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 Post subject: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Flight PostPosted: 2010-10-11 07:01am
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Did a search and didn't see this up. If I missed anything, then I apologize and hope that a mod will merge or lock this as needed.

Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise completes first manned glide flight

article wrote:
SS Enterprise achieves manned free flight from over 45,000 ft (13,700 metres) and successfully glides to land at Mojave Air and Spaceport.

10th October 2010, Mojave, CA. Virgin Galactic, the US company developing the world’s first commercial manned space flight system and tourism business, is delighted to announce the successful completion today of the first piloted free flight of SpaceShipTwo, named the VSS Enterprise. The spaceship was released from its mothership at an altitude of 45,000 ft
(13,700 metres).

During its first flight the spaceship was piloted by Pete Siebold, assisted by Mike Alsbury as co-pilot. The two main goals of the flight were to carry out a clean release of the spaceship from its mothership and for the pilots to free fly and glide back and land at Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

Other detailed objectives of the flight were successfully completed, including; verification that all systems worked prior and following the clean release of Enterprise; initial evaluation of handling and stall characteristics; qualitative evaluation of stability and control of SS2 against predictions from design and simulation work; verification of performance by evaluating the lift-to-drag ratio of the spaceship during glide flight; practice a landing approach at altitude and finally descend and land.

Preparations for the milestone flight were extensive. The WhiteKnightTwo mothership (Eve) flew 40 times including 4 captive carry flights of spaceship and mothership mated together. The most recent captive carry was on Sept 30th. The most recent solo flight was on October 5th and demonstrated that all the systems required for a free flight by the VSS Enterprise were functioning correctly without any safety issues. Commenting on the successful flight Scaled Composites pilot, Pete Siebold, said “The VSS Enterprise was a real joy to fly, especially when one considers the fact that the vehicle has been designed not only to be a Mach 3.5 spaceship capable of going into space but also one of the worlds highest altitude gliders.”

Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group, who was present during the first successful flight, added “This was one of the most exciting days in the whole history of Virgin. For the first time since we seriously began the project in 2004, I watched the world’s first manned commercial spaceship landing on the runway at Mojave Air and Space Port and it was a great moment. Now, the sky is no longer the limit and we will begin the process of pushing beyond to the final frontier of space itself over the next year.”

Virgin Galactic is now well on the way to becoming the world’s first commercial space line with 370 customer deposits totalling $50 million. Future commercial operations will be at Spaceport America in New Mexico where final preparations are taking place for a finished runway inauguration ceremony on Friday 22nd October 2010. National Geographic channel in the United States will be showing a documentary on the build up and preparation for the first flight of VSS Enterprise on Monday, 18 October at 10.00pm ET/PT.

George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic who was also present at the historic flight, added “To see the world’s first manned commercial spaceship landing on a runway is a sight I always dreamed I would behold. Now, our challenge going forward will be to complete our experimental program, obtain our FAA licence and safely bring the system into service at Spaceport America, New Mexico.”


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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 07:12am
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Thats great! I don't have much to add to the thread, but I am delighted that lately the commercialization of space seems to finally be on track.



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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 07:15am
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lol. They may someday actually do half as good as the X-15 from 60s. So they have a short range plane that goes bit higher and faster than a typical plane. Banking on billionaires paying for high speed aerial thrills is stupid. Until they build a ship that can enter orbit cheaper than rocket they are only pulling circus stunts for the poor by providing expensive joyrides to the rich.



I have to tell you something everything I wrote above is a lie.

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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 07:18am
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Sarevok wrote:
lol. They may someday actually do half as good as the X-15 from 60s. So they have a short range plane that goes bit higher and faster than a typical plane. Banking on billionaires paying for high speed aerial thrills is stupid. Until they build a ship that can enter orbit cheaper than rocket they are only pulling circus stunts for the poor by providing expensive joyrides to the rich.


lol. And people keep forgetting that the X-15 was an engine, a tiny cockpit, and parts of it started melting off at higher velocities.



