"

https://www.massshootingtracker.org/data/2017

This showed that in the US in 2017  1931 people were shot in groups of 3 or more (the actual definition of a "mass shooting" is 3 dead, not 3 shot, so if you shot 18 people but only killed 1 it would not count). 590 were killed in those incidents.

Given most of these people were short or killed involuntarily I don't see a problem with people willing to risk a SS2 flight, given they seem quite comfortable with risking that level of injury or death already.

Paging Randy Newman!

---

But otherwise, what do shootings have to do with anything?   Life is relatively safe.  1931 deaths out of >300 millions is very little.

SS2 hasn't performed well to date in terms of safety (one fatal accident in a handful of powered flights) and there are also objective safety concerns just looking at the design - and no way to test it unmanned.




Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Archibald on 02/08/2018 06:30 AM
I checked france homicide rate the other day and my mind was blown away: there were "only"  825 murders last year, over a population of 67 million. I couldn't believe it was so low, and below the treshold of a thousand. Car wrecks killed and still kill 3500 people annually, 4 times more. Unbelievable.

https://www.planetoscope.com/Criminalite/1201-homicides-commis-en-france.html
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: eeergo on 02/08/2018 07:30 AM
I checked france homicide rate the other day and my mind was blown away: there were "only"  825 murders last year, over a population of 67 million. I couldn't believe it was so low, and below the treshold of a thousand. Car wrecks killed and still kill 3500 people annually, 4 times more. Unbelievable.

https://www.planetoscope.com/Criminalite/1201-homicides-commis-en-france.html

Off topic, but there are lower ones: check Spain or Austria for example (292 in 2016 for a 46.5M population = 6.3 per million (or the same as the US rate only for mass shootings, per the above statistics), or 4.7 per million in Austria, versus the 12.3 per million for France)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Eerie on 02/08/2018 08:38 AM
As technology makes life safer, the safety standards also increase. That's not a bug, that's a feature.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: bad_astra on 02/08/2018 04:23 PM
You know VG is making fast progress when people discuss Austrian homicide rates!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/08/2018 07:44 PM
Quote
Richard DalBello, Virgin, in #FAACST2018 interoperability panel: in 2018 we’re looking to launch two new vehicles: SpaceShipTwo (a powered flight coming “shortly”) and LauncherOne.

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/961670561964396544
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: john smith 19 on 02/08/2018 10:48 PM

But otherwise, what do shootings have to do with anything?   Life is relatively safe.  1931 deaths out of >300 millions is very little.
It speaks to perception and actual levels of risk.
Quote from: meekGee
SS2 hasn't performed well to date in terms of safety (one fatal accident in a handful of powered flights) and there are also objective safety concerns just looking at the design - and no way to test it unmanned.
Isn't that the point of a flight test programme? To find problems, possibly fatal problems, and correct them before a design enters service?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: john smith 19 on 02/08/2018 10:58 PM
I checked france homicide rate the other day and my mind was blown away: there were "only"  825 murders last year, over a population of 67 million. I couldn't believe it was so low, and below the treshold of a thousand. Car wrecks killed and still kill 3500 people annually, 4 times more. Unbelievable.

https://www.planetoscope.com/Criminalite/1201-homicides-commis-en-france.html
Americans will say that the US is much bigger than France (about 4.85x by population) so of course there would be more murders in proportion.

Note that "mass shootings" are a small sub set of all US gunshot injuries and deaths.

My point was the how much risk people are prepared to accept already, without really thinking about it.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: envy887 on 02/08/2018 11:58 PM
I checked france homicide rate the other day and my mind was blown away: there were "only"  825 murders last year, over a population of 67 million. I couldn't believe it was so low, and below the treshold of a thousand. Car wrecks killed and still kill 3500 people annually, 4 times more. Unbelievable.

https://www.planetoscope.com/Criminalite/1201-homicides-commis-en-france.html
Americans will say that the US is much bigger than France (about 4.85x by population) so of course there would be more murders in proportion.

Note that "mass shootings" are a small sub set of all US gunshot injuries and deaths.

My point was the how much risk people are prepared to accept already, without really thinking about it.

The risks aren't comparable, yet. If you live in the US for a year, you have about a 1 in 20,000 chance of getting murdered. If you drive a car in the US for a year, you have about a 1 in 10,000 chance of dying in a car crash.

If you take a 20 minute flight on SS2, you have something like a 1 in 10 chance of dying in a crash, based on flight history. That's about a million times riskier.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 02/15/2018 06:29 PM
Quote
Explore #SpaceShipTwo & #WhiteKnightTwo on our new website in panoramic 3D and web VR, thanks to #MicrosoftEdge

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/964218032343040000

http://www.virgingalactic.com/explore/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Andy Bandy on 02/19/2018 12:20 AM
Quote
Explore #SpaceShipTwo & #WhiteKnightTwo on our new website in panoramic 3D and web VR, thanks to #MicrosoftEdge

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/964218032343040000

http://www.virgingalactic.com/explore/

Meh. 3D and VR. How about an actual space flight?

Meanwhile, Branson's going to upstage Elon Musk. (Eye roll) You'll forgive me if I'm not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/14/technology/richard-branson-elon-musk-spacex/index.html
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/19/2018 12:26 AM
If it was fully automated they could have already flown it to space and back dozens of times un-crewed for tests that would have generated reams of data...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Gliderflyer on 02/19/2018 01:45 AM
If it was fully automated they could have already flown it to space and back dozens of times un-crewed for tests that would have generated reams of data...
I doubt it. During the downtime between most flights they seem to be making aerodynamic or structural changes based on previous test data, in addition to adding hardware required for the next test flight. I don’t see how making the vehicle unmanned would make those changes go any faster. Adding automation also increases the complexity of the vehicle, which would likely make the flight test process take longer. They would have to debug an advanced flight automation system in addition to debugging a mach 3 spacecraft, which is already hard enough. I’m not saying that all of the downtime between flights isn't human related, but I think it is unfair to say that just making it fully automated would automagically fix everything.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lars-J on 02/19/2018 04:24 AM
If it was fully automated they could have already flown it to space and back dozens of times un-crewed for tests that would have generated reams of data...
I doubt it. During the downtime between most flights they seem to be making aerodynamic or structural changes based on previous test data, in addition to adding hardware required for the next test flight. I don’t see how making the vehicle unmanned would make those changes go any faster. Adding automation also increases the complexity of the vehicle, which would likely make the flight test process take longer. They would have to debug an advanced flight automation system in addition to debugging a mach 3 spacecraft, which is already hard enough. I’m not saying that all of the downtime between flights isn't human related, but I think it is unfair to say that just making it fully automated would automagically fix everything.

Perhaps, but I think the point is that with a pilot in the loop they are forced to develop it the "NASA way" (we can't afford to make any mistakes) but without the "NASA budget". Making it able to fly without crew would add some up front cost, but would simplify testing. (for example you can decouple environmental or human comfort feature testing from flight testing)

It also begs the question whether or not it is even desirable in this century to have a craft that requires two pilots. It seems like a rather old fashioned idea in the 21st century. My prediction: SS2 will be the last spacecraft developed this way, and it will provide multiple lessons for future entrants in what *not* to do. But I still hope to see them fly it.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 02/19/2018 07:41 AM
If it was fully automated they could have already flown it to space and back dozens of times un-crewed for tests that would have generated reams of data...
I doubt it. During the downtime between most flights they seem to be making aerodynamic or structural changes based on previous test data, in addition to adding hardware required for the next test flight. I don’t see how making the vehicle unmanned would make those changes go any faster. Adding automation also increases the complexity of the vehicle, which would likely make the flight test process take longer. They would have to debug an advanced flight automation system in addition to debugging a mach 3 spacecraft, which is already hard enough. I’m not saying that all of the downtime between flights isn't human related, but I think it is unfair to say that just making it fully automated would automagically fix everything.

