Business

June 28, 2012

Scaled performs rocket motor test at Mojave

by Raphael Jaffe
Staff Writer

Activities in preparation for a powered flight of SpaceShipTwo are ramping up at Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

The Scaled Composites rocket motor test facility was used June 20 to perform a full-scale rocket motor test firing of Rocket Motor 2, which Sierra Nevada Corp. is providing for SpaceShipTwo.

This was the first full scale firing of a rocket motor at Scaled’s test site under full control of the spaceship’s Rocket Motor Controller. All test objectives were achieved. The difference between Scaled’s site and Sierra Nevada’s site at Lakeside, Calif., is the focus on using SpaceShipTwo flight vehicle hardware. These tests provide an end-to-end test of all the vehicle’s rocket motor systems and additional confidence before committing the vehicle to powered flight test. This was Fire 12 test.

Test objectives included: Perform first full scale rocket motor hot-fire at Scaled’s test facility; Test stand evaluation; Data Acquisition system evaluation; Rocket Motor Controller performance; Pressurization System Controller performance; Rocket system performance; Valve/Injector/Igniter evaluation; Fuel formulation evaluation; and CTN structural evaluation

It is noteworthy that eight years ago, on June 21, 2004, SpaceShipOne reached altitude of over 62 miles on its quest to win the $10 million Ansari prize, which it did on Oct 4, 2004. The June 21 flight test pilot was Mike Melville, and SS1 reached 62.21 miles.

The program was first publicly announced April 18, 2003.

It then went back into secrecy. Burt Rutan issued the following statement at that time, “Sub-orbital manned space flights have been done before by Redstone – Mercury in 1961 and by the B-52 and X-15 in 1963. Even though the experience, as described by Alan Shepard, Gus Grissom and Joe Walker was awe-inspiring, sub-orbital space flights were ignored for the next 40 years. The view from the apex of a sub-orbital flight is similar to being in orbit, but the cost and risk is far less.

“Our goal is to demonstrate that non-government manned space flight operations are not only feasible, but can be done at very low costs. Safety, of course is paramount, but minimum cost is critical. We look to the future, hopefully within ten years, when ordinary people, for the cost of a luxury cruise, can experience a rocket flight into the black sky above the earth’s atmosphere, enjoy a few minutes of weightless excitement, then feel the thunderous deceleration of the aerodynamic drag on entry.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 
 

Pratt & Whitney’s engine wins Gold Edison Award™

Pratt & Whitney’s PurePower® Geared Turbofan™ engine has been awarded Gold in the transportation- aviation category of the 2015 Edison Awards. Pratt & Whitney is a division of United Technologies Corp. “Our dedication to innovation and identifying ways to continuously improve is in our blood at Pratt & Whitney,” said Greg Gernhardt, president, Pratt &...
 

 

Boeing names Space Launch System VP

Boeing has named John Shannon to be vice president and program manager for the Space Launch System, which will provide NASA with heavy-lift capability to send people and cargo into deep space. Boeing is designing, developing, testing and manufacturing the core stages and avionics for SLS. Shannon succeeds Virginia “Ginger” Barnes, who is retiring. He...
 
 

Germany’s Jenoptik, Raytheon partner to produce new generators for global Patriot

Raytheon is partnering with the Jenoptik subsidiary Lechmotoren, a part of the Jenoptik Defense & Civil Systems division, to produce advanced power generators for the Patriot Air and Missile Defense system. Under terms of this new contract, Jenoptik will build power plants, power generators, test equipment and spares for one of Patriot’s global partners. Raytheon...
 
 

Boeing tops first quarter profit forecasts, airplane deliveries rise

Boeing delivered more commercial airliners in the first quarter, offsetting sluggish results in the defense side of its business and pushing its first-quarter earnings up 38 percent. The profit topped Wall Street expectations, but revenue was below forecasts, and production costs of the Boeing 787 jet continued to pile up. The shares fell about 4...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>