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Virgin Galactic Spaceship Two Design Announced!

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posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 07:38 PM
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Just today Virgin Galactic has announced their new version of the White Knight and their spaceship. The new versions (predicability named) White Knight 2 and SpaceShip 2 and boy does this one send me back (possibly before I was born :lol
. SpaceShip 2 has been design with the lessons of the X-15 but even more so the Dyna-Soar glider of the USAF program in mind. The launch vehicle has a uncanny similar looks to the Dyna-Soar airframe.




To be launched on a Lockheed Martin Titan III rocket, Dyna-Soar was for hypersonic flight research but the programme was cancelled before the first vehicle was completed. Some of its subsystems were used in later X-15 flight research and Dyna-Soar became a testbed for advanced technologies that contributed to projects, including the Space Shuttle.




The flight global article goes into more details on the construction of both the SS2 and the WK2. This is just a list of some of the released info on the project:

- SS2 is 18.3m (60ft) long, has a wingspan of 12.8m, a tail height of 4.5m
- SS2 passenger cabin is 3.66m long and 2.28m in diameter
- Released at 50,000ft (15,200m) apogee is expected to be around 110km (68 miles)
- WK2, is now 23.7m-long, it still has a wingspan of 42.7m, with a tail height of 7.62m
- WK2 power-plant of four Pratt and Whitney PW308 engines



www.flightglobal.com...
www.flightglobal.com... ight.html




posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 07:50 PM
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upon looking this is already in the news section so there is a large number of posts on the subject there (which wont be repeated here) and also this design/news borders on the space thread and aviation hence the fact I feel this thread will turn into another *C-130J purchase* thread. It was worth a shot anyways and if people do want to discuss thats great too its just going to be spread all over hence to problem of the forums lol no win situation.

[edit on 23-1-2008 by Canada_EH]



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 08:34 PM
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Looks good. Evolutionary. They are using NASTAR in Philly for training. www.nastarcenter.com...

The third paragraph of this news release was interesting. Who's on first. www.etcusa.com...

Vic



posted on Jan, 23 2008 @ 09:03 PM
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Canada_EH,

Yes, there is an interesting similarity with the Dyna Soar design.

Also I see some interesting elements in the White Knight 2 design.

Firstly there appears to be two cockpits, one in each fuselage. Perhaps the mass of it may dictate two pilot operation, but an interesting feature which can (potentially) lead to problems re two crew operation.

Secondly, the positioning of the engines all outboard of the fuselage elements. Now, Burt Rutan is certainly not a chap to make elementary mistakes, but the math on the worst case asymmetric thrust v rudder authority situation must be very interesting compared to a design with a slightly wider gap between the fuselage elements to enable two engines to be placed inboard or a design with an over and under engine placement (that is - paired vertically around the wing CL).

The Winged Wombat



posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 09:04 AM
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im officially starting a
"Send Katsuo to NASTAR" fund. :-D

Man that would be so awesome... and think.. if human kind
can survive for another 50-100 years.. this technology should
be cheap enough for the masses...
YEAAAA Road trip into orbit..
well.. not really a road trip...



posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 09:38 AM
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reply to post by The Winged Wombat
 


From what I understand the pilot and copilot of WK2 will be in one of the fuselage section/booms while another section is taken up by passengers and for training purposes. Sorta vague at this point exactly how it will be laid out.

I'd have to agree with the your statement on engine placement though with the aspect ratio and wing surface etc I wonder how bad the amount of control input would be needed since the plane is so large and with throttling back etc that they would be able to execute a safe landing. I think if it did ever lose an engine its a automatic scrubbed mission anyways because of not being able to make it to launch alt.



posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 10:02 AM
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I would of gone with hundreds of weather balloons to get the orbiter up there! - hey might of worked, would be a damn site cheaper - and sounds like fun!



posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 10:18 AM
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reply to post by Now_Then
 


I think the balloon idea was used by the Canadian submission to the X-plane race that the SS1 ended up wining.



posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 10:42 AM
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And we all know that the Irish submission was scrubbed after the pilot fell off his kite


The Winged Wombat



posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 11:34 AM
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This animation came out last year, but in case you haven't seen it....




posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 12:28 PM
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reply to post by darkbluesky
 


I actually had missed it thanks for the link. I'm not sure about those suits though lol



posted on Jan, 24 2008 @ 12:33 PM
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Originally posted by Canada_EH
reply to post by Now_Then
 


I think the balloon idea was used by the Canadian submission to the X-plane race that the SS1 ended up wining.


