More on Virgin Galactic...

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More on Virgin Galactic...

#1 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Mon May 24, 2021 9:38 am

Good video of Virgin Galactic's 3rd Flight and 1st flight from Spaceport America.

https://www.msn.com/en-gb/travel/news/v ... d=msedgntp

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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#2 Post by Boac » Mon May 24, 2021 9:49 am

Then, of course, the debate - "Was it in 'SPACE' or not?"

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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#3 Post by Undried Plum » Mon May 24, 2021 10:31 am

It's good showmanship, but it's not orbital spaceflight.

Branson was lucky that the co-Joe didn't deploy the tail-raising function too early like the idiot-boy did last time.

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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#4 Post by Boac » Mon May 24, 2021 10:39 am

but it's not orbital spaceflight
Nor is Amazon's Blue Origin.

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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#5 Post by Undried Plum » Mon May 24, 2021 10:44 am

Those japes are just Squillionaires wanking in public.

Musks's ones are the only ones that actually work, and even they are horrendously unreliable. Even worse than the NASA Shuttle failure rate of 2 out of 5.

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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#6 Post by Boac » Mon May 24, 2021 12:08 pm

UP wrote: Even worse than the NASA Shuttle failure rate of 2 out of 5???
Explain? 135 launches.

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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#7 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Mon May 24, 2021 12:23 pm

I agree that Virgin Galactic is a dubious concept that is probably more of a tax write off come Branson market capitalisation ploy, come boondoggle, than a serious space based endeavour...
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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#8 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Mon May 24, 2021 1:21 pm

Old David Mackay is a bit of poet... interesting to listen to his comments on the experience of seeing the earth from such a great altitude (in the video linked in the first post)...

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_M ... it%20space.

David Mackay.JPG
David Mackay.JPG (41.56 KiB) Viewed 2373 times
Scots in Space... He seemed to be an approachable chap when I asked a couple of questions in person back at Farnborough in 2012.



https://www.aerosociety.com/news/plane- ... id-mackay/

Of course, Virgin Galactic have been at this since 2006, despite Branson's overpromising and marketing hype... personally I think that his antics are an embarrassment to the serious people in that team who have put their lives on the line (literally), and also to the memory of those in that team who have been killed and injured so far. I think that notion that this kind of "flight" will ever be safe for fare paying passengers, is ludicrous, and come the first disaster that kills the hare brained "celebs", with more money than sense, onboard, the fallout will put paid to this venture.
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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#9 Post by PHXPhlyer » Fri Jun 25, 2021 4:43 pm

Virgin Galactic gets FAA’s OK to launch customers to space
The company is working toward three more space test flights, with the next one this summer.


https://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/v ... e-rcna1275

Virgin Galactic finally has the federal government’s approval to start launching customers into space from New Mexico.

Richard Branson’s rocketship company announced the Federal Aviation Administration’s updated license on Friday.

It’s the final hurdle in Virgin Galactic’s yearslong effort to send paying passengers on short space hops.

The company is working toward three more space test flights, with the next one this summer. The original plans called for Branson to be aboard a test flight later this year, with flights for paying customers beginning next year.

Blue Origin’s Jeff Bezos plans to ride his own rocket into space July 20 from Texas.

“I appreciate that there is a lot of speculation” over whether Branson will try to beat Bezos into space, company spokeswoman Valerija Cymbal said in an email. “But we don’t have any announcements about Virgin Galactic’s future flight plans at this time.”

Unlike Blue Origin’s and SpaceX’s capsules launched from the ground by reusable rockets, Virgin Galactic uses a winged spacecraft that launches from the belly of an airplane. It’s reached space three times since 2018 with two pilots in the cockpit. The second trip carried a third company employee.

A review of the company’s third flight to space in May — which reached an altitude of 55 miles (89 kilometers) — showed everything went well and paved the way for the necessary FAA permission.

“Today’s approval by the FAA of our full commercial launch license, in conjunction with the success of our May 22 test flight, give us confidence as we proceed toward our first fully crewed test flight this summer,” chief executive officer Michael Colglazier said in a statement

More than 600 people already have reserved a ride to space. Tickets initially cost $250,000, but the price is expected to go up once Virgin Galactic starts accepting reservations again.

