Friday, 3 August 2012

Virgin Galactic

The Spaceship Company (TSC) is a new aerospace production company, founded by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Scaled Composites, which is building a fleet of commercial spaceships and launch aircraft with the intention of making widespread space travel a reality. TSC’s initial launch customer is Virgin Galactic, which has contracted to purchase five SpaceShipTwos and two WhiteKnightTwos. To meet Virgin Galactic’s requirements, TSC has contracted Scaled Composites to develop and build prototypes of WK2 and SS2, of which TSC started full-scale production in 2008.

SpaceShipTwo uses all the same basic technology, carbon composite construction and design as SpaceShipOne. However it is around twice as large as that vehicle and will carry six passengers and two pilots. It is 60ft long with a 90" diameter cabin which is similar in size to a Falcon 900 executive jet albeit with no floor dissecting the cabin allowing maximum room for the astronauts to float in zero gravity. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows: WINDOW SIZE one side window and one overhead, so that, if you don't want to float free in space, and you'd rather just remain in your seat, you still get a great chance to see the view. No more squabbling over who has the best seat!

The spaceship can be thought of as an air launched glider with a rocket motor and a couple of extra systems for spaceflight. Just like any conventional flying machine, it requires aerodynamic forces to provide its stability and control which, clearly, it only has whilst in the atmosphere. In space it follows a purely ballistic trajectory, but here it can use small thrusters known as the reaction control system (RCS) which allow the pilots to maneuver the vehicle in space and provide a changing view for the passenger astronauts

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