I followed the "da Vinci" project in some amount of detail in the past. It seems firmly moribund now, and never looked too serious to begin with. The chief developer chose to use ballut in the design -- a fairly unproven concept for actual descent, and he also volunteered (for publicity, I suppose) to pilot the first test flight -- and it's not the same as with SS1 which has some gliding/steering ability. The da Vinci was a gravity bomb.



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 11:30 AM
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Well I don't find this design surprising. I agree it's very similar to DynaSoar, but it's almost the same as SpaceShipOne, except the fuselage is more like DynaSoar (and bigger).

I'm more interested in wings, because I find it a good idea to make drag by turning the wings.

I'm more surprised by double-fuselage of mother ship. Does anyone know why?? Will there also be any passengers?



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 11:48 AM
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And one more question. Doeas anyone know if mothership will be able to land together with spaceship or not?? Whiteknight could land with spaceshipone, but had problems.

It would be very practical if anything goes wrong



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 12:09 PM
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Originally posted by Canada_EH
From what I understand the pilot and copilot of WK2 will be in one of the fuselage section/booms while another section is taken up by passengers and for training purposes. Sorta vague at this point exactly how it will be laid out.


As I said before soviet this is the current release.



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 12:15 PM
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The first thing I thought of when I saw this report was...

Is this why Steve Fossett had to die?

Maybe I'm just reading something that isn't there?



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 12:32 PM
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reply to post by makeitso
 


Care to explain what your thinking?
As I understand it Steve was lost while searching for a dry lake-bed for a world land speed record.

[edit on 28-1-2008 by Canada_EH]



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 01:06 PM
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reply to post by Canada_EH
 


I'm aware of what he was doing when he disappeard. I'm also aware of who's plane he was flying, that he was a friend of Sir Richard, and flew a similar winged design around-the-world.

I was wondering if he had serious reservations about the design of the ship, and was not willing to be quiet about it?

Example?

Adventurer Steve Fossett says both men have different strengths: Rutan is the visionary while Branson is the salesman.

"Virgin wants to get into business as soon as possible, but a designer like Scaled needs time to do it right," Fossett said.



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 01:31 PM
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Originally posted by makeitso
reply to post by Canada_EH
 

and flew a similar winged design around-the-world.


Just to clarify your talking about WK2 and SS2 is the new design etc. Fossett was right Scaled does need time and I have not heard a explication for test failure that happened last summer 07. Here is the wiki article though it was feature in a number of other reports.


According to the main Scaled Composites web site (27 July 2007) the three fatalities were Eric Blackwell, 38, Glen May, 45, and Todd Ivens, 33. On July 27, 2007 Cal/OSHA arrived, sealed the site and began their investigation. As of 31 July 2007, the three who were injured remain hospitalized: Keith Fritsinger and Gene Gisin remain in critical condition but show improvement. Jason Kramb is no longer in serious condition and has shown good spirits.

en.wikipedia.org...-7
www.kget.com...


Burt Rutan told MSNBC that the exact cause of the July accident is still unknown, and that has obviously delayed work on SS2’s propulsion system.

www.personalspaceflight.info...

back on the topic of what the WK2 and SS2 can do here is some more points :
- platform for launch small satellites into orbit
- build 40 SS2 and 15 WK2 vehicles over the next ten years
- Virgin just had its best month of sales for booking space flights



posted on Jan, 28 2008 @ 01:43 PM
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Sorry Canada_EH i didn't notice.



But who will pay to see other people flying in space, while he is in a "normal" plane?


My question about landing remains....



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