Perhaps, but I think the point is that with a pilot in the loop they are forced to develop it the "NASA way" (we can't afford to make any mistakes) but without the "NASA budget". Making it able to fly without crew would add some up front cost, but would simplify testing. (for example you can decouple environmental or human comfort feature testing from flight testing)

It also begs the question whether or not it is even desirable in this century to have a craft that requires two pilots. It seems like a rather old fashioned idea in the 21st century. My prediction: SS2 will be the last spacecraft developed this way, and it will provide multiple lessons for future entrants in what *not* to do. But I still hope to see them fly it.

What an odd argument. The B-21 which will be the most heavily automated aircraft so far ever built when flying in manned mode is still intended to have two pilots. There is still something to be said for having two pilots and two sets of eyes, two human brains for certain key stages of operation.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: MaxTeranous on 02/19/2018 09:37 AM
What an odd argument. The B-21 which will be the most heavily automated aircraft so far ever built when flying in manned mode is still intended to have two pilots. There is still something to be said for having two pilots and two sets of eyes, two human brains for certain key stages of operation.

Apples to oranges. The humans aren't on board the B-21 to fly from A to B on a well planned and steady course, they're there to deal with the realities of combat airspace and to drop the nuclear bombs.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: matthewkantar on 02/19/2018 02:48 PM
It's 2018 for heavens sake. Pilots are a liability. A pilot pulled the lever that destroyed the previous test vehicle. The root cause of that tragedy was choosing to have pilots in the first place.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/19/2018 05:19 PM
The purpose of this "VG Spaceliner" is to transport the passengers on a pleasure-ride to the boundary of space in safest most efficient manor that this design will allow.  The flight profile of suborbital vehicles is well understood and testing from the onset should have been un-crewed for the specifics of this design... Only after sufficient evaluation has been done should pilots be incorporated to "monitor" the systems and only intervene "if" necessary for regular scheduled passenger flight safety after they have been qualified... The purpose of SS2 is not to demonstrate the "hand-flying skills" of pilots on board which would best left to aerobatic demonstrations and competitions... This is coming to you from a pilot's perspective, "leave the ego on the ground"...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Gliderflyer on 02/19/2018 10:34 PM
If it was fully automated they could have already flown it to space and back dozens of times un-crewed for tests that would have generated reams of data...
I doubt it. During the downtime between most flights they seem to be making aerodynamic or structural changes based on previous test data, in addition to adding hardware required for the next test flight. I don’t see how making the vehicle unmanned would make those changes go any faster. Adding automation also increases the complexity of the vehicle, which would likely make the flight test process take longer. They would have to debug an advanced flight automation system in addition to debugging a mach 3 spacecraft, which is already hard enough. I’m not saying that all of the downtime between flights isn't human related, but I think it is unfair to say that just making it fully automated would automagically fix everything.

Perhaps, but I think the point is that with a pilot in the loop they are forced to develop it the "NASA way" (we can't afford to make any mistakes) but without the "NASA budget". Making it able to fly without crew would add some up front cost, but would simplify testing. (for example you can decouple environmental or human comfort feature testing from flight testing)

It also begs the question whether or not it is even desirable in this century to have a craft that requires two pilots. It seems like a rather old fashioned idea in the 21st century. My prediction: SS2 will be the last spacecraft developed this way, and it will provide multiple lessons for future entrants in what *not* to do. But I still hope to see them fly it.
I think they would have to develop it “the NASA way” in either case. They aren’t rolling these off an assembly line and probably can’t afford (in terms of money and time) to rush through testing while losing a bunch of vehicles in the process. Trial-and-erroring your way to victory doesn’t work if you have a small budget and no revenue from test flights.

I also don’t know if I agree that making it automated would simplify testing. Computers are only as smart as we program them to be, so a lot more analysis would and testing would need to be done to ensure that the computers won’t get confused and plow the vehicle into the ground (which also makes it harder to fly from a regulatory standpoint, because that makes the FAA a LOT twitchier). Automating it would also make it heavier (and therefore bigger and more expensive) because of the added actuators and power systems for the actuators.

While I wish them luck, I do agree with you that SS2 will be a lesson in how not to do things. I think it will be a “radical vehicle configuration changes and hybrids are bad” lesson and not a “pilots are bad” lesson (although I am a pilot, so I may be biased).
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 02/20/2018 12:46 AM
If it was fully automated they could have already flown it to space and back dozens of times un-crewed for tests that would have generated reams of data...
I doubt it. During the downtime between most flights they seem to be making aerodynamic or structural changes based on previous test data, in addition to adding hardware required for the next test flight. I don’t see how making the vehicle unmanned would make those changes go any faster. Adding automation also increases the complexity of the vehicle, which would likely make the flight test process take longer. They would have to debug an advanced flight automation system in addition to debugging a mach 3 spacecraft, which is already hard enough. I’m not saying that all of the downtime between flights isn't human related, but I think it is unfair to say that just making it fully automated would automagically fix everything.

Perhaps, but I think the point is that with a pilot in the loop they are forced to develop it the "NASA way" (we can't afford to make any mistakes) but without the "NASA budget". Making it able to fly without crew would add some up front cost, but would simplify testing. (for example you can decouple environmental or human comfort feature testing from flight testing)

It also begs the question whether or not it is even desirable in this century to have a craft that requires two pilots. It seems like a rather old fashioned idea in the 21st century. My prediction: SS2 will be the last spacecraft developed this way, and it will provide multiple lessons for future entrants in what *not* to do. But I still hope to see them fly it.

Ironic, given how much effort they invested in branding the "New Space" moniker...





Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 02/20/2018 01:11 AM
Ironic, given how much effort they invested in branding the "New Space" moniker...

Who, VG? They've never been a part of it.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: su27k on 02/20/2018 02:48 AM
It's 2018 for heavens sake. Pilots are a liability. A pilot pulled the lever that destroyed the previous test vehicle. The root cause of that tragedy was choosing to have pilots in the first place.

But the whole thing was designed over 10 years ago...

Also isn't it fundamentally more difficult to automate an airplane then a rocket? Rockets have been flying automatically since the 1960s, but even today most airplane takeoff/landing still require a pilot.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 02/20/2018 03:20 AM
Ironic, given how much effort they invested in branding the "New Space" moniker...

Who, VG? They've never been a part of it.

Yup looked it up, you are correct.

But they did cultivate an image of doing things differently, so the irony is still there when they're being held up by what is basically old-world thinking (and certain engineering decisions)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: RonM on 02/20/2018 03:28 AM
Aircraft have been able to do automated takeoffs and landings for decades. Look at military drones and even Dreamchaser. Pilots are required on commercial flights because the technology isn't reliable enough for the volume of flights. Still too risky for that. Spaceship Two could use some automation to help the pilots instead of being like a 1940s test plane.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 02/20/2018 03:11 PM
Aircraft have been able to do automated takeoffs and landings for decades. Look at military drones and even Dreamchaser. Pilots are required on commercial flights because the technology isn't reliable enough for the volume of flights. Still too risky for that. Spaceship Two could use some automation to help the pilots instead of being like a 1940s test plane.