Blue Origin has yet to sell tickets to the public or say what it will cost. Bezos is taking his brother and two others along for the ride on July 20, the 52nd anniversary of the first human moon landing.

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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#10 Post by PHXPhlyer » Fri Jul 02, 2021 1:24 am

Virgin Galactic to launch Richard Branson into space July 11, aiming to beat Jeff Bezos

https://www.nbcnews.com/science/space/v ... t-n1272954

Virgin Galactic to launch Richard Branson into space July 11, aiming to beat Jeff Bezos
Branson is trying to outrace fellow billionaire Bezos into orbit, as the latter plans to launch with his own company Blue Origin on July 20.
Virgin Galactic announced on Thursday that the space tourism company will attempt to launch its next test spaceflight on July 11, carrying founder Sir Richard Branson.

Branson is aiming to beat fellow billionaire Jeff Bezos to space, as the latter plans to launch with his own company, Blue Origin, on July 20.

“After more than 16 years of research, engineering, and testing, Virgin Galactic stands at the vanguard of a new commercial space industry, which is set to open space to humankind and change the world for good,” Branson said in a statement. “I’m honoured to help validate the journey our future astronauts will undertake and ensure we deliver the unique customer experience people expect from Virgin.”


Virgin Galactic granted approved to launch tourists into space
JUNE 26, 202100:43
This will be Virgin Galactic’s fourth test spaceflight to date and its first mission with a crew of four on board, as the company launched its most recent spaceflight, on May 22, with just two pilots.

Shares of Virgin Galactic popped more than 20% during after-hours trading, up from Thursday’s close of $43.19.

Alongside Branson will be three Virgin Galactic mission specialists: Chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses, lead operations engineer Colin Bennett, and government affairs VP Sirisha Bandla. Virgin Galactic pilots Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci will fly the company’s VSS Unity spacecraft.

Virgin Galactic said it will livestream the spaceflight for the first time, a feed that will be available on Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.
On June 25 the company announced that the Federal Aviation Administration granted it a license to fly passengers on future spaceflights, and Virgin is targeting early 2022 to begin flying paying passengers.

Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004 to build a space tourism business.

The company’s spacecraft launch from a carrier aircraft before accelerating to more than three times the speed of sound. The spacecraft then spends a few minutes in microgravity above 80 kilometers altitude — the boundary the U.S. officially recognizes as space — before slowly flipping around and gliding back to Earth to land on a runway.

Virgin Galactic competes only with Bezos’ Blue Origin in the realm of suborbital space tourism, as Elon Musk’s SpaceX carries passengers on longer trips into orbit, such as to the International Space Station.

In June, Bezos announced that he would fly on Blue Origin’s first passenger flight of its New Shepard rocket. Bezos is scheduled to launch on July 20, and will fly alongside his brother as well as the winner of a $28 million public auction and legendary aerospace pioneer Wally Funk.

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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#11 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Fri Jul 02, 2021 9:19 am

I must say that I really couldn't care less whether or not Beardy beats Bizos to be the first passenger ballast in a suborbital flight. We should rather remember people like Joe Walker, along with all the X-15 pilots who flew fast, but lower, before him, who surpassed the Karman line, so many years back.
...surpassed the Kármán line, the internationally accepted boundary of 100 kilometers (62.14 miles). Making the latter flights immediately after the completion of the Mercury and Vostok programs, Walker became the first person to fly to space twice. He was the only X-15 pilot to fly above 100 km during the program.
All this stuff has been done before by better people than these two B surnamed billionaire bums...



