The Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo, which will be presented to partners, customers and the rest of the world during the growing global commercial spacetravel race for spacecrafts, will shortly go on display to the public. After a fatal accident that occurred in 2014., Sir Richard Branson’s plan to launch passengers into space appears to be on the right track. Virgin Galactic is the California-based Spaceflight Company within Virgin Group. It says that it will soon be celebrating the hard work of all its engineers, technicians, and others who worked on SpaceShipTwo. The company has completed this stage of work and will soon begin a new phase, which will include more extensive testing, further testing, and ultimately the creation of the first human-powered commercial spaceflight program. Virgin Galactic explains that SpaceShipTwo, a winged, reusable spacecraft capable of carrying eight passengers (including two pilots), into space repeatedly. Everybody onboard will be awarded official astronaut status just as the pilots of the X spaceplane. (Image: virgingalactic.com). Virgin Galactic’s technical and scientific team includes experts from leading aerospace and transportation companies, and experienced NASA mission control and astronaut corps leaders. It is slow and tedious work. Virgin Galactic released the following statement: “We started at the level the individual components and pieces, then we stretched, bent and squeezed everything to make these vehicles. SpaceshipTwo has been tested in thousands of pressure cycles to simulate the flight of a cabin from ground to space. We have also conducted hundreds of full-scale test runs of the rocket motor system. SpaceShipTwo is equipped with a special system that allows safe reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere. At the right points of the trajectory, it can replicate the behavior of a capsule. Virgin Galactic says that the testing of this spacecraft will not be completed. It is an ongoing task of monitoring and checking components and parts. The company is now in a phase that focuses on the entire vehicle. Because the vehicle’s design is similar to the previous, it benefits from data gathered from 55 successful flight tests. “As well as the harsh but necessary lessons learned from one horrific flight test accident,” the next vehicle testing phase will begin with calibrating the existing data. SpaceShipTwo will repeat the same test as its predecessor. There is more to testing than people realize. While some aspects of testing are obvious, others will not. For example, although SpaceShipTwo claims to have the best hybrid rocket engine team in the world, the test must be repeated in air to confirm that ground-testing results were consistent with the performance of the rockets. There are other important tests which aren’t obvious to casual observers, experienced rocketeers and aviators who aren’t familiar with the vehicle’s unique design. Virgin Galactic states that “our team’s task is not only to plan out the obvious but also to perform the more unusual and innovative tests. We use data from these tests to review everything about the vehicle and make improvements to improve our ability to take the next steps.” WhiteKnightTwo, a 4-engine, dual fuselage, jet-powered aircraft, was custom-built. It is designed to carry SpaceShipTwo up to an altitude of about 50,000 feet for safe and efficient air launch. Image: virgingalactic.com Space testing – What to Expect? The next stage of space testing will not see the vehicle being launched into orbit. Instead, all testing will take place on the ground. SpaceShipTwo will still be celebrated on the ground even after it is revealed. After her unveiled, the new vehicle will remain on the ground while engineers test her electric systems and all moving parts. Although the technology team 100% is 100% certain that each component works, there’s no way to know if they all will work together. That needs to be verified and tested. The company states that they will work quickly but won’t compromise their quality. The spaceship will then be available for flight testing once that has been completed. SpaceShipTwo is paired to WhiteKnighTwo during a captive-carry flight. Virgin Galactic Chairman Sir Richard Branson is back racing to become the first commercial space passenger carrier. (Image: twitter.com/richardbranson) This is followed by glide testing – the spaceship flies freely as a glider coming home from 14 kilometres (45,000+ feet) up in the air while pilots determine how well she handles. Rocket-powered tests flights can be made if all glide flights are successful. This stage of testing is performed in stages. Engineers will test how heat from rocket motors dissipates into the back of spacecraft. They also examine how close their simulations of vehicle forces match reality. Finally, they will evaluate how vehicle reacts to the sound barrier when ascending or descending. The vehicle will gradually fly higher and faster. Test flights will begin at a low altitude, then increase in speed as the vehicle passes each mini test. Engineers may repeat a test if they need additional information or to confirm their results. One of two Virgin Galactic pilots was killed when the rocket plane that carried them crashed into 2014,. Virgin Galactic’s pilot team and Sir Richard Branson were both devastated by the accident. SpaceShipTwo will have crossed 100,000 feet (31 kilometers) and will be in 99% Earth’s atmosphere. Its pilots will feel microgravity (weightlessness), while being surrounded by an increasingly dark sky. The pilots will have reached fifty miles (80 kilometers and met NASA’s and the US Air Force requirements to be considered astronauts. They will also be officially recognized as space travellers by the US Government. They will be granted the same recognition by Federation Aeronautique Internationale once they cross 62 miles (100 kilometers. This will happen later. Virgin Galactic stated that they will begin selling tickets to customers and will be taking them into space when it is safe. It is an honor to have our very first paying customers. We also feel extremely honored that they are more than all the humans who have been in space. “Our first spaceflight, our first flight of research and experiments, our first flight of eight passengers (a feat which has been achieved only once in history by the Space Shuttle mission STS A); The dozens of flights we will make with the first astronaut ever from any given country — these are exciting milestones.
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