The correct paradigm is that the pilot does nothing unless there are unforeseen circumstances.

You let pilots handle too many levers and you get issues like Asiana 214, Air Canada 759, or SpaceShipTwo/Enterprise.

But you still want a pilot for something like BA38 at Heathrow, where a quick thinking pilot saved the day by making a decision that an auto-pilot would not have.   Though these types of incidents are very rare.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 02/20/2018 04:18 PM
Aircraft have been able to do automated takeoffs and landings for decades. Look at military drones and even Dreamchaser. Pilots are required on commercial flights because the technology isn't reliable enough for the volume of flights. Still too risky for that. Spaceship Two could use some automation to help the pilots instead of being like a 1940s test plane.

The correct paradigm is that the pilot does nothing unless there are unforeseen circumstances.

You let pilots handle too many levers and you get issues like Asiana 214, Air Canada 759, or SpaceShipTwo/Enterprise.

But you still want a pilot for something like BA38 at Heathrow, where a quick thinking pilot saved the day by making a decision that an auto-pilot would not have.   Though these types of incidents are very rare.
And that's why I added that a qualified pilot(s) be on-board for precisely that reason during passenger ops in the event of some unforeseen failure for flight safety... BTW lets add the "Spooky" X-37 to our list of perfectly functioning automated/autonomous space planes in this case "orbital class"...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: catdlr on 04/02/2018 10:54 PM
OVERVIEW | Episode 2: Mission Control


Virgin Galactic
Published on Apr 2, 2018

Successful Spaceflight Operations are a result of seamless teamwork in the air, on the ground, and in between. Our Mojave-based Mission Control team measures up to the best in the world. In this video let us take you behind the doors (and screens!) of our control room in the second episode of our Overview Series.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F761GtpNHf4?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F761GtpNHf4

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/03/2018 04:29 PM
But the whole thing was designed over 10 years ago...

Also isn't it fundamentally more difficult to automate an airplane then a rocket? Rockets have been flying automatically since the 1960s, but even today most airplane takeoff/landing still require a pilot.
That has a great deal to do with the perception of safety and flexibility in emergency.

WRT to this thread all shuttle take offs were automated (I'm not sure the pilot ever intervened) and all landings could have been under the "autoland" software but the pilots complained "The simulator did not feel like the real controls and it'll take too long to get used to their feel so we need to be fully manual."
And by "fully manual" I mean commanding the GPC's through the controls, not having them just run a program themselves.

Of course the fact they'd spent years learning to fly the worlds fastest (and it will be impossible to exceed that record) aircraft had nothing to do with it.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/04/2018 04:14 AM
Quote
Richard Branson’s post about the visit to Mojave by Saudi Crown Price Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud notes they saw “mothership VMS Eve and spaceship VSS Unity combined together, readying for their upcoming flight.” No date, or if it’ll be a powered SS2 test:

https://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/royal-visit

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/981311874850582528
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 12:14 PM
And so it begins... today!

http://parabolicarc.com/2018/04/05/vg-thought-piece/#undefined.uxfs
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Olaf on 04/05/2018 01:56 PM
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981891353045970945
Quote
Our team is prepping for a #SpaceShipTwo flight test today
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 02:07 PM
Via Parabolicarc:


#VirginGalactic #SpaceShipTwo on end of runway underneath #WhiteKnightTwo. The way cars are still streaming takeoff could be a while. First powered flight since fatal flight of Enterprise on March 31, 2014. Weather good some surface winds.

EDIT: I noticed the error of the date, but never mind.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/05/2018 02:54 PM
Via Parabolicarc:


#VirginGalactic #SpaceShipTwo on end of runway underneath #WhiteKnightTwo. The way cars are still streaming takeoff could be a while. First powered flight since fatal flight of Enterprise on March 31, 2014. Weather good some surface winds.

EDIT: I noticed the error of the date, but never mind.
This has been a long time coming.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 02:56 PM
Virgin Galactic

Verified account
 
@virgingalactic
 8s9 seconds ago
More
VMS Eve & VSS Unity are undergoing final pre-flight checks #SpaceShipTwo
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 03:04 PM
Virgin Galactic

Verified account
 
@virgingalactic
 45s46 seconds ago
More
Take-off. VMS Eve & VSS Unity have taken to the skies #SpaceShipTwo
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Olaf on 04/05/2018 03:19 PM
It looks like David Mackay takes part today.
https://twitter.com/TheSpaceshipCo/status/981908409736810497
Quote
VMS Eve & VSS Unity are undergoing final pre-flight checks
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: whitelancer64 on 04/05/2018 03:23 PM
Is Peter Siebold still a test pilot for Virgin Galactic?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2018 03:26 PM
Quote
[email protected] is in the air and planning for VSS Unity’s first powered flight. Weather permitting, we could see a supersonic, vertical climb under rocket power in the next couple of hours. Watch this space!

https://twitter.com/richardbranson/status/981911751515045889
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Olaf on 04/05/2018 03:29 PM
Is Peter Siebold still a test pilot for Virgin Galactic?
AFAIK Peter Siebold works still at Scaled Composites.
I think he never worked for Virgin Galactic.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Olaf on 04/05/2018 03:31 PM
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981915588741206016
Quote
VSS Unity is the first #SpaceShipTwo in a fleet of spaceships proudly built by @TheSpaceshipCompany
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Olaf on 04/05/2018 03:33 PM
Is Peter Siebold still a test pilot for Virgin Galactic?
AFAIK Peter Siebold works still at Scaled Composites.
I think he never worked for Virgin Galactic.
https://twitter.com/SETP_ORG/status/918325740847820802
Quote
Congratulations Pete Siebold (AF) on Model 401 successful first flight! Scaled Composites amazing track record of a first flight per year!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: cferreir on 04/05/2018 03:52 PM
Dang....No coverage...No live updates....Considering this is a POWERED flight I am dismayed by the lack of interest. These guys might be the first to regularly launch tourists into (what is defined as) space. :(
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2018 04:02 PM
Quote
VSS Unity has separated cleanly from VMS Eve and is flying free. #SpaceShipTwo #WhiteKnightTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981924795771072513
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 04:02 PM
Dang....No coverage...No live updates....Considering this is a POWERED flight I am dismayed by the lack of interest. These guys might be the first to regularly launch tourists into (what is defined as) space. :(

In the case of VG, I'm kinda glad there's no live coverage - I'll be too scared to watch it :)

But I think I did notice on twitter a stream by the ParabolicArc guy.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2018 04:03 PM
Quote
Our pilots have ignited VSS Unity’s rocket motor for today’s planned partial duration burn. Pointing upwards and accelerating fast

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981924986947420160
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 04:03 PM
Our pilots have ignited VSS Unity’s rocket motor for today’s planned partial duration burn. Pointing upwards and accelerating fast - VG's twitter.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 04:03 PM
Pilots have shut down rocket motor and preparing to raise tail-booms into the #SpaceShipTwo “feathered” re-entry position, for the downhill run - VG's Twitter!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 04:04 PM
Virgin Galactic

Verified account
 
@virgingalactic
 13s14 seconds ago
More
Feathers now lowered again and VSS Unity turning to Mojave for the glide home #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981925502997835776
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2018 04:06 PM
Quote
VSS Unity went supersonic and will be landing shortly #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981925883018559488
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 04:13 PM
Virgin Galactic

@virgingalactic
 12s13 seconds ago
More
Touch down. Congratulations Mark “Forger” Stucky and Dave Mackay for a great milestone test flight #SpaceShipTwo


https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981927687089352704
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 04:19 PM
Again, huge congrats to Virgin Galactic. A big milestone.

