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.


 
 

 
Lockheed Martin photograph

Fourth Lockheed Martin-built MUOS secure comm satellite shipped

Lockheed Martin photograph On June 28, MUOS-4, the next satellite scheduled to join the U.S. Navy’s Mobile User Objective System secure communications network, shipped to Cape Canaveral from Lockheed Martin’s satellite manu...
 
 
Photograph courtesy of NASA/CXC/U. Wisconsin/S. Heinz

NASA’s Chandra captures x-ray echoes pinpointing distant neutron star

Photograph courtesy of NASA/CXC/U. Wisconsin/S. Heinz A light echo in X-rays detected by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory has provided a rare opportunity to precisely measure the distance to an object on the other side of the...
 
 

Veteran NASA spacecraft nears 60,000th lap around Mars

NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft will reach a major milestone June 23, when it completes its 60,000th orbit since arriving at the Red Planet in 2001. Named after the bestselling novel “2001: A Space Odyssey” by Arthur C. Clarke, Odyssey began orbiting Mars almost 14 years ago, on Oct. 23, 2001. On Dec. 15, 2010, it...
 

 
nasa-study

NASA selects six wild ideas in aviation for further study

NASA has selected six proposals to study transformative ideas that might expand what’s possible in aviation, shifting the boundary between fantastic and futuristic. During a day-long meeting in April, 17 teams pitched the...
 
 
NASA photograph

NASA signs agreement with Space Florida to operate historic landing facility

NASA photograph This aerial photo of the runway at the KSC Shuttle Landing Facility looks north. Longer and wider than most commercial runways, it is 15,000 feet long, with 1,000-foot paved overruns on each end, and 300 feet wi...
 
 

All systems go for NASA’s mission to Jupiter moon Europa

Beyond Earth, Jupiter’s moon Europa is considered one of the most promising places in the solar system to search for signs of present-day life, and a new NASA mission to explore this potential is moving forward from concept review to development. NASA’s mission concept — to conduct a detailed survey of Europa and investigate its...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>