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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 07:20am
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Ilya Muromets wrote:
Sarevok wrote:
lol. They may someday actually do half as good as the X-15 from 60s. So they have a short range plane that goes bit higher and faster than a typical plane. Banking on billionaires paying for high speed aerial thrills is stupid. Until they build a ship that can enter orbit cheaper than rocket they are only pulling circus stunts for the poor by providing expensive joyrides to the rich.


lol. And people keep forgetting that the X-15 was an engine, a tiny cockpit, and parts of it started melting off at higher velocities.



So how does flying a bunch of rich people bit faster than a commercial airliner help private space industry ? You are dealing with a very very small niche market. Would concentrating on making Ferraris help the ailing US car industry ?



I have to tell you something everything I wrote above is a lie.

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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 07:26am
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Sarevok wrote:
Ilya Muromets wrote:
Sarevok wrote:
lol. They may someday actually do half as good as the X-15 from 60s. So they have a short range plane that goes bit higher and faster than a typical plane. Banking on billionaires paying for high speed aerial thrills is stupid. Until they build a ship that can enter orbit cheaper than rocket they are only pulling circus stunts for the poor by providing expensive joyrides to the rich.


lol. And people keep forgetting that the X-15 was an engine, a tiny cockpit, and parts of it started melting off at higher velocities.



So how does flying a bunch of rich people bit faster than a commercial airliner help private space industry ? You are dealing with a very very small niche market. Would concentrating on making Ferraris help the ailing US car industry ?


It has to start somewhere, you moron. And are you seriously comparing the car industry to the private space industry? The car industry, which has been around since the early 20th century and has grown into a large market with multiple brands and thousands of factories. Contrast with the private spaceflight industry which, oh, is still in its fucking infancy in comparison. And what's funnier about your analogy is that cars also started off as some curiosity only rich people could afford. Just like passenger aircraft also started off with low-capacity aircraft that couldn't go far and rich people shelled out for for kicks.

But, hey, ignore all that just to be all smug and self-satisfied.



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"Like I said, I don't care about human suffering as long as it doesn't affect me."
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"Please educate yourself before posting more."
----Sarevok, who really should have taken his own advice

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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 07:42am
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Please educate yourself before posting more. Only SpaceX who is in the proven business of satelite launches has made any money back. All of the other independent private space ventures remain in powerpoint slides. Some of these darlings have already closed shop by now after failing to do business. Crafts like this and Spaceshipone are good as a personal hobby. But they are fancy airplanes that cant go into space. It is very difficult to base an entire private space industry around flying rich people to 300000 feet above the ground. Besides if rich people were that interested the Russians who let you fly backseat in MiG-25s for money would have their own Las Vegas somewhere in Siberia by now.



I have to tell you something everything I wrote above is a lie.

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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 08:04am
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Skgoa wrote:
Thats great! I don't have much to add to the thread, but I am delighted that lately the commercialization of space seems to finally be on track.

I'm not. We shouldn't have to depend on massively duplicated efforts by individuals for this kind of shit. -_-



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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 08:31am
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Sarevok wrote:
Please educate yourself before posting more. Only SpaceX who is in the proven business of satelite launches has made any money back. All of the other independent private space ventures remain in powerpoint slides. Some of these darlings have already closed shop by now after failing to do business. Crafts like this and Spaceshipone are good as a personal hobby. But they are fancy airplanes that cant go into space. It is very difficult to base an entire private space industry around flying rich people to 300000 feet above the ground. Besides if rich people were that interested the Russians who let you fly backseat in MiG-25s for money would have their own Las Vegas somewhere in Siberia by now.


Exactly. Right now, this is the closest we have to commercial spaceflight. Because everyone else is too uninterested to fund anything even remotely like it. So how the hell does that invalidate my point that it has to start somewhere? Right the fuck now, only private hobbies like this will do anything even remotely resembling progress in that area. Which is at least some place to start.