Waiting to see how long the engine worked and the altitude reached. Did SS2 reach the near-space region (boundary between the Armstrong line - 18 km and Karman line)?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 04:22 PM
Via Richard Branson:

@virgingalactic back on track. Successful powered flight, Mach 1.6. Data review to come, then on to the next flight. Space feels tantalisingly close now.

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981927687089352704
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2018 04:33 PM
Quote
George Whitesides
‏ @gtwhitesides
42s43 seconds ago

THAT WAS AWESOME!  Congrats to the pilots, crew, ground crew and all the people who designed and built that beautiful ship. Look forward to doing it again!

https://twitter.com/gtwhitesides/status/981932288291127296
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2018 04:40 PM
Quote
Today VSS Unity completed her first powered flight #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981934343999270912?s=21
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2018 04:50 PM
Quote
#WhiteKnightTwo pilots, Mike “Sooch” Masucci and Nicola Pecile have landed VMS Eve safely, completing today’s important test flight @MojaveAirport

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981936005602144256
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 04:56 PM
I dare say, today's flight was a magnitude scarier than the Falcon Heavy flight.

It's one thing to fly a Tesla to Mars (still cool), but another thing to launch humans.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2018 04:58 PM
Take-off shot posted earlier by TheSpaceShipCo
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 04/05/2018 05:00 PM
While we're waiting for photos of the engine burning, here's an update to Michael Baylor's SS2 2018 test campaign feature article - per this major milestone of returning to powered flight!

https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/04/spaceshiptwo-2018-test-campaign-powered-flight/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 05:11 PM
Excellent article.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2018 05:25 PM
Via Richard Branson:

@virgingalactic back on track. Successful powered flight, Mach 1.6. Data review to come, then on to the next flight. Space feels tantalisingly close now.

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981927687089352704

It’s worth noting that the first powered VSS Enterprise flight in 2013 reached Mach 1.3 and even its 3rd powered flight topped out at Mach 1.4. So today was a longer duration burn and/or more powerful engine. My guess is the latter.

Edit to add: so I was wrong, it was a long (30s) burn. That’s great aggressive ...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 05:26 PM
Press release is here:

http://www.virgingalactic.com/articles/VSS-Unity-First-Powered-Flight

In short : 25 km altitude reached, 30 sec burn. A near-space flight, a very good achievement.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2018 05:31 PM
Wow! Mach 1.87 ...

30s burn is long for 1st powered flight with this vehicle.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 05:34 PM
Indeed.

Looks like the team didn't want to repeat the same achievements for VSS Enterprise. Previous flights reached altitude 17-22 km and Mach 1.43.

I am surprised they took such a bold step ahead. Personally expected a short powered flight for several seconds.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/05/2018 06:23 PM
Dang....No coverage...No live updates....Considering this is a POWERED flight I am dismayed by the lack of interest. These guys might be the first to regularly launch tourists into (what is defined as) space. :(
The weird thing is that despite all the setbacks to the idea of sub orbital tourism you may be right.

Virgin may still win this race.

One thing that the crash did show. This is not risk free. anyone wanting to get on board will be acutely aware that you can get killed do this. Like ordering Fugu in a high end restaurant.

Some will be deterred by this. Others will be quite excited. Time will tell which have a stronger pull in the direction of ticket sales.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: AndyE on 04/05/2018 07:03 PM
First flight image posted on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981966905773666304 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981966905773666304)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/05/2018 07:08 PM
Predicting which company will be the first to send a man to space is hard. I think the general audience doesn't care much about the suborbital/orbital difference or whether space begins from 80km or from 100 km. The first company to send humans to space will make headlines.

There are four companies working on manned spacecraft. All of them have experienced lengthy delays. It does seem that Virgin Galactic suffered most - with first flights promised in 2009 and now it's 2018. But SpaceX also had its share of delays - I remember statements in 2010-2011 that the company is trying to make sure that there won't be a post-shuttle gap.

I have to admit that in 2016 I believed that it would be Blue Origin who'll be the first to send a human into space. SpaceShipTwo at that time was just beginning captive-ferry flights. BO, however, had many launches of New Shepard + an in-flight abort test. It seemed that a human flight to space is imminent.

Fast forward to 2018. Blue Origin experienced a gap in flights that lasted more than a year. The last flight was in December (unmanned), and we're already in another 4-month gap. I think that a manned flight is once again slipping to 2019 for the company.

Now, with SpaceX and Boeing spacecraft experiencing a likely slip to 2019, it does seem that Virgin Galactic represents our best hope for a human spaceflight to space.

But who knows? We may have another depressing year without any company being able to send a human to space.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 04/05/2018 07:40 PM
Happy landing, well done! 8) Another great article Michael, thank you! :)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2018 07:45 PM
First flight image posted on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981966905773666304 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981966905773666304)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2018 09:39 PM
Another photo from VG:

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981998211882565632
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Prettz on 04/05/2018 09:52 PM
I think the general audience doesn't care much about the suborbital/orbital difference or whether space begins from 80km or from 100 km. The first company to send humans to space will make headlines.
The general public will notice the difference between suborbital and orbital after suborbital tourism starts happening in earnest and people are aware of it (i.e. after some TV channel has run a story on the first customer flights). After that, when a commercial company finally gets around to sending up a famous billionaire or celebrity on a multi-day orbital trip, I'm pretty confident the public will notice the vast difference in the experience, not least of which being the duration.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: imprezive on 04/05/2018 10:15 PM
Another photo from VG:

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981998211882565632

Looks like a screencap from the video they just released.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=8s-zY86Ec-I
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/05/2018 10:45 PM
A couple more video screenshots
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: jgoldader on 04/05/2018 10:59 PM
Another photo from VG:

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981998211882565632

I feel very stupid for asking (par for the course, today!) but to me, it looks like that was taken with the ship...inverted?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 04/05/2018 11:53 PM
Another photo from VG:

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981998211882565632

Looks like a screencap from the video they just released.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=8s-zY86Ec-I
Thanks for the video! :) Interesting ignition...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Alpha Control on 04/06/2018 12:10 AM
Another photo from VG:

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981998211882565632

I feel very stupid for asking (par for the course, today!) but to me, it looks like that was taken with the ship...inverted?

No worries about asking those kind of questions. Most folks here are very willing to share their insight in a positive manner.

For this photo, I can see why you think that.  At first glance, all you see is a solid tube, which could lead you to think it's the underside of Unity.  But if you look closer, you'll see the three windows along the side of the body, or "tube".  It's just that the earth reflection at that angle is making the windows and the body appear to the be same color.  The windows and body blend together in this shot.

 
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: imprezive on 04/06/2018 12:24 AM
Another photo from VG:

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981998211882565632

I feel very stupid for asking (par for the course, today!) but to me, it looks like that was taken with the ship...inverted?

No worries about asking those kind of questions. Most folks here are very willing to share their insight in a positive manner.

For this photo, I can see why you think that.  At first glance, all you see is a solid tube, which could lead you to think it's the underside of Unity.  But if you look closer, you'll see the three windows along the side of the body, or "tube".  It's just that the earth reflection at that angle is making the windows and the body appear to the be same color.  The windows and body blend together in this shot.

