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Thread: Virgin Galactic SS2

  1. #121
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    Not Saturday after all;. Timing of next Virgin Galactic flight still up in the air

    https://phys.org/news/2021-02-virgin...light-air.html
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  2. #122
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    Virgin Galactic: This May Not End Well. Virgin Galactic delayed its test flight. The latest developments suggest that the company is still far away from the commercialization stage. At this stage, Virgin Galactic is a very risky and speculative play that may not end well for a lot of investors.

    https://seekingalpha.com/article/440...y-not-end-well
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  3. #123
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    Virgin Galactic says it is delaying the next test flight of its SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle by more than two months to address technical issues, part of a revamped flight test program that will postpone flights of space tourists to 2022.

    https://spacenews.com/virgin-galacti...-test-flights/
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  4. #124
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    Around the time Virgin Galactic was announced, someone ran a sweepstakes for a ticket for a flight. I had a back injury at the time, and figured it would disqualify me.
    Little did I realize that I would have around twenty years to recover.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by Extravoice View Post
    Around the time Virgin Galactic was announced, someone ran a sweepstakes for a ticket for a flight. I had a back injury at the time, and figured it would disqualify me.
    Little did I realize that I would have around twenty years to recover.
    I hope you’re better now!
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  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    I hope you’re better now!
    Thanks. I’m fine, but my doctor recommends that I avoid roller coasters. Sadly, I should probably avoid rocket ships, too.
    I may have many faults, but being wrong ain't one of them. - Jimmy Hoffa

  7. #127
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    I have to say that I now have almost no interest in them. When they started up I was interested since it was a rare example of commercial space development and I was hoping that by now they would have moved on from a regular suborbital business to orbital flights. It’s clear though that they picked a poor choice for development and have paid for that. They should have abandoned the launcher carrier jet/rocket glider and switched to a suborbital rocket approach that could have grown in time and almost certainly would have been an easier development path.

    Anyway, my only interest now would be if they got the flight cost down to $10,000 or less after they were in operation for awhile. I would consider a suborbital hop for that price as a once in a lifetime thing, but not for $200,000 or $250,000 or whatever they are proposing.

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  8. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    I have to say that I now have almost no interest in them. When they started up I was interested since it was a rare example of commercial space development and I was hoping that by now they would have moved on from a regular suborbital business to orbital flights. It’s clear though that they picked a poor choice for development and have paid for that. They should have abandoned the launcher carrier jet/rocket glider and switched to a suborbital rocket approach that could have grown in time and almost certainly would have been an easier development path.

    Anyway, my only interest now would be if they got the flight cost down to $10,000 or less after they were in operation for awhile. I would consider a suborbital hop for that price as a once in a lifetime thing, but not for $200,000 or $250,000 or whatever they are proposing.
    Yup. It seemed pretty cool at one time, but now that SpaceX will be flying customers to orbit....
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  9. #129
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    Well, I’ll gladly take all of your tickets, then...
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
    Every mission makes our dreams reality
    And our destiny begins with you and me
    Through all space and time, the achievement of mankind
    As we sail the sea of discovery, on heroes’ wings we fly!

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Well, I’ll gladly take all of your tickets, then...
    Sorry, but if I *had* a ticket, I wouldn’t give it away. But I am not interested in spending $250,000 or whatever they’re saying now for one.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  11. #131
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    I think Virgin still has some opportunity to send many tourists to space.

    I get that orbital launches will become available soon but these will likely require a huge time commitment of months of training for the passengers.

    Virgin's simpler offering should require much less effort on the part of the tourists.

  12. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    Sorry, but if I *had* a ticket, I wouldn’t give it away. But I am not interested in spending $250,000 or whatever they’re saying now for one.
    Would be interesting to know what Cosmoquesters would be willing to pay for a sub orbital experience.

    It helps to understand the shape of the demand curve in the absence of actual flights - an issue explored in the following post from The Emerging Space Economy thread...
    https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...30#post2530830
    The linked Washington Post article in the post gives a sense of what the Virgin Galactic experience would be look.

    I would definitely be willing to pay $2,000 and may well be willing to pay more once it is established and it is clearer what you get. But no more than $4,000. But then there is the cost of getting to the location in the first place as well. Interesting discussion around whether I would be willing to invest more time for the full orbital SpaceX type experience. I would need to know more about the offer.

    How much would people be willing to pay for a Virgin Galactic type sub-orbital experience?
    Last edited by DavidLondon; 2021-Feb-28 at 01:51 PM. Reason: Minor correction

  13. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLondon View Post
    Would be interesting to know what Cosmoquesters would be willing to pay for a sub orbital experience.