So you fucking educate yourself. Have you forgotten that the first things even remotely resembling passenger planes were funded by rich people as something of a personal hobby? PanAm started off with Juan Trippe raising money and founding Long Island Airways, an air-taxi service for the--guess who--rich and powerful. He also offered joyrides to anyone willing to shell out. And he used the money gleaned from that, as well as money from contributions of his wealthy pals, to invest in an airline called Colonial Air Transport. After that started to make money, he then founded the Aviation Company of the Americas which later developed into PanAm, one of the major airlines during the birth of the airline industry up through most of the mid-20th century.

It's not the only one, either. Bairniff International Airways, one of the big airlines in the early through mid-20th century, was founded by the Bairniff brothers similarly. They were well-to-do themselves, continued to fly as a hobby after WW1 and purchased their own private aircraft, and later pulled together a bunch of rich investors start their own company. Delta Airlines, the worlds largest airline, started out as a duster service converted to air mail carrier which later started catering to wealthy people who could afford to thrown money around for air fare.

And, right now, who else is even trying this? Not NASA, which as to fight tooth and nail for budgeting their current programs. Not the other space agencies around the world which have other concerns. So, tell me big shot, how is it going to get off unless it starts somewhere?



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"Like I said, I don't care about human suffering as long as it doesn't affect me."
----LionElJonson, admitting to being a sociopathic little shit

"Please educate yourself before posting more."
----Sarevok, who really should have taken his own advice

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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 08:42am
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Quote:
Exactly. Right now, this is the closest we have to commercial spaceflight. Because everyone else is too uninterested to fund anything even remotely like it. So how the hell does that invalidate my point that it has to start somewhere? Right the fuck now, only private hobbies like this will do anything even remotely resembling progress in that area. Which is at least some place to start.


Dear lord how can someone as stupid as you breathe much less post on the internet ? If you think suborbital commercial planes -> Spaceplanes -> Private Space stations you are dumb beyond belief.

Private space industry is making progress alright. Its just that they focus on real products like satellites and launchers. Virgin Galactic is banking on a dead end platform that will never evolve into something capable of entering orbit. If they were developing an independent launcher like the SpaceX Falcon rocket or made a Skylon type craft work then they would be doing something that may one day lead to space. You need a real spacecraft to claim you are advancing private business ventures in space.



I have to tell you something everything I wrote above is a lie.

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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 08:49am
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Seriously dude how the fuck is VSS Enterprise someday supposed to evolve into something that attains orbital velocity and reenters safely and lands ? Its a challenge even NASA has not been able to solve yet with all their technical expertise. You dont do business of cheap manned spaceflight when there is no cheap manned flight option available. If you think VSS Enteprise is advancing spaceplane development think again because it is a complete dead end. You need radically different type of vehicle to reach space.



I have to tell you something everything I wrote above is a lie.

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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 08:50am
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Sarevok wrote:
Dear lord how can someone as stupid as you breathe much less post on the internet ? If you think suborbital commercial planes -> Spaceplanes -> Private Space stations you are dumb beyond belief.

Private space industry is making progress alright. Its just that they focus on real products like satellites and launchers. Virgin Galactic is banking on a dead end platform that will never evolve into something capable of entering orbit. If they were developing an independent launcher like the SpaceX Falcon rocket or made a Skylon type craft work then they would be doing something that may one day lead to space. You need a real spacecraft to claim you are advancing private business ventures in space.


And how the fuck can you be consistently stupid enough to miss the point? The commercial airline industry grew by pandering to rich people in the hopes of getting more money and investment from them to finance further growth, idiot. Or do you honestly think that spaceplanes and private space stations are gonna be funded by companies out of the goodness of their hearts or by, heh, governments too concerned with their own economies or pork? You need money and investors to base an industry on, and to build that you need to attract the investors in the first place. You seriously think that "this will advance the technology for future generations!" is going to pull in rich people as opposed to "hey, guys, free joyrides in space!" You need something to get the investors interested first, just like those airlines I mentioned got their start by getting rich people interested and investing. WHO ELSE is going to invest the amounts necessary to make this more than a pipe dream?



