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sarongsong
2004-Dec-30, 11:06 PM
"...Rutan's next creation will travel beyond Earth's atmosphere as well...will not look anything like its predecessor...would have about the same diameter crew cabin as a Gulfstream V business jet, which measures slightly more than 6ft in height and 7ft in width (1.9m by 2.2m)..."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4119491.stm

Sever
2004-Dec-30, 11:13 PM
He and a few other companies are also trying for the moon.
Linky. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T/Space)

Glom
2004-Dec-30, 11:26 PM
What a guy!

My pilotting skills are available, Sir Richard. Oh wait, you need more than 80 hours in single engine piston engine. Damn! :(

sarongsong
2004-Dec-31, 02:10 AM
Well, Glom, there's always The Rebel Billionaire (http://www.tvtome.com/tvtome/servlet/ShowMainServlet/showid-27223/) approach:
"... Branson is looking for a young, charismatic individual to follow in his footsteps..."

George
2004-Dec-31, 03:57 AM
From Nature article in 1st post.


"Or if you want to pull down your science tray and do whatever you brought along for an experiment, or play with your cat - you have bought the ride, you paid for it.
I'd like to see the experiments they come up with, hopefully, the money isn't for the cat who will likely go nuts.

Wish they would take up a quality S.A.D. and reveal the Sun's color. :o :cry:

archman
2004-Dec-31, 05:57 AM
Wouldn't it be more reasonable to tweak the existing design and get it ready for fleet production, rather than start anew all over again with something that's just larger and goes a bit higher?

Personally I'd rather start seeing regular flights on spaceshipone knockoffs in the near future, rather than yet another one-off aircraft ferrying some test pilots around on a handful of flights. I'm sure the folks that pony up the development costs have the same view. They want to see the money!

sarongsong
2005-Aug-17, 05:53 AM
August 16, 2005 (http://www.space.com/news/050815_virgingalactic_itar.html)
"The DDTC [U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls] green-light is between Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites, enabling the development and operation of the SpaceShipTwo for the U.S. market...next steps can now be taken to construct SpaceShipTwo...The location to produce the fleet of rocket planes is very likely to be Mojave, California...Launching the space tourism business is projected around 2008...“We have a significant level of deposits now…nearly $10 million worth,” Whitehorn said...A full-scale mock-up of SpaceShipTwo is to be unveiled in the near future, but not this year..."

captain swoop
2005-Aug-17, 07:35 AM
Until one crashes and the space tourism bubble bursts

Fram
2005-Aug-17, 09:03 AM
Until one crashes and the space tourism bubble bursts

Not necessarily. Titanic didn't stop the great ships of crossing the Atlantic (and other oceans) filled with tourists and emigrants (hey, I'm in Europe, to me they are emigrants).
Hindenburg did perhaps stop the Zeppelin industry, but that was also (or mostly) because there was an alternative.
A crash of a SS2 will not stop space tourism. Multiple crashes won't either, it will just give other companies a bigger chance of getting their share of the market. The Challenger and Columbia accident didn't stop space tourists in Russian spacecraft either...

mickal555
2005-Aug-17, 10:03 AM
Until one crashes and the space tourism bubble bursts


Gee I hope I'm not on that flight :(

Enzp
2005-Aug-17, 10:14 AM
And certainly all the various airliners that have come down have not ended commercial aviation either.

NEOWatcher
2005-Aug-17, 01:16 PM
Until one crashes and the space tourism bubble bursts

Not necessarily. Titanic didn't stop the great ships of crossing the Atlantic (and other oceans) filled with tourists and emigrants (hey, I'm in Europe, to me they are emigrants).
Hindenburg did perhaps stop the Zeppelin industry, but that was also (or mostly) because there was an alternative.
A crash of a SS2 will not stop space tourism. Multiple crashes won't either, it will just give other companies a bigger chance of getting their share of the market. The Challenger and Columbia accident didn't stop space tourists in Russian spacecraft either...


And certainly all the various airliners that have come down have not ended commercial aviation either.

I don't agree that that's a fair analogy. Shipping had been around for a long time before the Titanic. Most of the risk and prevention variables were known at the time. Similar to commercial aviation, although not to as great a degree. Both used similar designs to their pre-commercial counterparts.
This is a new type of craft. There is no pre-commercial counterpart. I think the analogy would better fit the Hindenburg. The lighter than air designs were relatively new and the commercial passenger lighter than air business was just taking off (pun). Although it was not the one factor that killed LTA, it was the straw that broke the camel's back. We still have blimps flying, and other LTA designs on the drawing board; but I have not seen any passenger designs.

PatKelley
2005-Aug-17, 01:27 PM
Re: Blimps and dirigibles, I think it is more a factor of speed. Airliners can get you there faster than ship or dirigible, regardless of safety. The early spaceships are more akin to early aviation, and earliest aviation was in short order a playtoy of the rich, buying tickets just to fly and not to go point to point.

This would be the early "barnstormer" era of space aviation.

