Space

July 31, 2013

More SpaceShipTwo glide tests completed

Raphael Jaffe
staff writer

Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic have conducted two successful glide tests of SpaceShipTwo at Mojave Air and Space Port in the last weeks.

There were tests in the early morning hours of July 19 and July 25. Both were announced on the Virgin Galactic Facebook page only, rather than via the Virgin Galactic or Scaled web pages. For both tests, the release indicted that all goals for the flight were achieved.

The Scaled flight test log has listed the July 25 test glide flight. However it did note two flights of the carrier aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo, July 19. These were noted as proficiency exercises for the two newly added Virgin Galactic pilots, C.J. Sturckow and Michel Masucci. There are now three Virgin Galactic pilots assigned to WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo duties.

April 29, SS2 had its first ever powered flight. SS2 was released from the mother ship and the rocket motor fired for 16 seconds and took SS2 up to about 50,000 feet and a speed of Mach 1.2. The flight was completely successful. Virgin has a target objective to complete development flights by the end of 2013, and the start of commercial flights in 2014. There are now about 610 booked customers for SS2 flights, at a value of $122 million, of which $70 million has ben received. Cost of flight as just been increased to $250,000 from $200,000. Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic founder, recently said that he believes he and his family will fly in SS2 on Christmas day, 2013.

Virgin Galactic has appointed Steve Isakowitz as President, Isakowitz has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer since he joined the company in September, 2011. He has played a key role across a range of areas, and led the development of LauncherOne, a revolutionary orbital launch system for small satellites. Isakowitz will continue to report directly to Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company. Whitesides is also CEO of The Spaceship Co. which is building and testing an additional five follow-on SpaceShipTwo spacecraft, and an additional launch aircraft.




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


 
 

 
NASA photograph by Carla Thomas

Katherine Lott awarded NASA Armstrong employee scholarship

NASA photograph by Carla Thomas Katherine Lott, the recipient of the 2014 NASA Armstrong Employee Exchange Council Joseph R. Vensel Memorial Scholarship, is congratulated by NASA Armstrong center director David McBride. Flankin...
 
 
NASA Earth Observatory photograph

NASA selects instruments to track climate impact on vegetation

NASA Earth Observatory photograph Two new spaceborne Earth-observing instruments will help scientists better understand how global forests and ecosystems are affected by changes in climate and land use change. This image of the...
 
 
ULA photograph

AF launches successful satellite mission

ULA photograph The Automated Navigation and Guidance Experiment for Local Space satellite, an Air Force Research Laboratory experimental satellite, and two Air Force Space Command Geosynchronous Space Situational Awareness Prog...
 

 
NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich

NASA’s Chief Scientist Ellen Stofan vists Armstrong Flight Research Center

NASA photograph by Ken Ulbrich Surrounded by small remotely piloted aircraft, Albion Bowers explains to Ellen Stofan how technologies are tested on small platforms prior to full scale tests. NASA’s chief scientist Ellen S...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 
 
Image courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Satellite study reveals parched U.S. West using up underground water

Image courtesy of U.S. Bureau of Reclamation The Colorado River Basin lost nearly 53 million acre feet of freshwater over the past nine years, according to a new study based on data from NASA’s GRACE mission. This is almost d...
 




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>