    It helps to understand the shape of the demand curve in the absence of actual flights - an issue explored in the following post from The Emerging Space Economy thread...
    https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthr...30#post2530830
    The linked Washington Post article in the post gives a sense of what the Virgin Galactic experience would be look.

    I would definitely be willing to pay $2,000 and may well be willing to pay more once it is established and it is clearer what you get. But no more than $4,000. But then there is the cost of getting to the location in the first place as well. Interesting discussion around whether I would be willing to invest more time for the full orbital SpaceX type experience. I would need to know more about the offer.

    How much would people be willing to pay for a Virgin Galactic type sub-orbital experience?
    To be honest, just to add one data point, I wouldn’t be willing to pay anything. I wouldn’t even go for free. I’m interested in all things about space, but I’m not particularly interested in going myself.


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  14. #134
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    I'd go for free, but I'm not very interested in Virgin's rocket plane, or trusting of their technology, which killed three people and injured three others in ground testing before they even flew SS2, or of their reliance on human pilots for things better left to automation, something that's already gotten one person seriously injured and another killed in flight. That's four deaths, four serious injuries, one of only two SS2 craft in existence lost, and they've barely even done any test flights.

  15. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    I'd go for free, but I'm not very interested in Virgin's rocket plane, or trusting of their technology, which killed three people and injured three others in ground testing before they even flew SS2[...]
    Yes, cost aside, before I’d be willing to fly in one, I would want to see a good number of successful flights without any worrying anomalies. I’m certain that is one of their key concerns: Another flight with fatalities and they might as well just close up shop.

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  16. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidLondon View Post
    I would definitely be willing to pay $2,000 and may well be willing to pay more once it is established and it is clearer what you get. But no more than $4,000. But then there is the cost of getting to the location in the first place as well. Interesting discussion around whether I would be willing to invest more time for the full orbital SpaceX type experience. I would need to know more about the offer.

    How much would people be willing to pay for a Virgin Galactic type sub-orbital experience?
    As I mentioned earlier, I would go up to $10,000 for that type of short suborbital hop. Mind you, I doubt they could make money with the SS2 on that, even after development costs have been paid off. Among other things, I believe they are still using expensive solid rocket fuel. SpaceX claims they can get suborbital flight cost down a lot with Starship, largely by having far more passengers (less expensive fuel helps too).

    I would go a fair bit more for a once in a lifetime orbital experience, but understand that this has been a life goal since I was young and I still feel strongly about it. Most people aren’t likely as interested even if they are space enthusiasts. I’ve long since understood I likely wouldn’t get there due to unaffordability and unavailability, but I’d go if I could. On the other hand, a short suborbital hop just isn’t as important to me.

    I’ve asked similar questions before about what people would pay, and usually the amounts people are willing to pay isn’t very high even if you ask space enthusiasts. A lot of that is obviously how much money most people have - I doubt many people below a net worth of $5,000,000 and/or a very high income would be willing to part with a quarter million for a suborbital hop. The crew Dragon flights probably aren’t going to get many customers worth less than a few hundred million dollars, given the flight cost is around $50,000,000. Obviously that is going to lead to a rarified clientele. My expectation is that most of the flights will be paid for by business or governments for experiments they can only do that way. It will take a big reusable rocket to get the cost down a lot.

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  17. #137
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    Virgin Galactic further delays SpaceShipTwo test flights, pushing tourist flights to 2022. The company also announced that it will be rolling out the next iteration of its suborbital vehicle, dubbed SpaceShip III, on March 30. Following this rollout, the company aims to start flight testing the vehicle in the summer, at the same time as SpaceShipTwo.

    https://www.space.com/virgin-galacti...m-flights-2022
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  18. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van Rijn View Post
    As I mentioned earlier, I would go up to $10,000 for that type of short suborbital hop. Mind you, I doubt they could make money with the SS2 on that, even after development costs have been paid off. Among other things, I believe they are still using expensive solid rocket fuel. SpaceX claims they can get suborbital flight cost down a lot with Starship, largely by having far more passengers (less expensive fuel helps too).
    The fuel is a few tons of cast polybutadiene rubber with somewhat complex internal voids and channels, probably not cheap but not hugely expensive. However, the fuel is contained in a unit consisting of a composite pressure vessel, nozzle, and various fittings/mounting hardware, and reflying means extracting the spent motor from the aircraft and installing a new one. That's some pretty expensive hardware to expend with each flight, and a lot of labor to rebuild a substantial chunk of the vehicle for the next flight. (And I have to wonder how it interacts with the FAA regulations around engine swapping mentioned around SpaceX's SN8/9 flights.)

