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Virgin Galatic Spaceship Two down in the Mojave.

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Virgin Galatic Spaceship Two down in the Mojave.

Old 1st Nov 2014, 02:58
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by glendalegoon View Post
as a reminder, us faa ATC would have had to clear them to 50,000 feet

LA center should have tapes of this, at least the ATC portion...anyone have a link?
These flights take place in the Edwards AFB R-2508 restricted area complex. Much of this air space is under Edwards control and is surface to unlimited.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 04:45
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Has Crashed, One Pilot Confirmed Dead

Pics
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 06:42
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Those are excellent photos. The "comet" photo appears to show a largely intact fuselage, with the wings separated and a gas cloud. I see what I believe are the cockpit windows on the nose. It appears to be falling backwards, and the photo appears upside down judging by the debris trail.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 07:39
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Change of Solid Rocket Fuel for this flight to give more specific impulse according to the news (from rubber to grain type). Grain biased propellant + Cracks in said propellant = Engine Explosion.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 07:41
  #25 (permalink)  
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Virgin Galatic Spaceship Two down in the Mojave.

Did it break up on ditching ?
Did pilots use any parachutes ?
 
Old 1st Nov 2014, 08:15
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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Reports of "pilot ejection" and one parachute seen.
Also a unconfirmed report by a first responder of one body in the cockpit.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 08:40
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry to appear a bit dim, but what happened to the mother ship? I cannot see and have not heard, any media reports about this and yet the shots on TV [if of this accident] indicate a successful separation......?
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 08:53
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Mother ship landed safley and not damaged so there has been no other comment
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 09:05
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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Looks like a long way to go if the engine still not works as intended. They still seem to not get the thrust needed.

I still very much admire Scaled. These are true geniuses. If it can be done they will do it. Good luck.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 09:32
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by MAINJAFAD View Post
Change of Solid Rocket Fuel for this flight to give more specific impulse according to the news (from rubber to grain type). Grain biased propellant + Cracks in said propellant = Engine Explosion.
From what I understood it is still a Hybrid motor so your point, which refers to dangers of a solid fuel rocket is invalid.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 09:57
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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I am sure that the new engine/fuel configuration was satisfactorily run on a test stand several times before being tried on this flight?
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 10:46
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Only really repeating what the first few posts said, but rocket science is still not safe. The loss of two space shuttles is, from what I've read, in line with what you would expect. Even now a fair proportion of satellite launches fail - one very recently. Yes, after every loss you can look back and say that we did this wrong and what happened was inevitable and could have been avoided, but if we all had the benefit of hindsight you could close all casualty departments and a lot else and there would be a lot fewer liability lawyers. The trouble with spaceflight is that simple failures can be catastrophic particularly at launch. Had one of the five engines on the Saturn V failed in the first few seconds that would have been it. The escape tower might have worked but from what I've read I wouldn't have counted on it.

There were two unmanned Saturn V launches before it lifted men into space. The first (Apollo 4 I believe) was successful, the second (Apollo 6) had serious problem with rocket oscillations - the pogo effect - and it was lucky that no one was on board. These were fixed before men were put on the top of the rocket.

Doubtless the "anomalies" that caused the crash will be overcome but even when the technology matures there will likely still be disasters. It will be interesting to see that effect that this has on bookings.

Last edited by Peter47; 1st Nov 2014 at 21:35.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 10:59
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Peter

Good points.

I'll give Sir RB credit for enabling/driving others to push the boundaries - somebody needs to, and I'm sure all those involved at a hands on level are well aware of the risks, but I do wonder any of the celebs/high rollers who booked flights have heard Richard Feynman's statement that:

"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled."
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 11:38
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The trouble with spaceflight is that simple failures can be catastrophic particularly at launch. Had one of the five engines on the Saturn V failed in the first few seconds that would have been it. The escape tower might have worked but from what I've read I wouldn't have counted on it.
Oh I dunno...
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 11:57
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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TURIN

Whilst that film is impressive I think Peter is talking about a "pad fall back".

Atlas-Centaur 5 pad fallback 1965 - Sonicbomb.com

Escaping one of those demands a fast decision (?automated) to intitate the abort and then a propulsion/guidance system that can get the spacecraft and occupants away from the fireball far enough fast enough.

50 years down the road from that Atlas-Centaur video it's still the case that any spaceflight, even a sub-orbital hop, using any current technology is sadly always going to be several orders of magnitude more risky than jumping on a commercial flight or using one's executive jet. I suspect everybody here knows that.......

Apologies for any thread drift.

Last edited by wiggy; 1st Nov 2014 at 12:07.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 12:16
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Peter47
There were two unmanned Saturn V launches before it lifted men into space. The first (Apollo 4 I believe) was successful, the second (Apollo 6) has serious problem with rocket oscillations - the pogo effect - and it was lucky that no one was on board. These were fixed before men were put on the top of the rocket.
Actually the pogo problem was only reduced, not fixed. On Apollo 13, the 2nd stage had such severe pogo vibration the entire launch vehicle almost broke up. The five engines experienced 68 g fore/aft vibration at 16 Hz, flexing the steel I-beam thrust structure by three inches. The vibration apparently tricked the center engine into fuel cutoff, which accidentally saved the vehicle.

13 Things That Saved Apollo 13, Part 5: Unexplained Shutdown of the Saturn V Center Engine

On the new Virgin Galactic engine, I wonder if it was tested in altitude chamber, or simply at ground level? If it was never tested in an altitude chamber, then this past manned mission was essentially the first realistic test.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 12:47
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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BBC has photos of the explosion taken from the ground, only a few seconds after separation

BBC
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 13:46
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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"Flight testing" implies the technology is not yet proven. Hardly surprising that accidents can happen.

The A380 went through about 2500 hours of flight testing. It wasn't enough to uncover the uncontained engine failure waiting to happen. Spaceship Two is radically new technology, in comparison.

Doubtless the "anomalies" that caused the crash will be overcome but even when the technology matures there will likely still be disasters
I agree. Nitpicking: Every single loss of life is a disaster, however I'd be hesitant to use that word. I'd venture a guess the driver who apparently lost his life would prefer the word "accident", rather than "disaster".

Last edited by deptrai; 1st Nov 2014 at 14:00.
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 15:07
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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Any one know what the escape system was for the crew?
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Old 1st Nov 2014, 15:30
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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deptrai:
The A380 went through about 2500 hours of flight testing. It wasn't enough to uncover the uncontained engine failure waiting to happen.
There are early failures, and there are late failures.

The A380 (QF R-R Trent 900) problem was an early failure, immature manufacturing quality issue, which revealed an architecture problem in the engine design. Unloaded turbine discs have been failing for many decades!

Late failures are associated with old tired hardware (fatigue), or with second or third party operators who lack the experience of the original owners.
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