BEACON TRANSCRIPT – It would seem that Sir Branson the revered space aficionado has big plans for Virgin Galactic. Deeply discouraged by the tragedy which involved SpaceShipOne, the company is ready to start afresh with a brand new concept. Virgin Galactic unveils SpaceShipTwo at Mojave Air and Space Strip, SpaceShipOne’s proud successor.
Virgin Galactic might be one step closer to actual space tourism, according to a recent press statement released by Branson. Today, the magnate and his company have unveiled the prototype of SpaceShipTwo, a spacecraft that is not only reusable, but it can actually up to 6 people into space, or rather into suborbit.
This means that every Tom, Dick and Harry can now be bona fide astronauts, without having to go through all the math and physics tests. Indeed, this event can be regarded as a milestone in the history of civilian space travel. If all flight tests will show green, then maybe in a few years we will be able to see rockets from Virgin Galactic going up into to air in order to show tourists what space feels like.
According to Virgin Galactic’s statements, the upgraded spacecraft will be able to transport up to six people, at an altitude of 62 miles. Out there, the space enthusiasts will be able to experience first-hand what it feels like to float in Zero-G.
The company seems to be quite confident in its ability to manufacture a safer spacecraft. Note that Virgin Galactic updated their safety requirements after the incident which occurred on the 31st of October 2014.
According to mission control, on that day, the first prototype of the spacecraft broke apart into the air and scattered throughout the Mojave Desert. Michael Alsbury, the ship’s co-pilot was killed instantly, but, unfortunately, Peter Siebold, the senior pilot managed to eject himself. On his descent, the pilot sustained heavy injuries and required around the clock medical attention.
During the investigations, several agencies have determined that the tragedy was caused by a piloting error. According to their appraisal of the situation, upon reentry, senior pilot Peter Siebold, unlock the feathering system too early.
As explained by ground control, the feathering system is used to stabilize the spacecraft and to slow it down during its descent. Very similar to the feathers used to craft badminton shuttlecocks, these structures are located on each of the spacecraft’s wings. Upon re-entry, the feathers extend in an upward position, in order to prevent friction between the spacecraft and the atmosphere.
Once the craft reaches a designated altitude, the feathers retract into their original position, thus allowing the pilot to continue with the rest of the landing procedures.
Virgin Galactic unveils SpaceShipTwo at Mojave Air and Space trip, thus confirming the company’s intent of promoting space tourism.