Fram
2005-Aug-17, 02:04 PM
Yep, rich people (well, some of them) take unnecessary risks for the kick of it. Like the Walmart heir flying and crashing in his homemade plane, or the Fossett flights, or princess Stephanies husband in a Powerboat (just some random examples). You have to have some interesting topic to talk about at the cocktail parties.
So what better thing than: "you know, I'll be orbiting the Earth soon. Of course it's a bit experimental and dangerous, but, darling, that's just the good part of it." If the first tow flights crash, enthusiasm will be very low of course, but if one in a hundred crashes, a lot of people will still be willing to fly. As long as it's exclusive, it may be a bit more dangerous. It's only when you want it to be a mass product that the rules will be more stringent.

publiusr
2005-Aug-17, 08:12 PM
He and a few other companies are also trying for the moon.
Linky. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T/Space)

They'd be better off using a shoulder-mounted wing on AN-225. I spoke to Gump but he didn't take too much to my concept--because I defended Griffin--who Gump attacked in an AV Week article by bashing Griff's call for heavy lift.

The 747 has a low-mounted wing--and would need 'stilts.' The X-34 type Dream Chaser of SpaceDev
is nice though.

www.xprizenews.org

Van Rijn
2005-Aug-17, 08:25 PM
We can speculate all we want, but we'll just have to wait and see. The major point for me is that there finally are folks out there working on private space that aren't the big name aerospace firms. Maybe it won't go anywhere, or maybe it will be similar to the PC versus big iron computer competition that started in the '70s.

Just the fact that these people are trying, have made at least some progress and we actually are seeing some governmental recognition that this is a good thing makes me very hopeful.

ToSeek
2005-Aug-24, 04:16 PM
SpaceShipThree poised to follow if SS2 succeeds (http://www.flightinternational.com/Articles/2005/08/23/Navigation/200/201097/SpaceShipThree+poised+to+follow+if+SS2+succeeds.ht ml)


Orbital vehicle SpaceShipThree (SS3) will be developed by space tourism company Virgin Galactic and Mojave-based SpaceShipTwo (SS2)-developer Scaled Composites, if the planned SS2 suborbitalservice is successful, says Virgin Galactic president Will White*horn.

SpaceShipThree is planned for Scaledís tier 2 manned space programme, while the nine-person SpaceShipTwo is part of the current tier 1b programme.

The suborbital three-crew SpaceShipOne (SS1), which won the $10 million Ansari X Prize last October, was developed within Scaled Compositesí tier 1 programme.

mugaliens
2009-Dec-12, 07:30 AM
That was back in 2005, and SpaceShipTwo (http://www.aopa.org/aircraft/articles/2009/091208virginspace.html?WT.mc_id=091211epilot&WT.mc_sect=gan)was only recently unveiled...

Messier Tidy Upper
2009-Dec-12, 01:32 PM
Gee I hope I'm not on that flight :(


Hey, can you think of a better way to go? :lol:)

I'd love to die doing something amazing that I love. :)
Of course, landing successfully and safely afterwards would be my preferred choice - but still.

I'm impressed by this & wish Branson the best - if I could afford it (& I can't) I'd go. Surprised the BA hasn't blogged on this yet.

Messier Tidy Upper
2009-Dec-12, 01:46 PM
Yep, rich people (well, some of them) take unnecessary risks for the kick of it. Like the Walmart heir flying and crashing in his homemade plane, or the Fossett flights, or princess Stephanies husband in a Powerboat (just some random examples). You have to have some interesting topic to talk about at the cocktail parties.
So what better thing than: "you know, I'll be orbiting the Earth soon. Of course it's a bit experimental and dangerous, but, darling, that's just the good part of it." If the first tow flights crash, enthusiasm will be very low of course, but if one in a hundred crashes, a lot of people will still be willing to fly. As long as it's exclusive, it may be a bit more dangerous. It's only when you want it to be a mass product that the rules will be more stringent.

Do you think that's necessarily a bad thing?

Somebody has to go out there and take the risks after all.

If it progresses our technology and capabilities then isn't this better than purely adrenalin seeking stuff like BASE jumping,sky-diving, mountaineering or extreme sports or canoing across the Tasman sea or whatever other less .. erm .. overall beneficial to Humanity activities and challenges people entertain themselves with?

I do think humans are born with an instinctive desire for adventure and pushing the boundaries and discovering how far, how fast, how dangerously they can push things. To reach & test & sometimes exceed their limits.

If people choose to risk their own lives and money for adventure or for fame or just for the sheer fun of it then who are any of us to say no?

I have considerable admiration for the inventor of the parachute - but I have even more admiration for the guts of the first person to try it out! Between them* we ended up with a very useful and life-saving piece of technology. ;-)

@ Van Rijn (18-August-2005, 07:55 AM )
Just the fact that these people are trying, have made at least some progress and we actually are seeing some governmental recognition that this is a good thing makes me very hopeful.


I agree & share those sentiments.

*****

* Of course I'm assuming here that the parachute's inventor and the first ever test parachuter are different individuals rather than one and the same person which may or may not be true. I just don't know.

Nicolas
2009-Dec-14, 03:16 PM
StevoR, Fram hasn't been active on this board for a few years, but basically you are making the point he is making. You agree with each other, but apparently you misinterpreted his post.