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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#12 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Sun Jul 04, 2021 8:38 pm

TheGreenGoblin wrote:
Fri Jul 02, 2021 9:19 am
I must say that I really couldn't care less whether or not Beardie beats Bizos to be the first passenger ballast in a suborbital flight. We should rather remember people like
Quoted in full because the article requires signup... (from The Independent)

Beardy.JPG
Say what you will about Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, or “Beardie” to his detractors, but he’s not afraid of a challenge. Soon, with luck, he will be the first billionaire in space, which is more meaningful than it sounds, given the competition. If it all goes to plan, Branson will be on board the next test flight his Virgin Galactic winged rocket ship (a cross between a plane and a missile) departing Earth (New Mexico) on 11 July. In doing so, Branson will beat Jeff Bezos, of Amazon fame and fortune, into space by nine days and, almost as important, overshadow Bezos’s remarkable PR coupe of last week when he arranged for the 82-year-old Wally Funk to be the first passenger in space. She trained as an astronaut in the 1960s, but, for reasons that are unforgettable, the time was not right for a female to take that giant leap. According to the corporate hype, Branson is “Astronaut 001”, and his role is: “Evaluating customer space flight experience” (though all passengers will be Virgin staff).

It is a typical Branson move. It is cheeky, indeed audacious, of course, and demonstrates his alertness. A half-century ago now he founded his business empire when he observed that you could undercut the regular high street record stores (we’re talking golden era of vinyl here) by acquiring discs that were certified as destined for export and thus exempt at wholesale prices from purchase tax (the forerunner of VAT), which was levied at 33 per cent. That translated into a big saving for the record buyer, a big profit for Virgin Records, but a big legal problem and expensive settlement when the tax authorities caught up with him. The bill was so large his parents had to mortgage their home to pay it off for him.

The charge of tax evasion has haunted him ever since. Decades later, during the financial crisis of 2007, Branson spotted another opportunity and tried to buy the failing Northern Rock bank, Vince Cable got up in the House of Commons and asked whether such a person would be fit and proper to own a financial institution. It was a fair question, and Branson’s deal collapsed. Still, Virgin Money went on to buy the bank in 2011.

Such is the pattern of Bransonism. Identify a gap, then go for it, almost without due diligence or anything boring like that – summed up in the title of one of his many books (managed by his own Virgin branded publishing house, naturally), Screw it, Let’s Do It: Lessons in Life. It suited his career very well, and his Virgin Record label (founded in 1972) signed all kinds of then-unknown talent, from Mike Oldfield (Tubular Bells was a hugely lucrative album) to the Sex Pistols to Peter Gabriel and Boy George.

When the American and British governments gingerly started to liberalise the major air routes in the 1980s, Branson wasn’t the first to take a risk and start a service (that was Freddie Laker), but from 1984 until the Covid pandemic, Virgin Atlantic was to be the most successful of the entrants (it is co-owned by the now unfortunately named Delta).

This fascination with mass transportation manifested again in the 1990s. When the Major government decided to sell off British Rail it was entirely predictable that Branson would be after a franchise or two, and, with some controversy, Virgin Rail snapped up the West Coast mainline and Cross Country franchises. Now, in a more fanciful way, and following fellow billionaire, space and transport enthusiast Elon Musk, Branson has invested in Hyperloop, a company that aims to power rail services through a series of tubes and vacuums that Musk started backing in 2014. Branson, like Musk and Bezos, is also a great fan of science fiction, though Branson’s resources don’t stretch, as Musk’s do, to establishing a human colony on Mars.

It is almost impossible to comprehend the variety of ventures that have had the Virgin label slapped on them. Some have been phenomenally successful – mainly the airline with its famous red livery, photoshoots with Branson and the glam air hostesses (it was launched in a less politically correct era) and opulent upper class compartments. Others have been, frankly, flops, as if conceived as almost academic exercises in seeing how far the Virgin brand could be stretched – Virgin Cola, Virgin Vodka, and incursions into fashion, cosmetics and Formula One pushed the limits of the brand too far. Yet Virgin Broadband, Virgin Holidays and Virgin Media have worked much better.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Branson’s empire was often held up as an exemplar of “brand value”. There was a certain cult of brand, and Branson was a principal and high profile beneficiary. In his case, brand was sometimes all there was to his businesses, and he was an early, pre-dot.com bubble, pre-internet pioneer of building up businesses that commanded huge stock market or private valuations but which made little money or operated at substantial losses (like, say, Uber or Tesla today).