It is inverted! That might be what you were getting at but it was a long explanation. haha
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: cscott on 04/06/2018 12:32 AM
Yeah, definitely inverted.  Presumably that's part of the planned trajectory?  If the passengers are weightless it doesn't matter which way is "up," I guess...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: 1 on 04/06/2018 01:50 AM
Yeah, definitely inverted.  Presumably that's part of the planned trajectory?  If the passengers are weightless it doesn't matter which way is "up," I guess...

I'd guess that it orients such that the passengers have the best views of Earth.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: yg1968 on 04/06/2018 01:55 AM
Another photo from VG:

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/981998211882565632

Looks like a screencap from the video they just released.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=8s-zY86Ec-I

Here is the embedded video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8s-zY86Ec-I
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: imprezive on 04/06/2018 03:38 AM
TSC uploaded a video about making SS2.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhrKfi8mdwc
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/06/2018 07:34 AM
TSC uploaded a video about making SS2.

Interesting. The implication is that VG has moved from handing a contract to Scaled Composites and saying "Build this" to having an independent mfg capability.

I guess I'd always thought they were made in as complete cylinders, with the nose as a separate section but I see in fact they are made like canoes, with a top and bottom half.

Which means that join line, and how it's joined, is a critical mfg issue, given the difference in stress between longitudinal and circumferential stresses in pressure vessels. 
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/06/2018 08:39 AM
Interesting. The implication is that VG has moved from handing a contract to Scaled Composites and saying "Build this" to having an independent mfg capability.

I don't think Scaled have had any involvement since the 2014 accident. VG seemed keen yesterday to emphasise that VSS Unity was build by TSC.

Of course Doug Shane chairs TSC and previously ran Scaled after Burt Rutan's retirement and I imagine TSC build in the same way Scaled did, following plans originally produced by Scaled.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: jgoldader on 04/06/2018 09:54 AM
Yeah, definitely inverted.  Presumably that's part of the planned trajectory?  If the passengers are weightless it doesn't matter which way is "up," I guess...

Maybe they go inverted to help manage the g's at the end of the rocket burn?  But that video yg1968 posted was unambiguous!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/06/2018 06:24 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVETvuGsv-w (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVETvuGsv-w)

Quote
Published on 6 Apr 2018
Experience the first rocket-powered, supersonic flight through the eyes of Virgin Galactic Chief Pilot, Dave Mackay
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: GWH on 04/06/2018 06:41 PM
Blue Origin may have the bigger windows, but that tail boom camera makes for some incredible marketing that is pretty hard to beat!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Elmar Moelzer on 04/06/2018 06:43 PM
I am just surprised by how long it took them to get back to this point.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: rpapo on 04/06/2018 06:45 PM
It sure looked like they were flying upside down there.  They do have RCS for vacuum orientation, right?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/06/2018 06:47 PM
It sure looked like they were flying upside down there.  They do have RCS for vacuum orientation, right?

Yes, as did SpaceShipOne.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: mme on 04/06/2018 06:51 PM
It sure looked like they were flying upside down there.  They do have RCS for vacuum orientation, right?
It makes sense in a way from an experience standpoint.  Maybe even from a momentum standpoint. But having the curve of the Earth sweep above you? Awesome sauce.

And I say this as someone never really that thrilled with suborbital tourism and especially VG. :)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: GWH on 04/06/2018 10:20 PM
It makes sense in a way from an experience standpoint.  Maybe even from a momentum standpoint. But having the curve of the Earth sweep above you? Awesome sauce.

And I say this as someone never really that thrilled with suborbital tourism and especially VG. :)

Awesome sauce indeed, that roll would be so, so amazing. Just seeing it on video makes me want to click a "reserve now" button.

Compare that to New Shepard's view during ascent, without actually being able to feel G-forces it looks like a balloon ride filmed at high speed.
I'd do both in a heartbeat (although neither is my current situation), if I had to choose I'd probably pick VG. It elicits the most visceral response and that roll is a big part of it.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Alpha Control on 04/06/2018 10:25 PM
Yeah, definitely inverted.  Presumably that's part of the planned trajectory?  If the passengers are weightless it doesn't matter which way is "up," I guess...

Maybe they go inverted to help manage the g's at the end of the rocket burn?  But that video yg1968 posted was unambiguous!

Yep, you're right!  I must have been standing on my head when I wrote that post. I was totally looking at the ship.  "look at the earth, dummy!"  :)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/07/2018 03:29 PM
Quote
FIRST LAUNCH !!!!

April 5, 2018
VSS Unity, VMS Eve
Mojave Air and Space Port
Photo: Gene Blevins, LA Daily News.

https://twitter.com/vgchieftrainer/status/982508781950005248
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: john smith 19 on 04/07/2018 07:34 PM
I'd do both in a heartbeat (although neither is my current situation), if I had to choose I'd probably pick VG. It elicits the most visceral response and that roll is a big part of it.
I think that might be part of why they do it.

IIRC you can pull 3g (and in some cases 5g?) on a modern roller coaster, for a few bucks.

But can you see the Earth curving away from you while doing so?

That makes it quite a ride. Given how much it costs it has to be.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Olaf on 04/08/2018 04:42 AM
https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/982713813358333952
Quote
Our pilots Dave Mackay & Mark "Forger" Stucky are all smiles after VSS Unity's first supersonic, rocket powered flight. Catch up on the day's flight test here: http://virg.in/J6s
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: meekGee on 04/08/2018 05:02 AM
I'd do both in a heartbeat (although neither is my current situation), if I had to choose I'd probably pick VG. It elicits the most visceral response and that roll is a big part of it.
I think that might be part of why they do it.

IIRC you can pull 3g (and in some cases 5g?) on a modern roller coaster, for a few bucks.

But can you see the Earth curving away from you while doing so?

That makes it quite a ride. Given how much it costs it has to be.

The horizon curves in suborbital flights are just fish-eye camera effects.

You're less than 1% of the planet diameter up. 2 mm above a basketball.
The horizon is 1000 km away. It might be below you, but it's still just essentially a patch of earth below you.
This is also why SS2 cannot do significant P2P travel - it never gets high enough to matter.

To see the kind of curvature you see in their pictures with a normal lens, you need to be at MEO altitudes
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Comga on 04/08/2018 05:55 AM
The horizon curves in suborbital flights are just fish-eye camera effects.

You're less than 1% of the planet diameter up. 2 mm above a basketball.
The horizon is 1000 km away. It might be below you, but it's still just essentially a patch of earth below you.
This is also why SS2 cannot do significant P2P travel - it never gets high enough to matter.

To see the kind of curvature you see in their pictures with a normal lens, you need to be at MEO altitudes

To be quantitative, on the ground, the Earth at your feet subtends 180 degrees.
From the ISS at 400 km above a 6378 km average radius Earth it subtends 140 degrees.
One can sort of see that.
From the 100 km height SpaceShip 2 hopes to reach, briefly, someday, the Earth will subtend 160 degrees.
Neither fits within human peripheral vision, but without the cue of the ground below moving visibly as the limb does not, it is to be seen if people get an impression of the sphericity of the Earth, or just feel high above the bulk of the atmosphere and B.o.B.’s circular flat Earth. ;)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Robotbeat on 04/08/2018 06:04 AM
You can DEFINITELY see curvature at ISS altitude. And even just at the Karman Line, there’s still subtle curvature.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 04/10/2018 06:43 AM
Now, back on topic.