  19. #139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    Virgin Galactic further delays SpaceShipTwo test flights, pushing tourist flights to 2022. The company also announced that it will be rolling out the next iteration of its suborbital vehicle, dubbed SpaceShip III, on March 30. Following this rollout, the company aims to start flight testing the vehicle in the summer, at the same time as SpaceShipTwo.

    https://www.space.com/virgin-galacti...m-flights-2022
    The shift from "SpaceShipThree" to "SpaceShip III" is a bit odd. And they describe it as having a "modular design" and talk about it improving flight rate and maintainability, but don't mention any new capabilities. It sounds like they've finally decided that SS2 can't realistically do its job and are starting over, rather than any of their previous plans mentioned for "SpaceShipThree" (SS3 was originally supposed to be an orbital vehicle, and then a point-to-point suborbital passenger transport).

    Virgin Orbit developed kerolox engines and has actually put stuff into orbit with them. That's a technology that could actually plausibly be used for point-to-point transport, and refilling some propellant tanks would be a lot faster and cheaper than replacing spent hybrid motors. I wonder if SS3 might adopt that propulsion system.

  20. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by cjameshuff View Post
    Virgin Orbit developed kerolox engines and has actually put stuff into orbit with them. That's a technology that could actually plausibly be used for point-to-point transport, and refilling some propellant tanks would be a lot faster and cheaper than replacing spent hybrid motors. I wonder if SS3 might adopt that propulsion system.
    That would make a lot of sense, it would certainly help on cost and complexity, but who knows if it will happen. It could introduce other development risks, and it might take too much to make it reusable. It reminds me of Xcor, which was building a suborbital spaceplane, and their approach was to use a reusable liquid fuel rocket engine. I had thought they had a better chance than Virgin at one time, but they ran out of money.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

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  21. #141
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    Lynx used a car engine block as a pump ACES style. A scaled up all liquid would be easier. I wonder if anyone gave thought to rocket design based on ease of servicing via fork-lift? That would lend itself to small spaceplanes-just slide one block out an a new one in. Service the swapped out bit indoors at leisure. They might have thought hybrids allowed that.

  22. #142
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    (Motley Fool) Why Virgin Galactic Stock Just Crashed: Rocket Lab is going public. So who needs Virgin Galactic anymore?

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2021/...-just-crashed/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  23. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger E. Moore View Post
    (Motley Fool) Why Virgin Galactic Stock Just Crashed: Rocket Lab is going public. So who needs Virgin Galactic anymore?

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2021/...-just-crashed/
    ...what a strange question. Since they're already doing so, why wouldn't they continue to throw money at Virgin Galactic? Virgin Galactic isn't involved in orbital launch (the Virgin group has already started up a whole different company to do that, developed a launch vehicle, and put payloads in orbit with it), and Rocket Lab isn't interested in suborbital tourism.

  24. #144
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    Yes, it strikes me as a disingenuous hook for the article. I’d expect that Virgin Galactic is dropping on news of further testing (itself delayed) and still another delay in starting to take paying passengers. It is interesting hearing about Rocket Labs, though. I’m tempted to put a little money into their company - they seem to be doing well, are looking towards expanding to larger reusable rockets. They look like they are going places, both financially and literally.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." — Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

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  25. #145
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    I do wonder if other uses for the shuttlecock design-it was all the rage along with the Bickler Pantograph.

  26. #146
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    (Motley Fool--a positive view) Why Virgin Galactic's Delays Are Good News. Wall Street doesn't like delays, but they may be a good thing for Virgin Galactic long-term.

    https://www.fool.com/investing/2021/...are-good-news/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  27. #147
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    The longtime chief executive of Virgin Galactic, who moved into a new position at the company last year, has left the company but will continue to be an adviser to it. According to company sources, Whitesides said he was leaving the position of Virgin Galactic’s chief space officer to pursue unspecified opportunities in the “public service sector.”

    https://spacenews.com/whitesides-ste...rgin-galactic/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

  28. #148
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    The chairman of space tourism company Virgin Galactic, Chamath Palihapitiya, has sold his entire personal stake in the company for $211 million, according to a new regulatory filing with the SEC made public on Friday and first noticed by Bloomberg News. Palihapitiya still indirectly owns millions of shares through an investment company.

    https://gizmodo.com/virgin-galactic-...sta-1846413520

    Starting to look like those in charge are abandoning ship.
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  29. #149
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    Can we say "pump and dump?"

  30. #150
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    Positive spin on Virgin Galactic stock... SPCE Stock Will Fly to $80 on Virgin Galactic’s Space Ambitions: Virgin Galactic will one day be flying thousands of people into space every month

    https://investorplace.com/hypergrowt...ace-ambitions/
    Do good work. —Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom

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