ISDC Exclusive: SUCCESSFUL SPACESHIPTWO ROCKET MOTOR TESTING

Got this from Will after his speech (IM)…

28th May 2009: 

Virgin Galactic today announces the successful completion of the first phase of tests of the rocket motor that will propel space tourists, scientists and payloads into space. 

In the desert of southern California, Virgin Galactic’s key supplier Scaled Composites and its subcontractor SNC (Sierra Nevada Corporation) have successfully completed the first tests of the innovative rocket motor that will propel space tourists, scientists and payloads into space. The hybrid Nitrous Oxide system being used is the largest of its kind in the world and it will send Virgin’s customers up into sub-orbital space at speeds over 2500 mph (4000kmh), to heights over 65 miles (110km) above the Earths surface, before the spaceship descends back down through the atmosphere using its pioneering feathered re-entry system. 

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic said: “As Virgin Galactic gets ever closer to the start of commercial operations, we are reaching and passing many important and historic milestones. The Virgin MotherShip (VMS) Eve, the first of our amazing, all carbon composite, high altitude WhiteKnightTwo launch vehicles, is flying superbly. SpaceShipTwo, which will air launch from Eve, is largely constructed and awaiting the start of its own test flight programme later this year.” 

The rocket motor burns for a very short period of time because the spaceship is launched from VMS Eve in the upper atmosphere, rather than from ground level. This means much less fuel is required, and the fuel burn is more environmentally benign than the solid rockets used in most ground based systems. 

While the rocket motor is extremely powerful, it is also completely controllable. This system can – if necessary – be shut down at any time, allowing the spaceship to glide back down to land at a conventional runway. This is a significant feature in the overall safety of the Virgin system for human space flight.

Sir Richard continues: “Less fuel and clean fuel all add up to a space launch system which will be completely unprecedented in its low environmental impact compared with current space flight. The spaceships carbon footprint for each of its passengers and crew will be about a quarter of that for a return trip from London to New York, demonstrating again the extraordinary benefits that new technology can bring to the quest for clean transportation.” 

“We believe space is on the cusp of a new industrial revolution. Virgin Galactics mission has always been to transform the safety, cost and environmental impact of access to space. Not just for passengers, but also for a range of important scientific purposes, and to send small satellites into orbit. The worlds scientific community is united in recognising that making better use of space will be vital to mankinds ability to manage the huge future challenges of life back here on Earth.” 

The rocket motor will continue a series of exhaustive tests, and the spaceship itself will start flight testing later this year. The testing programme for the rocket, the spaceship and VMS Eve will be extensive.

To view broadcast quality footage of the tests, along with the full interview with Sir Richard Branson please visit www.virgingalactic.com/rocketmotor. 

To view on YouTube click here 

For any other enquiries, please contact Bite PR on [email protected] or phone the

switchboard on +44 (0)20 8741 1123.

Share:

Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
LinkedIn
Dave Dressler

Dave Dressler

Leave a Comment

Search
Categories
future 1

Don't Miss a Beat!

Be the first to know when new articles are posted!

Follow Us On Social Media

JOIN THE
GREATEST ADVENTURE

Give The Gift Of Space: Membership For Friends and Family

Book Review

Archives

ISDC 2024:
A NEW SPACE AGE

International Space Development Conference May 23rd-26th, 2024

FEATURED BLOG

Image of Kalpana One space settlement courtesy Bryan Versteeg, spacehabs.com $32,000 in Cash Awards Given for Best Space-Related Business Plans — Deadline March 1, 2024

Category: Nonfiction Reviewed by: John J. Vester Title: Nuclear Rockets: To the Moon and Mars Author: Manfred “Dutch” von Ehrenfried Format: Paperback/Kindle Pages: 270 Publisher:

Partially Successful Flight Reached Space and Demonstrated New “Hot Staging” System The National Space Society congratulates SpaceX on the second test of its Starship/Super Heavy

Ad Astra, the NSS quarterly print, digital, and audio magazine, has won a 2023 MARCOM Gold Award. The awards are given yearly for “Excellence in

By Jennifer Muntz, NSS Member Coordinator On October 10th, an inspiring breakfast event took flight at the Center for Space Education at the Kennedy Space

By Grant Henriksen NSS Policy Committee Benefit sharing is a concept that refers to the distribution of benefits derived from the exploration and use of

People residing and working in space, space settlements, or on long-duration space flights will need to produce infrastructures and food to maintain healthy lifestyles. The

Image: Artist’s concept of the Blue Moon lander. Credit: Blue Origin. Second Human Landing System Contract Encourages Competition and Innovation The National Space Society congratulates