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"Like I said, I don't care about human suffering as long as it doesn't affect me."
----LionElJonson, admitting to being a sociopathic little shit

"Please educate yourself before posting more."
----Sarevok, who really should have taken his own advice


Last edited by Ilya Muromets on 2010-10-11 08:56am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 08:54am
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Sarevok wrote:
Seriously dude how the fuck is VSS Enterprise someday supposed to evolve into something that attains orbital velocity and reenters safely and lands ? Its a challenge even NASA has not been able to solve yet with all their technical expertise. You dont do business of cheap manned spaceflight when there is no cheap manned flight option available. If you think VSS Enteprise is advancing spaceplane development think again because it is a complete dead end. You need radically different type of vehicle to reach space.


I said it's a start, you dipshit. Did I say the VSS Enterprise itself was going to evolve into future spaceplanes? I keep repeating that any future private space has to start somewhere, even if it has to do so by being a gimmick to entice rich people to invest. Many airline carriers started that way, moron. And don't even try to get all high and mighty about comparisons when your very first post in this goddamned thread was "lol, it's no X-15!"



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"Like I said, I don't care about human suffering as long as it doesn't affect me."
----LionElJonson, admitting to being a sociopathic little shit

"Please educate yourself before posting more."
----Sarevok, who really should have taken his own advice

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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 09:00am
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LOLs @ references to aviation. Historical analogies in a technical debate are the last bastion of the stupid and the ignorants. Can I draw space is an ocean analogy too now ? : :roll:


Your infantile rantings aside care to demonstrate a feasible timeline or any plans Virgin Galactic is stated to have for manned orbital spaceflight ? Because if space travel is what they want why not start with that ? Why fuck around wasting money on circus show performences ?



I have to tell you something everything I wrote above is a lie.

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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 09:08am
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Sarevok wrote:
LOLs @ references to aviation. Historical analogies in a technical debate are the last bastion of the stupid and the ignorants. Can I draw space is an ocean analogy too now ? : :roll:


Yeah, this coming from the guy who compared the space industry to the car industry. Don't go eyerolling about something that can be rolled right back at you. And nice try trying to ignore the point by changing the topic, asshole. ? :roll:


Quote:
Your infantile rantings aside care to demonstrate a feasible timeline or any plans Virgin Galactic is stated to have for manned orbital spaceflight ? Because if space travel is what they want why not start with that ? Why fuck around wasting money on circus show performences ?


And your transparent attempts to change the topic and avoid the topic aside, how about you address my question before asking your own? Who invests? How do you attract investors? Who could possibly invest at this point other than rich assholes? Why fuck are ignoring the fact that to get funding for crap like this you have to make it attractive to the investors by publicity and gimmicks to make it personally enticing to the big shots? Or are you seriously ignorant as to how businesses work?



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"Like I said, I don't care about human suffering as long as it doesn't affect me."
----LionElJonson, admitting to being a sociopathic little shit

"Please educate yourself before posting more."
----Sarevok, who really should have taken his own advice

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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 09:18am
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If you think a few meager few hundred millions is holding back cheap manned spaceflight you are wrong. If Virgin Galactic was serious about this they can go derivations of existing technology like SpaceX plans to. If they want to develop something radical like resusable spacecraft they will never ever have the money to do that because even research conducted by nations have not yielded a single success.


What you are saying is like giving people rides in hot air balloons to raise money for developing the Concorde and then building an entire fleet of them.



I have to tell you something everything I wrote above is a lie.

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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 09:19am
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Anway I am still waiting you posting evidence Virgin Galactic has feasible plans for orbital spacecraft after this.