As the emotions have subsided, the nagging question question in my head is when the next flight will occur. To me, this will be the real measure of progress.

Back in 2013-2014 powered flights occurred rarely and there were long gaps between that.

Last year Virgin Galactic said that once powered flights begin, they would happen once per every three weeks and finally, extending into space.

We'll see if this will come true.
Title: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 04/27/2018 09:55 AM
Next Two Virgin Galactic Spaceships Assembled As Powered Flights Resume

Quote
As SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity coasted to a new record apogee of more than 84,200 ft. over California on its first powered flight on April 5, the moment signified new heights not only for Virgin Galactic but also for the vehicle’s builder, The Spaceship Co. (TSC). Far beneath the arrow-straight exhaust plume that marked the first successful airborne ignition of a TSC-built hybrid rocket in a TSC-made suborbital spacecraft, employees of both Virgin companies stood on the flight line at the ...

http://m.aviationweek.com/space/next-two-virgin-galactic-spaceships-assembled-powered-flights-resume
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/27/2018 05:27 PM
Quite a cover

Edit: hit post too soon ... from:

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Rare look inside @TheSpaceshipCo to see next 2 @virgingalactic SpaceShipTwo 'Etta' and 'Artie' in production
aviationweek.com/space/next-two…

https://twitter.com/avweekguy/status/989889729037398017
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 04/30/2018 12:21 PM
Quote
In a CNBC interview, Richard Branson says the next SpaceShipTwo test flight is planned for the next 3-4 weeks. (He says the previous one was about 10 days ago, when in fact it was more than 3 weeks ago, though.) cnb.cx/2HB2eEN

https://twitter.com/jeff_foust/status/990922105935093762
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/11/2018 04:01 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbaqDP7zC08 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbaqDP7zC08)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: AndyE on 05/25/2018 07:07 PM
A small nugget about the Unity test flights in a Telegraph interview with Richard Branson:

Quote
We’ve had one test flight, we’ve got another one coming up in the next few days, then we’ll have another one to the edge of space, and then hopefully into space

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/news/sir-richard-branson-on-the-future-of-travel/
Title: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Star One on 05/26/2018 09:38 AM
Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson readies himself for space

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Sir Richard Branson says he's training to be an astronaut and will take his first trip into space soon.
He told BBC Radio 4's You and Yours programme: "We're talking about months away, not years away - so it's close. There are exciting times ahead.
"I'm going for astronaut training; I'm going for fitness training, centrifuge and other training, so that my body will hopefully cope well when I go to space."

Quote
Monday's You and Yours programme is about future transport technology. It broadcasts at 12:15 BST and will then be available on the BBC Radio iPlayer.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-44257670
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: SimonFD on 05/29/2018 07:36 AM
BBC News reporting 2nd flight of VSS Unity is today 29th May 2018.
A quick scan on the interweb doesn't reveal any other details

In the "Lookahead" section: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44238431
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: jebbo on 05/29/2018 12:59 PM
Quote
Our team is prepping for a #SpaceShipTwo flight test today

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1001447579329019904 (https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1001447579329019904)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/29/2018 01:01 PM
Quote
#SpaceShipTwo Unity powered flight no. 2. Expect 30s flight same as last time. Mayne a bit more altitude. Got to 82k ft last time. #VirginGalactic #RichardBranson #INeedCofee

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/1001448181970817025

Edit to add: nice pic from VG's tweet in previous post
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/29/2018 01:08 PM
Another photo:

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It’s an exciting morning here @MojaveAirport while the crew preps for a #SpaceShipTwo flight test today.

https://twitter.com/TheSpaceshipCo/status/1001449081216974849
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: SimonFD on 05/29/2018 01:43 PM
Quote
#SpaceShipTwo Unity powered flight no. 2. Expect 30s flight same as last time. Mayne a bit more altitude. Got to 82k ft last time. #VirginGalactic #RichardBranson #INeedCofee

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/1001448181970817025

Edit to add: nice pic from VG's tweet in previous post

More altitude? Would that mean more lofted profile or reduced weight?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: envy887 on 05/29/2018 01:47 PM
Quote
#SpaceShipTwo Unity powered flight no. 2. Expect 30s flight same as last time. Mayne a bit more altitude. Got to 82k ft last time. #VirginGalactic #RichardBranson #INeedCofee

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/1001448181970817025

Edit to add: nice pic from VG's tweet in previous post

More altitude? Would that mean more lofted profile or reduced weight?
More likely a longer engine burn. The last one was quite short.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 01:47 PM
Let's hope they're not cutting weight just to pass 100km boundary. I prefer them to stick to 80km, and be safe.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: SimonFD on 05/29/2018 01:57 PM
Quote
#SpaceShipTwo Unity powered flight no. 2. Expect 30s flight same as last time. Mayne a bit more altitude. Got to 82k ft last time. #VirginGalactic #RichardBranson #INeedCofee

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/1001448181970817025

Edit to add: nice pic from VG's tweet in previous post

More altitude? Would that mean more lofted profile or reduced weight?
More likely a longer engine burn. The last one was quite short.

The tweet said same burn time...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: high road on 05/29/2018 02:15 PM
Let's hope they're not cutting weight just to pass 100km boundary. I prefer them to stick to 80km, and be safe.

Quote
#SpaceShipTwo Unity powered flight no. 2. Expect 30s flight same as last time. Mayne a bit more altitude. Got to 82k ft last time. #VirginGalactic #RichardBranson #INeedCofee

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/1001448181970817025

Edit to add: nice pic from VG's tweet in previous post

Is that a mistake or did they only get to 25 km last time? Seemed to be higher, but that could have been due to the placement of the camera.

Either way, I seem to recall they've readjusted their max altitude far below the Karman line. Not making a value argument. Just pointing out that there's no specific altitude they can realistically achieve that would be quite that tempting to risk reducing safety for.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 02:18 PM
This is what they said (quote from Popular mechanics):

"We didn't finish the test program [with Enterprise], so now Unity is our test vehicle," Moses said at the symposium. "We've added a lot more structure, a lot more instrumentation because you don't know the margins. You don't know the actual environment you're going to fly in. We had to be on the conservative side. We'll be able to pull that weight back out after we've done it, but initially we won't be going all the way to the Karman line. We're going to aim for the 80-km U.S. definition of space."



https://www.popularmechanics.com/flight/a28627/virgin-galactic-fly-spaceshiptwo-space-2017/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Almoturg on 05/29/2018 02:22 PM
Is that a mistake or did they only get to 25 km last time? Seemed to be higher, but that could have been due to the placement of the camera.

Not a mistake, they only got to 84,271 feet (25,686 meters) on the last flight: https://www.space.com/40224-virgin-galactic-unity-1st-powered-flight-video.html (https://www.space.com/40224-virgin-galactic-unity-1st-powered-flight-video.html)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: envy887 on 05/29/2018 03:17 PM
Quote
#SpaceShipTwo Unity powered flight no. 2. Expect 30s flight same as last time. Mayne a bit more altitude. Got to 82k ft last time. #VirginGalactic #RichardBranson #INeedCofee

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/1001448181970817025

Edit to add: nice pic from VG's tweet in previous post

More altitude? Would that mean more lofted profile or reduced weight?
More likely a longer engine burn. The last one was quite short.

