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Virgin Galactic

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by Cosmacelf, Jul 28, 2018.

  1. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

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    Since things seems to be heating up on the Virgin Galactic front, I though I’d start a thread devoted to them here. They’ve just completed their second “almost space” test in the last few months. VG’s system is night and day different from SpaceX - they have a small 6 passenger solid fuel motor spaceship launched at 60,000 feet from a custom mothership, which then glides back down for a runway landing. Space tourism to the edge of space.

    Latest info: Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo takes a step closer to space - SpaceNews.com
     
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  2. Electroman

    Electroman Active Member

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    I think comparing space tourism outfits like VG and BO, with SpaceX is kind of meaningless.

    It is like comparing those helicopter rides in tourist places like Niagara Falls and Grand Canyon, to flying trans continental with American Airlines or British Airway. Ya both carry people up in the air, but... geez...
     
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  3. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

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    Well, I wasn’t trying to compare (orbital versus up and down are indeed two different worlds), but nonetheless, it is space related and I thought SpaceX folks here would appreciate the link.
     
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  4. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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    Virgin Galactic also has the Launcher One. That will take stuff to orbit. The suborbital thrill rides easily have enough merit to have a thread too. They certainly aren't competition to SpaceX but the suborbital rocketplane flights do generate excitement about space even if they don't quite reach there. I wish VG the best even though I think that BO's New Shepard will end up being the preferred thrill ride.
     
  5. Brando

    Brando Active Member

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    Best comparison I would suggest is Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic.
    I'd like to see a balloon option for rides to the edge of space.
    And Solar Stratos could give longer/cheaper rides The plane – SolarStratos

    But we all can see that if/when SpaceX BFR starts taking people halfway around the world AND you are riding 15-20 min. in space, it will be game over for these "space ride" companies/ventures.

    PS- another launch option for "small packages" to compete with Virgin Galactic.
    Rocket Lab | About Us | Rocket Lab
     
  6. JonathanD

    JonathanD Member

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    Maybe it's me but the whole SpaceShipTwo architecture seems overly complicated and a bit death-trappy. BO's New Shepard seems like a more reasonable approach, not that I'll be doing either!
     
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  7. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Well-Known Member

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    VG’s architecture was designed by people who didn’t know rockets well and were airplane people foremost. Their rocket is a fairly simple and small solid rocket motor. At the time it was designed, it seemed like an economical approach to reusability. Of course SpaceX has since shown that the rocket only approach works rather well.
     
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  8. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    SpaceShipTwo is a technological dead end. It can't be scaled up to orbital velocities. It's a stepping stone to nowhere.

    This is where Blue Origins has a huge advantage... and also I agree I'd far rather go up on their rocket than Virgin. Not that I will ever do either.
     
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  9. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    It’s designed to fit Richard Branson’s ego. So it looks pretty cool. :cool: I would love to fly in it, but can’t afford it. Would also love to fly in New Shephard. But...ditto.
     
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  10. Brando

    Brando Active Member

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    I like this solar/battery powered glider - 75,000' [22,860m] you must wear a spacesuit and you could ride for hours.
    SolarStratos – To the edge of space
    only prototype for now, but what an experience, right?
     
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  11. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    Wow that's pretty cool. Who needs an SR-71?
     
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  12. BluestarE3

    BluestarE3 Active Member

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    I thought the air is too thin at such high altitudes for a propeller to work effectively?
     
  13. Brando

    Brando Active Member

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    good enough? 22 km - I think the wings lifting the plane more important, right?
    "Outer space does not begin at a definite altitude above the Earth's surface. However, the Kármán line, at an altitude of 100 km (62 mi) above sea level, is conventionally used as the start of outer space in space treaties and for aerospace records keeping."
     
  14. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I do not understand how that vehicle could achieve that altitude. How can the propellor and wings work effectively at such high altitudes?

    I think most people understand how airfoils work (and a propellor is an airfoil). But you need air flowing over them for them to perform their function. See How wings really work

    Obviously I don’t know as much as the engineers who are designing that glider. I am missing something...
     
  15. Brando

    Brando Active Member

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    read/explore their website
     
  16. Brando

    Brando Active Member

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  17. Electroman

    Electroman Active Member

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  18. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29, M3P 80k

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    If the wings work, a propellor works.
     
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  19. Brando

    Brando Active Member

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    general disclaimer:
    I only think I know what I think I read.

    I try to remember what Mark Twain said:
    If you don't read newspapers you are ill informed.
    If you do read newspapers you are miss informed.

    Which is to say, I think you're right, obviously.
    So you still have a chance to break the record. :cool:
     
  20. adiggs

    adiggs Active Member

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    #20 adiggs, Aug 13, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2018
    Apparently gliding to extreme heights is all the thing these days. Another glider project, these folks are designing and aiming for 90/100k altitude. Last I knew, they held the record for glider height over 50k altitude.
    Home | Perlan Project

    I work with somebody that is helping out with this project. What I've learned from him is that the key to getting a glider to REALLY high altitudes is a really big mountain, with a sharp climb from sea level to those heights. And a strong standing wind blowing into and over that mountain. (And then a lot of luck and the right weather, and .. more - it sounds hard :)). Edit to add - this means the Andes in South America.

    Critical difference in these two projects - Perlan is a glider, not powered in any way. Solar Stratos is an electrical plane (I didn't spot that at first - thought it was a glider).
     
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