I have to tell you something everything I wrote above is a lie.

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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 09:29am
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So fucking what if what Virgin Galactic is doing doesn't confirm to whatever fatty nerd shit you've got going on in your clitoris, Sarevok? They've got money, they're doing shit, and if they're successful and in the year 2029 they have stupid glass canopy VTOLs flying into space, then hooray. If they don't and they get bankrupt, well, too fucking bad. I don't see what makes you bleed from your uterus so much. God. At least it's a private fucking venture and maybe if they uncover FTL, their company can hire some space rent-a-cops and oppress some blue people to give you a chubby. :roll:

Sarevok wrote:
Anway I am still waiting you posting evidence Virgin Galactic has feasible plans for orbital spacecraft after this.


OH NO! OH MY GOD! It's just a "start" and the company doesn't have super-detailed meticulous long-term plants for shit because they're still "starting"! What are we going to do? Who's flying this thing? We're all doomed! :roll:

Sarevok wrote:
Your infantile rantings aside care to demonstrate a feasible timeline or any plans Virgin Galactic is stated to have for manned orbital spaceflight ? Because if space travel is what they want why not start with that ? Why fuck around wasting money on circus show performences ?


Who gives a shit if they don't have a feasible time line right now? Maybe they'll do it later, after you lose some weight. Maybe they won't. Right now, it's not much. Maybe if their VTOLs crash and burn, they'll never amount to anything. Or maybe, some day, they might have a breakthrough or they might have an idea or maybe something might, you know, develop over a period of time (which sometimes mysteriously happens! woooo!) and actually amount to something that might not be obvious to us currently at this moment in time presently in the present where future developments haven't developed over a period of time yet. At least they're doing shit and testing prototype space craft, even if it doesn't match stupid 1950s-era airplanes or graphs that fatties like to chew on for their calories. Like Malachuschus said, it's a start. Not an impressive one, no. Do they even know where they're going? Are they even going anywhere? Don't know yet. But it's a fucking start, and at least they managed to glide their airplane and not crash it by weighing it down with their fats.

Oh no, aspiring guys who want to do something are starting out, and gasp their beginning efforts are unimpressive. Oh noes! Hiss! Hiss! Boo! Boo! Heckle! Heckle! 1950s graphs!

God, why do people have to bitch about shit not matching their stupid 1950s shit all the time and act like complete cocksuckers going hurr-hurr over their shitty well-indented amateur armchair preferences as if they're as well versed in that shit as they're well-versed in their mom, anyway?



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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 09:30am
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Sarevok wrote:
If you think a few meager few hundred millions is holding back cheap manned spaceflight you are wrong. If Virgin Galactic was serious about this they can go derivations of existing technology like SpaceX plans to. If they want to develop something radical like resusable spacecraft they will never ever have the money to do that because even research conducted by nations have not yielded a single success.


What you are saying is like giving people rides in hot air balloons to raise money for developing the Concorde and then building an entire fleet of them.


And, again, you make a stupid analogy. Hot air balloons aren't even in the same technological class as the Concorde. This, however, is dealing with the same base technology even if the implementation is different. And don't even throw out that "even research by nations hasn't yielded success" because you should well know that government-funded space agencies are subject to political whims. The Apollo missions were cut from 20 to 17, and any further attempts at building any viable space-borne infrastructure were abandonned because the poliicians decided that, hey, they got a man to the moon first. We're done! Government interest in funding spaceplanes right now? Zip, nada, squat. Hell, NASA's funding was cut that a lot of research they're already working on are now hard-pressed to continue. NASA refused to replace the shuttle with something more efficient for a long time because the government didn't give a fuck about funding new developments until Columbia finally forced them to seriously reconsider retirement and replacement. And, even then, they've dragged their feet about developing any other replacement

