General Aviation => Civil Aviation News => Topic started by: AVIATOR on July 29, 2009, 08:55:40 AM

Title: Virgin Galactic
Post by: AVIATOR on July 29, 2009, 08:55:40 AM
Virgin Galactic is a company within Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group which plans to provide sub-orbital spaceflights to the paying public. Further in the future Virgin Galactic plans to offer orbital spaceflights as well.

Spaceship 1


It is planned that the spacecraft are to be robust and affordable enough to take paying passengers. The craft is projected to be a six passenger, two pilot craft. Its planned trajectory will overlap the Earth’s atmosphere at 70,000 feet (21,000 m), which will make it a sub-orbital journey with a short period of weightlessness. At around 16 kilometers or 52,000 ft (16,000 m), the rocket will separate when the plane reaches its maximum height.
The time from liftoff of the White Knight II booster carrying SpaceShipTwo until the touchdown of SpaceShipTwo after the suborbital flight will be about 2.5 hours. The suborbital flight itself will only be a small fraction of that time. The weightlessness will last approximately 6 minutes.
 Passengers will be able to release themselves from their seats during these 6 minutes and float around the cabin.



SpaceShipTwo will fly a little higher than SpaceShipOne, to a height of 110 km in order to go beyond the defined boundary of space (100 km) and lengthen the experience of weightlessness. The spacecraft will reach around Mach 3 (1000 m/s), which is slightly faster than current fighter jets are capable of attaining; however, the spacecraft will not be able to sustain that speed for long periods of time. To re-enter the atmosphere SpaceShipTwo folds its wings up, and then returns them to their original position for a smooth and gentle glide back onto the runway. The craft has a very limited cross-range capability and therefore has to land in the area where it started.
Title: Re: Virgin Galactic
Post by: AVIATOR on July 30, 2009, 12:27:20 AM
They say that they have enquiries for 300,000 flights at $250000 each. Seems to still be some money around.

Question to members, if you had the money, would you want to do this?
Title: Re: Virgin Galactic
Post by: F-111 C/C on July 30, 2009, 12:36:39 AM
If anybody can get it done, Sir Branson can. I'd go if I could.