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SpaceShipTwo pics & updates


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#1 DocM

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Posted 18 March 2011 - 02:24

A few to make spaceplane fans drool....

The flight tests are progressing quickly and powered test flights should be happening sooner than later.

NASA the SouthWest Research Institute and other labs around the world will be buying rides for zero-G experiments, so nay-sayers who derided this and XCOR's Lynx as just joy-rides were mistaken....bigtime.

SS2's home base: SpacePort America in New Mexico (concept)
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White Knight 2 & SS2 Enterprise flying into SSA (real - 80% done now)
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Drop test @50,000 feet
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In hangar - wings in re-entry position
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In hangar - wings in re-entry position
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#2 neoadorable

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 14:16

thanks for the pics, looks nice but kinda small. i still want my Valkyrie shuttle.

#3 Frylock86

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 14:21

Would be even better if it said "Galactica" instead of "Galactic" :whistle:

#4 AnotherITguy

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 14:24

Why not use the smaller space shuttle the airforce is building?

#5 OP DocM

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Posted 20 March 2011 - 14:51

This is the size of a Gulfstream business jet, so it isn't that small. 8 passengers/crew.

The USAF's X-37B isn't big enough to support even 1 crewmember, and it has no life support. Its cargo bay is also only the size of the bed of a 1/2 ton pickup truck. It would be like flying passengers in a Predator :p

Want an orbital spaceplane? That would be either Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser (7 passengers) or Orbital Sciences Prometheus (5 passengers). and Virgin Galactic is partnering with both of them in NASA's CCDev-2 program.

Virgin's SS2 spaceplane is built by Scaled Composites, a division of Northrop Grumman. Development of the Dream Chaser and Prometheus airframes is largely being farmed out to Boeing's Phantom Works, the same outfit that develops their military air/space-craft including X-37B.

Dream Chaser
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Prometheus
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#6 OP DocM

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 08:06

WK2 tests
http://www.scaled.co..._test_summaries

Engine tests
http://www.scaled.co..._test_summaries

#7 neoadorable

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 08:49

Dream Chaser is the one i like! it's the biggest, right?

#8 OP DocM

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 10:32

DC is orbital & SS2 isn't, but the latter is larger - 60 feet long vs 29.5 feet for DC. This is just shy off a Gulfstream I jets 63 feet.

#9 +devHead

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Posted 05 April 2011 - 10:50

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#10 OP DocM

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 21:41

There was also a 5 second full power burn of RocketMotorTwo (RM2), the hybrid rocket engine that will power SS2. This basic design will also be used for the engines (2) on Sierra Nevada's Dream Chaser spaceplane.

Hybrid rockets are a mix of solid and liquid fueled rocket; the fuel is a rubber-like compound, and the oxidizer is a liquid - usually nitrous oxide (used in SS2) or liquid oxygen. Unlike solids like on the Shuttle they can be throttled, shut down, and restarted.

Bottom: pic of SS2 (named "VSS Enterprise") with the RM2's nozzle showing.

http://www.virgingal...-configuration/

SpaceShipTwo today undertook its 23rd glide flight in the pre-powered portion of its incremental test flight program.

This was a significant flight as it was the first with rocket motor components installed, including tanks. It was also the first flight with thermal protection applied to the spaceship’s leading edges. It followed an equally successful test flight last Friday which saw SpaceShipTwo fly in this configuration, but remain mated to its WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft.

All objectives of both flights were successfully met.

SpaceShipTwo is expected to undertake a minimum of two more glide flights in order to complete all remaining preparation for its first powered flight.

Congratulation to the test pilots, engineers, technicians and all involved!


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