And you still continue to sidestep the goddamn point. You continue to refuse to address the airline business analogy I pointed out, even if it applies. I'll say it again: ENTIRE INDUSTRIES NEED INFRASTRUCTURE. SINGLE COMPANIES CANNOT CREATE AN INFRASTRUCTURE ON THEIR OWN. THEY NEED TO ATTRACT MULTIPLE INVESTORS. HOW ELSE IS VIRGIN OR ANY OTHER COMPANY GOING TO DO THAT WITHOUT PLAYING TO THE SPEND-HAPPY WHIMS OF THE RICH PEOPLE THEY'RE TRYING TO ATTRACT? JUST LIKE THE FOUNDERS OF MANY BIG AIRLINE COMPANIES DID TO GET THE MONEY TO EXPAND

Fuck, you are thick



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"Like I said, I don't care about human suffering as long as it doesn't affect me."
----LionElJonson, admitting to being a sociopathic little shit

"Please educate yourself before posting more."
----Sarevok, who really should have taken his own advice

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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 09:31am
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But shroom you dont understand. This company is rich. If they wanted spacecraft they could have built one. Instead they are wasting their time and money building a dead end machine. That is something to be discouraged not considered as inspiring.



I have to tell you something everything I wrote above is a lie.

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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 09:32am
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Sarevok wrote:
Please educate yourself before posting more. Only SpaceX who is in the proven business of satelite launches has made any money back.

Uh-huh... and how long did it take from them to go from start-up to profit? Do you seriously think businesses open the doors and instantly become profitable? This is a long term business venture. No one involved is expecting to make money immediately.

Quote:
All of the other independent private space ventures remain in powerpoint slides.

Untrue - SpaceX is also getting into manned space with the SpaceX Dragon, which has moved into the prototype and materials testing phase as of this year. Flight testing will be coming along a bit later.

Quote:
Some of these darlings have already closed shop by now after failing to do business. Crafts like this and Spaceshipone are good as a personal hobby.

And for hanging in a place of honor in the Smithsonian...(He has four aircraft in the Smithsonian displays: a VariEze Voyager, Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer, and SpaceShipOne. Name one other person who has that many.)

Rutan - the guy at the front of Scaled Composites - has made a career of designing and building experimental aircraft. In his case, it's also good for business.

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But they are fancy airplanes that cant go into space.

Yes they can - they just can't go into orbit.

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It is very difficult to base an entire private space industry around flying rich people to 300000 feet above the ground.

That's not the entire private space industry - you already pointed out SpaceX successfully launches satellites.

That, and Rutan had plans to design and build and orbit-capable craft. He's using this as a stepping stone. And I news for you buddy - either the money comes from the rich or it doesn't happen at all. Seriously, where the fuck do you think the funding will come from? NASA sure as hell isn't getting into commercial spaceflight. They've had 50 years to do it and it's not happening. Well, where you are going to come up with the bucks for private spaceflight unless you get the interest of the filthy rich? And if they're happy with joyrides (at least for now) in return for funding a slice of the pie that's what they'll get. It's how the world works.

As pointed out, automobiles started as short-range toys for the rich.

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Besides if rich people were that interested the Russians who let you fly backseat in MiG-25s for money would have their own Las Vegas somewhere in Siberia by now.

MiG-25's can't reach sub-orbital altitudes.

As for the X-15 - it could only carry one person. SpaceShipOne could carry 3 (but did not due to FAA rules on test-flying experimental aircraft. SpaceShipTwo will be able to carry 8 people.

True, the X-15 was a hell of a lot faster than Rutan's spaceships - but then the X-15 wasn't intended to be a spaceship, it was intended to test flight up to Mach 8. Rutan's spacecraft don't need to go that fast, so why burn the fuel to do so?