<p>Inaugurating his new airline Virgin Atlantic Airways, on the steps of the Boeing 747-200 ‘Maiden Voyager’, 22nd June 1984</p>
Inaugurating his new airline Virgin Atlantic Airways, on the steps of the Boeing 747-200 ‘Maiden Voyager’, 22nd June 1984

Today the principal arms of the Virgin empire are typcially joint ventures with larger or more experienced players, plus a very large licensing income from companies that use the Virgin brand (whether Virgin now owns them, part-owns them or has no equity stake at all). The mature Virgin empire, as it reaches its half-century, is beginning to resemble a comfortable annuity, offering a reliable income to Branson and his family.

Not as comfortable, though, are many of Branson’s businesses – travel, airlines, hotels, top-end holidays, gyms and even a cruise line – which were in the sadly perfect position to be hit hardest by Covid. Branson even asked for state aid to prop up his airline. His political contacts seem to have peaked in the time of Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, both big fans of this emblem of British entrepreneurship. Branson was a big Remainer, which can’t be helpful these days.

His, though, is far from a rags to riches story, like that other poster boy, Lord Sugar. His paternal grandfather was a high court judge and knight of the realm, his father a cavalryman, and his mother something of an entrepreneur herself. Branson attributes much of his success to his mother’s enthusiasm and support, though it sometimes comes across a bit cheesy – “my mother taught me never to give up and to reach for the stars”. Her example was a fine one of striking out and trying new things – she’d been a Wren during the Second World War. Afterwards, she was an air hostess, ran a property business, was a military police officer, a probation officer, and made more money from selling wooden decorative boxes to put paper tissues into.

Branson also owes something to his parents for paying for his education at Stowe School, and to mum for funding his earliest business adventures. The legend goes that she found some jewellery in the street and, the police being unable to find the owner, she then sold the gear for £100 and gave it to her boy (worth about £2,000 in today’s money). With that, Branson was briefly a dealer in Christmas trees and budgerigars. (Presumably he bought those “cheep”). A closer parallel than the likes of Sugar would be the young Michael Heseltine. Like Hezza, Branson is a dyslexic, started his businesses with a modest sum from his family and took advantage of the boom in university expansion and student numbers in the late 1960s. Heseltine launched a graduate jobs guide, the beginnings of his Haymarket empire, while Branson started a magazine, Student. Politics though, as a career, hasn’t attracted Branson. Thatcher appointed him briefly as her “litter tsar”, while Blair thought he might make a good Mayor of London. His views on drugs (pro-decriminalisation) were ahead of their time.

The risk-taking extends to Branson’s personal safety, and his physical recklessness cannot be staged just for publicity purposes (though it has certainly generated plenty). Space is not the first frontier he has crossed. He had to be rescued by an RAF helicopter after one of his attempts on the transatlantic speedboat record ended in the vessel capsizing. Another pointless record attempt was successful –the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by hot air balloon, but it ended, after 3,000 relatively uneventful miles with the dirigible almost exploding and plummeting to earth in a field in Northern Ireland. It is no joke to speculate that old Beardie might not return to us. At a mere 70 years of age (he’ll turn 71 on July 18, hopefully on terra firma), it would be even more of a shame, seeing he has almost House of Windsor longevity – dad Ted died at 93 years old 10 years ago, and mum Eve passed away last year from Covid complications, aged 93.

You cannot live a life as (literally) racey, high profile and eventful as Branson’s and not attract some bad publicity along the way, to put it mildly. The most serious accusations against Branson emerged a few years ago during the #MeToo movements revelations, when he was accused of ‘motorboating’ Joss Stone’s backing singer, Antonia Jenae. The incident is said to have occurred on Necker Island in the Caribbean, just one of Branson’s many sumptuous homes around the world, the most breathtaking of which is probably the large slice of South Africa next to the Kruger National Park, complete with a tabletop mansion to admire the views and the wildlife.
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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#13 Post by llondel » Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:40 pm

So we could be down a few billionaires by the end of July then.