The tweet said same burn time...

It says same flight time, but that does look like a typo and should read same burn time. Could be higher throttle (LOX flow) than before...
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 03:35 PM
Virgin Galactic
@virgingalactic

VMS Eve & VSS Unity are headed out to the runway for final checks

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1001486944793178114
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Rocket Science on 05/29/2018 03:39 PM
Good luck!
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 03:40 PM
Virgin Galactic
@virgingalactic

Today’s flight is planned to be a partial duration rocket burn that will test a rearward center of gravity closer to the commercial configuration

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1001488041121337344
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 03:43 PM
Virgin Galactic:

We have take-off. VMS Eve & VSS Unity have taken to the skies and have begun their climb

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1001488909065506822
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 03:50 PM
Nice photo!

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1001490294184038400
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 03:54 PM
Today is 13th flight for VSS Unity #SpaceShipTwo, 249th for VMS Eve #WhiteKnightTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1001491760382730241
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 04:00 PM
VG: Nice to see some familiar faces on the flight line today alongside our team and their families @RichardBranson #Virginfamily

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1001492944178860032
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 04:43 PM
VSS Unity is flying on her own after a clean separation from VMS Eve #SpaceShipTwo

https://twitter.com/TheSpaceshipCo/status/1001504107176255488
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 04:43 PM
TheSpaceshipCompany
 
@TheSpaceshipCo

Our hybrid rocket motor is ignited for today’s planned partial burn and VSS Unity is now on an upward climb

https://twitter.com/TheSpaceshipCo/status/1001504192970674182
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 04:44 PM
Virgin Galactic

VSS Unity’s rocket motor has been ignited for today’s planned partial duration burn. Pointing upwards and accelerating fast

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1001504436253069312
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 04:44 PM
Virgin Galactic

Pilots have shut down rocket motor and tail-booms are about to be raised into the #SpaceShipTwo “feathered” re-entry position

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1001504505194799104
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 04:46 PM
With the feathers lowered, VSS Unity is turning back to Mojave for the glide home

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1001504946179756033
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 04:48 PM
Parabolicarc.com

Looked like good burn from here.

https://twitter.com/spacecom/status/1001505352175599616
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 04:56 PM
Smooth landing for VSS Unity. Congratulations to our pilots Dave Mackay and Mark “Forger” Stucky #SpaceshipTwo

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1001507349457244160
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 05:08 PM
According to ParabolicArc twitter, it was up over 100k (ft) altitude. This means more than 30km :)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 05:25 PM
Nice photo after landing

https://twitter.com/virgingalactic/status/1001514467644067841
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/29/2018 06:21 PM
Official press release:

http://www.virgingalactic.com/articles/Richard-Branson-Welcomes-VSS-Unity-Home-from-Second-Supersonic-Flight

Altitude: 114,500 ft, which is equal to 34.9 km.

This is halfway to space, American boundary!

(EDIT: Almost, forgot it's 80, not 70km)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Chris Bergin on 05/29/2018 07:06 PM
Short article:
https://www.nasaspaceflight.com/2018/05/branson-vss-unitys-test-success/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/29/2018 07:31 PM
Quote
[email protected]'s 2nd Unity powered test flight compared to its 1st:

Engine burn
1) 30 seconds
2) 31 seconds

Speed
1) Mach 1.87
2) Mach 1.9

Altitude
1) 84,271 feet
2) 114,500 feet

https://twitter.com/thesheetztweetz/status/1001539461442924544

So I assume a more aggressive climb profile as wouldn’t less weight result in a higher speed?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Michael Baylor on 05/29/2018 09:21 PM
Video of the test: https://www.image.net/virgingalactic
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: ChrisC on 05/30/2018 02:17 AM
No new video is showing up in the above link for me.

But here's something from VG, just posted.  Powered flight is from 1:04 to 1:34 in the video, and looked a little unstable at the end there.

Richard Branson Welcomes VSS Unity Home from Second Supersonic Flight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIzx6X3ub2I
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: seruriermarshal on 05/30/2018 02:38 AM
No new video is showing up in the above link for me.

But here's something from VG, just posted.  Powered flight is from 1:04 to 1:34 in the video, and looked a little unstable at the end there.

Richard Branson Welcomes VSS Unity Home from Second Supersonic Flight

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIzx6X3ub2I

Just It is clambing .
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: catdlr on 05/30/2018 02:50 AM
No new video is showing up in the above link for me.

Click on the download button (Red Arrow)



Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: catdlr on 05/30/2018 02:52 AM
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Unentitled on 05/30/2018 11:40 AM

Thank you for sharing this catdlr and others for the setup and takeoff and data.

What a ride and an interesting frontier being explored.

Looked fairly uncomfortable for the pilots of the steep rise and some sway + heat signatures. Anybody have insight into where this may place them on a forward timeline? Certainly looked line a fun experience.  8)
[/quote]
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 05/30/2018 01:10 PM
Here’s a great shot by @ShorealoneFilms (posted at: https://twitter.com/vgchieftrainer/status/1001811554277310464) showing a pretty straight climb.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: cscott on 05/30/2018 03:08 PM
Looked like a bit of pitch instability both at the end of the burn and at the beginning of the feather.

Of course, it could be deliberate inputs by the pilot to assess handling and control authority.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: AndyE on 05/30/2018 03:45 PM
Looks like they've got their first passenger too!  ;)
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Svetoslav on 05/30/2018 07:16 PM
Mannequin ... Virginwalker?
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: CameronD on 05/31/2018 12:45 AM
Looked like a bit of pitch instability both at the end of the burn and at the beginning of the feather.

Of course, it could be deliberate inputs by the pilot to assess handling and control authority.

As a pilot, you get used to flying with one hand on the controls and the other free for other tasks (throttle, instruments, switches or something), yet in the video you see the pilot using both hands for a considerable amount of time.  It looks to me like he was fighting it most of the way..

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Senex on 05/31/2018 01:03 AM

As a pilot, you get used to flying with one hand on the controls and the other free for other tasks (throttle, instruments, switches or something), yet in the video you see the pilot using both hands for a considerable amount of time.  It looks to me like he was fighting it most of the way..

Significant G-forces, possible unanticipated events, a co-pilot to pick up the ancillary tasks . . .  and doing something that has seldom been done before . . .  I'd use both hands and not take my eyes off my key inputs. 

I wouldn't second-guess a highly experienced test pilot team. 
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: CameronD on 05/31/2018 02:20 AM

As a pilot, you get used to flying with one hand on the controls and the other free for other tasks (throttle, instruments, switches or something), yet in the video you see the pilot using both hands for a considerable amount of time.  It looks to me like he was fighting it most of the way..

Significant G-forces, possible unanticipated events, a co-pilot to pick up the ancillary tasks . . .  and doing something that has seldom been done before . . .  I'd use both hands and not take my eyes off my key inputs. 

I wouldn't second-guess a highly experienced test pilot team.

Pls re-read my post.   I'm not second-guessing anything and am simply saying that, based on what I see, I, personally, don't think the pitch instability is pilot induced.  I could be wrong.  YMMV.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: seruriermarshal on 05/31/2018 02:26 AM
The focus of the latest test flight was to learn more about how the spaceship handles at supersonic speeds. It was also intended to test the control system’s performance when the vehicle was closer to its ultimate commercial configuration. As the company stated, “This involved shifting the vehicle’s center of gravity rearward via the addition of passenger seats and related equipment.”

