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Virgin unveils its Space Mission Control

Discussion in 'SpaceX' started by Lasairfion, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Lasairfion

    Lasairfion Member

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    #1 Lasairfion, Aug 15, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
    "We're inviting guests to step into the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport tomorrow for the first look at our interior."
    Virgin Galactic on Twitter

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    EXTRACT: UPHAM, N.M. — Spaceport America is no longer just a shiny shell of hope that space tourism would one day launch from this remote spot in the New Mexico desert.


    The once-empty hangar that anchors the taxpayer-financed launch and landing facility has been transformed into a custom-tailored headquarters where Virgin Galactic will run its commercial flight operations.


    Two levels within the futuristic building include mission control, a preparation area for pilots and a lounge for paying customers and their friends and families. Company officials will offer the first glimpse Thursday.


    Virgin Galactic unveiling mission control for space tourism
    from the Associated Press

    ------------------
    VMS Eve passes over the Gateway to Space
    Virgin Galactic on Twitter


     
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  2. Nikxice

    Nikxice Member

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    r0_0_800_600_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg

    Not sure if "futuristic" still applies to architecture that's more than 50 years old. What comes to mind is Pan Am's Worldport at JFK or perhaps Woody Allen's "Sleeper" house. Speaking of futuristic, if Richard eventually installs a preflight Orgasmatron for his guests, he'll probably up his reservations. (Surcharge for The Orb!)
     
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  3. ecarfan

    ecarfan Well-Known Member

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    I could read that as you saying that structure was built more than 50 years ago. But I know that’s not what you mean since the building was completed around 2012. I therefore presume you mean that the shape and style is similar to some buildings that were constructed in the 1960’s. Which still look “futuristic” to many people due to their timeless style.

    I think the architectural design of that building is beautiful and I’m happy to see that it is going to be put to use. I would be thrilled to take a ride on SpaceShipTwo!
     
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  4. Grendal

    Grendal SpaceX Moderator

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    I live in New Mexico. So this place is hopefully some place I get to visit some day. That said, I'll go with a variation on a Elon statement about electric cars and apply it here. Elon's statement was in relation to describing the differences between the Fisker Karma and the Tesla Model S. It went something like "Electric cars until now have failed not because they didn't have good looks - they failed because they weren't good electric cars." So my comment on Virgin's spaceport is "Mankind hasn't made a big push into space because it lacks a really cool looking Spaceport." I still wish Virgin Galactic the best of luck and I hope they start launching things on a regular basis. Giving people a fun thrill ride into sub-orbital space to get a minute or two of weightlessness is still something.
     
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  5. bxr140

    bxr140 Active Member

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    Agree the spirit of the comment is applicable.

    At the same time, its important to consider the actual product here. An interesting analogy is high end air travel--of course executive travel but also premium commercial cabins. Especially in the past decade or so, the commercial industry has put a ton of money into a race to the top for user experience. On board accommodations are just the tip of the iceberg, where you can get unheard of privacy in some business classes these days (like Polaris). But all the players are upgrading their airside lounges to something beyond a bar with munchies and a bunch of armchairs that are only slightly less uncomfortable than the seats you find out in the terminal, installing premium check in lounges and security gates, and some are even providing groundside limo service to and from your groundside destination. The whole exercise is moving beyond a simple lie flat seat into a full stop, sometimes door to door experience for the premium traveler, basically getting as close to executive travel as possible.

    Given that Virgin's product is specifically human experience, and given that the flight experience is sooo short, I can see them pulling out all the stops to go even beyond the groundside experience in any kind of air travel. As a paying customer you're going to want The Nines for you and your friends and family as far as accommodation goes. You're going to want the front and back end of your flight to be drawn out with perfectly choreographed crescendos and diminuendos. You're going to want to see hardware in facilities that rival the cleanliness and organization of a shop at a Formula 1 factory.

    In the Space Travel...umm...space...Branson and Virgin are uniquely qualified to provide that experience, and this facility is clearly meant to do just that.
     
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  6. Bobfitz1

    Bobfitz1 Member

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    I'll keep saving (really praying Cathy Wood's bull or bear thesis comes to pass in next few years) towards the day when SpaceX starts taking customers up to Bigelow LEO hotel modules on regular Starship runs. Bigelow (who made his fortune with the Budget Hotel chain!) has estimated LEO hotel stay cost will be a few million. However that estimate wasn't based on fully reusable Starships able to carry one or a few hundred customers to LEO at a time. After a few years operations, the cost might go down to mid 6 figures, especially if Blue Origin provides serious competition by that time. Link below to an interesting article about a report titled "The Economics of Space: An Industry Ready to Launch". I make no judgement about any of their assumptions or analysis being valid. Only saying that LEO passenger cost decline over the next ten years may surprise us. The Space Review: How low can launch costs go?
     
  7. bxr140

    bxr140 Active Member

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    The only way Bigelow the company gets anywhere is if Bigelow the person gets out of the way. He has the insistent micromanaging involvement of Elon but the technical competency of someone who made their fortune on cheap motels.

    Bigelow needs to take a page out of the Bezos book and just step away from the detailed solution. Just because one has the desire to be a billionaire genius that can run technical circles around most of his employees...
     
  8. Bobfitz1

    Bobfitz1 Member

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    Whether due to Robert Bigelow, despite him or both, Bigelow the company has already gotten somewhere. No one else has developed a large scale expandable module approved by NASA and connected to ISS the past 3 years and renewed for 2 - 3 more.
     

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