The X-15 cost, when adjusted for inflation, about $1.5 billion in post-2000 US dollars. SS1 cost $25 million. Even if you say Rutan "just" duplicated the altitude capability of the X-15 he managed to do it for 1/6 the cost which has got to be the biggest price reduction in the history of spaceflight, or high altitude flight, whichever way you want to look at it. I don't know what SS2 costs, and given it's still in development probably no one knows the final price, but both Rutan and Branson are hoping to turn a profit with the tourist flights, one sufficient to fund the Tier 2 program which is the one that takes people to orbit. They're planning to charge $200,000 a seat. That sounds like a lot to most folks, but there are definitely some wealthy folks capable of dropping a cool two million, or close to it, to charter something like that for their own private party. Such as the current space tourists dropping $25-35 USD on a flight to a space station. Or, for that matter, to go somewhere because there's really no reason you couldn't use SS2 to travel somewhere else. It can, after all, land on a conventional runway at an ordinary airport.

In fact, the next in the series, SS3, will be intended for point-to-point sub-orbital travel. The example they like to give is a two-hour London, England to Sydney, Australia flight. Obviously a very niche market, but hey, if you want to get there fast that would be the way to go. On top of that, if the current pattern is followed, SS3 would be able to launch or land at conventional airports without the sound problems of the Concorde.

Basically, yes, Rutan and Branson are soaking the rich in return for joyrides in order to get the capital to get into space as a private venture. Why do you have a problem with that? Where else do you think the money is coming from?



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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 09:36am
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Oh no, Broomstick, the technical achievements and efforts of these Virgin Galactic guys and their scientists and engineers (engineering degrees!) won't amount to anything because of something-something 1950s-lame-rocketship and unless it appeases Sarevokerritch's dumb standards of whatever, then these Virgin Galactic guys achievements don't matter at all! :D



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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 09:36am
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I have doubts they could keep even that small rich niche market. In present environment no one has plans even a replacement for the concorde. The chances of a commercial suborbital transport is slim. It is one thing to lead an exciting life building cutting edge prototypes and being treated as an aerospace community celebrity. but it is another to make it into a sucessful product. All I could say is speculation is speculation but I will believe it when I can actually buy a 4 hour ticket from Mumbai to Los Angelos.



I have to tell you something everything I wrote above is a lie.

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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 09:42am
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Sarevok wrote:
I have doubts they could keep even that small rich niche market. In present environment no one has plans even a replacement for the concorde. The chances of a commercial suborbital transport is slim. It is one thing to lead an exciting life building cutting edge prototypes and being treated as an aerospace community celebrity. but it is another to make it into a sucessful product. All I could say is speculation is speculation but I will believe it when I can actually buy a 4 hour ticket from Mumbai to Los Angelos.


Because the Concorde does things faster than necessary, for more cost than necessary, and for less passengers than an average jumbo jet liner. You operate on the stupid thought that industries have to aim for the most uber-techified or whatever without considering the fact that business industries aim for utilitarian, economical, and good enough once they've been established. Concorde is not economical in bulk transport, which is what the airline industry needs, given the sheer amount of passengers and cargo. Plus, keeping it running is too expensive. Too little profit and too little use for anything else other than getting a small number of people somewhere faster than usual. In the long run, it's not economical until something is developed that is fast, economical, and can carry in bulk.

And it's hilarious you keep brigining up the Concorde because a lot of its regulars were people rich enough to afford the extra cost for the tickets. :lol:



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 Post subject: Re: Virgin Galactic's VSS Enterprise's First Manned Glide Fl PostPosted: 2010-10-11 09:53am
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Ghetto edit: And, note, before you go crowing in triumph, Sarevok. I mentioned that an industry goes for economical after it has been established in the first place, at which point continual pandering to a small rich niche won't do you much good unless you're getting income from the one marketed for the masses. But to get the industry started in the first place, it has to get propped up by money from investors, which in turn you have to attract by gimmicking their interest your way. That kind of money doesn't come from nowhere



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"Like I said, I don't care about human suffering as long as it doesn't affect me."
----LionElJonson, admitting to being a sociopathic little shit

"Please educate yourself before posting more."
----Sarevok, who really should have taken his own advice

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