This statement is a possible indication that the test program is reaching the final stretch before Virgin Galactic allows passengers on the vehicle. However, the company will need to conduct a full-duration flight (which will include a full-duration burn of its rocket motor) before that can happen. This latest test involved only a partial rocket burn, but nevertheless demonstrated the spacecraft’s capabilities at supersonic speed.

https://www.universetoday.com/139331/virgin-galactic-performs-the-second-test-of-vss-unity-reaching-mach-1-9-1/
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: catdlr on 05/31/2018 05:20 AM
B-roll version now available on YT.

VSS Unity Second Rocket Powered Flight - UNCUT

Virgin Galactic
Published on May 30, 2018

Watch uncut telescopic footage of VSS Unity's second supersonic rocket-powered flight; from release, through boost, into feathered decent and glide.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRxZnOAJGu8?t=001

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRxZnOAJGu8
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: penguin44 on 05/31/2018 05:50 AM
Oh she was definitely swinging and swaying under power. That was not pilot induced.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: woods170 on 05/31/2018 07:02 AM
Oh she was definitely swinging and swaying under power. That was not pilot induced.

Don't pull conclusions you can't substantiate.

Other than that: the swinging and swaying is what? Bad? Good? Dangerous? Uncomfortable?

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: john smith 19 on 05/31/2018 08:19 AM

As a pilot, you get used to flying with one hand on the controls and the other free for other tasks (throttle, instruments, switches or something), yet in the video you see the pilot using both hands for a considerable amount of time.  It looks to me like he was fighting it most of the way..

Significant G-forces, possible unanticipated events, a co-pilot to pick up the ancillary tasks . . .  and doing something that has seldom been done before . . .  I'd use both hands and not take my eyes off my key inputs. 

I wouldn't second-guess a highly experienced test pilot team.

Pls re-read my post.   I'm not second-guessing anything and am simply saying that, based on what I see, I, personally, don't think the pitch instability is pilot induced.  I could be wrong.  YMMV.
IIRC Burt Rutan didn't like powered controls on his designs. Since a lot of Scaled Composites designs were one offs I think he felt they added a load of complexity and failure modes that would not usually be lasting that long anyway. Just hire stronger pilots.
I think the original U2 was similar (not sure if the ones NASA currently operates no longer have that issue). Very hands on piloting process. No little joysticks. No hydraulic assist on the flight controls.
Oh she was definitely swinging and swaying under power. That was not pilot induced.

Don't pull conclusions you can't substantiate.

Other than that: the swinging and swaying is what? Bad? Good? Dangerous? Uncomfortable?
If it was planned, expected (in rate and amplitude)  and easily corrected then it's a data point.
If it wasn't all of the above then it needs more analysis,as it's potentially dangerous (over stressing the structure or a  manourver you can't get out of)  and likely to be uncomfortable.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: SciNews on 05/31/2018 09:27 AM
Edited version of the uncut b-roll
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQPyZB-cjO4
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: bad_astra on 05/31/2018 06:49 PM

I wouldn't second-guess a highly experienced test pilot team. 
That kind of thinking did not turn out well for the last SS2 and her crew.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Lars-J on 05/31/2018 09:54 PM

I wouldn't second-guess a highly experienced test pilot team. 
That kind of thinking did not turn out well for the last SS2 and her crew.

Part of the concern here IMO is that VG seems to actively avoid any kind of computer assisted stabilization, or autopilot. (correct me if I am wrong) So they are then stuck with looking for passive stability enhancements, which may be difficult for such a relatively complex shape as SS2 is.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Kansan52 on 05/31/2018 10:35 PM
I'm torn on that. Nothing in the SS2 testing to date seems to point out a problem with stability. Have you heard something different.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/01/2018 12:32 AM
Quote
Check out the work that has been done on our next two spaceships while VSS Unity has been taking to the skies for testing.

Help us to make dreams take flight. Apply now - virg.in/Jtn

https://twitter.com/thespaceshipco/status/1002311154092290049
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 06/01/2018 01:35 AM
Are there reaction control thrusters on SS2?
 Sure look like they are on the nose of the spacecraft and firing at 1:14 in the video posted above by catdlr
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: QuantumG on 06/01/2018 01:42 AM
Are there reaction control thrusters on SS2?

Yes. It's a spacecraft.

Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: oiorionsbelt on 06/01/2018 02:57 AM
Haha. Silly me, I thought the feather system was all that was needed for correct orientation on re-entry.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: CameronD on 06/01/2018 05:26 AM
Haha. Silly me, I thought the feather system was all that was needed for correct orientation on re-entry.

You can see a nose thruster firing briefly on the "unedited" footage, shortly after engine shutdown.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: abaddon on 06/01/2018 02:34 PM
Haha. Silly me, I thought the feather system was all that was needed for correct orientation on re-entry.
You don't want it rotating around randomly while it is outside the majority of the atmosphere before descent.  Not a fun experience for the people on board, even if the feather works as advertised for the "care-free re-entry".

Glad to see them progressing, although that engine starting always gives me the willies, it always looks so rough.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Elmar Moelzer on 06/02/2018 02:33 AM
Looked like a bit of pitch instability both at the end of the burn and at the beginning of the feather.

Of course, it could be deliberate inputs by the pilot to assess handling and control authority.
I noticed that too. I thought it looked a bit "wobbly" for the lack of a better word. Not sure how important that actually was though. Could have been deliberate testing, or maybe it is something they can fix easily for the next flight.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: cscott on 06/02/2018 02:43 AM
I'm torn on that. Nothing in the SS2 testing to date seems to point out a problem with stability. Have you heard something different.
The very fact that they are gradually moving the CG aftward indicated they are concerned about stability in the full-aft flight condition.

OTOH, the burn should move the CG forward, so it's not entirely clear why instability would show up at the *end* of the burn.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Gliderflyer on 06/02/2018 03:43 AM
I'm torn on that. Nothing in the SS2 testing to date seems to point out a problem with stability. Have you heard something different.
The very fact that they are gradually moving the CG aftward indicated they are concerned about stability in the full-aft flight condition.

OTOH, the burn should move the CG forward, so it's not entirely clear why instability would show up at the *end* of the burn.
Part of flight testing includes exploring all corners of the flight envelope, including aft CG. I don't have any inside information, but I view moving the CG aft as just a normal part of flight testing; they are probably concerned about it, but most likely no more than on any other aircraft.

As for the wobbling at the end of the burn, they are starting to run out of Q at the altitudes they are reaching so the flight controls will start to lose effectiveness. The nozzle is also ablative, and it is possible that it is not eroding evenly. That being said, it didn't look that bad and it will probably be fine.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: Kabloona on 06/02/2018 05:46 PM

As for the wobbling at the end of the burn, they are starting to run out of Q at the altitudes they are reaching so the flight controls will start to lose effectiveness.

 Pegasus has a similar problem with the fins used for aerodynamic control. Near the end of stage 1 burn, dynamic pressure drops too low for the fins to maintain pitch control, so the fins have small solid rockets built into them. The fin rocket motors then ignite and provide the pitching moment.
Title: Re: Space Ship Two - General Thread (3)
Post by: FutureSpaceTourist on 06/05/2018 08:15 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eq54aOx6gwU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eq54aOx6gwU)

As well as Branson talking about the last flight, VG and his training for his flight, some bits of extra footage of the last flight I don’t recall seeing before.




---


Time for a new thread:
https://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=45869.0