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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#14 Post by PHXPhlyer » Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:57 pm

llondel wrote:
Sun Jul 04, 2021 9:40 pm
So we could be down a few billionaires by the end of July then.
Actually might make more depending how the inheritances are divvied up. :-o :D

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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#15 Post by PHXPhlyer » Wed Jul 07, 2021 3:41 pm

Billionaire Richard Branson is going to space. How risky is that?

https://www.cnn.com/2021/07/07/tech/ric ... index.html

New York (CNN Business)Richard Branson will take a rocket-powered space plane on a 2,400 mile-per-hour ride to the edge of space this weekend. That's if everything goes according to plan. And there's plenty that could go wrong.

The rocket motor could fail to light up. The cabin could lose pressure and threaten the passengers' lives. And the intense physics involved when hurtling out of — and back into — the Earth's atmosphere could tear the vehicle apart.
But Branson is ready to follow in the footsteps of the test pilots and Virgin Galactic employees who have already flown on VSS Unity, the vehicle Branson's company, Virgin Galactic, has spent nearly two decades working to develop. If all goes as planned, Branson will also be the first billionaire ever to travel to space aboard a vehicle he helped fund the development of, beating fellow space baron Jeff Bezos by just nine days.
Any time humans are on an airborne vehicle, there's risk involved. Here's a breakdown of just how much danger Branson -— and the three people going with him — will be taking on.
About the space plane: VSS Unity
Richard Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004, after watching a space plane called SpaceShipOne rocket into space to win the Ansari X Prize. Branson bought the rights to that tech, and a team of engineers set to work developing a larger vehicle capable of carrying two pilots and up to six paying customers on a high-speed joy rides. The evolved designed is called SpaceShipTwo.
SpaceShipTwo takes off from an airplane runway attached beneath the wing of a massive, custom-designed quad-jet double-fuselage mothership known as WhiteKnightTwo. Once the mothership reaches about 40,000 feet, the rocket-powered plane is dropped from in between WhiteKnightTwo's twin fuselages, and fires up its engine to swoop directly upward, accelerating up to more than three times the speed of sound, or 2,300 miles an hour.

Once it reaches the very top of its flight path, it hangs, suspended in microgravity, as it flips onto its belly before gliding back down to a runway landing. From takeoff to landing, the whole trip takes roughly an hour.
VSS Unity — the name of the SpaceShipTwo that Branson will be taking to space and the first to make the full trek — has completed three successful test flights so far. But the company's development program has also endured years of delays for a variety of reasons, including a fatal 2014 crash that killed a test pilot.
A planned test flight in December was also halted when VSS Unity's onboard rocket motor computer lost connection. And Virgin Galactic encountered a potentially serious safety hazard during a test flight in 2019, New Yorker staff writer Nicholas Schmidle revealed in a new book, "Test Gods." A safety probe was ordered to investigate why a seal on its space plane's wing had come undone, risking loss of the vehicle and the lives of the three crew members on board. No one was harmed in the test flight, which was publicly deemed a success.
But after VSS Unity's third test flight in May, the company received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration to begin flying passengers. That doesn't mean, however, that the FAA — which is focused primarily on ensuring safety of people and property on the ground — is guaranteeing the spacecraft is safe. That decision is left up to Virgin Galactic, and the company made the surprise announcement on July 1 that Branson would be on the very next test flight — becoming the first non-crew member ever to make the trek — this Sunday.
Markus Guerster, an aerospace industry professional who co-authored a 2018 paper on the risks of suborbital space tourism, said there is never a perfect time for a company to deem its spacecraft safe enough to fly members of the public.
"It's kind of a difficult decision to make — if you're ready, or if you're not ready, because there is some risk remaining. But if you don't try it, you're also not going to learn," Guerster said. "I think the first group of people who will fly on this acknowledge the risk. There are plenty people out there who climb Mount Everest."
Orbital vs. Suborbital flights
When most people think about spaceflight, they think about an astronaut circling the Earth, floating in space, for at least a few days.
That is not what Branson — or Bezos, for that matter — will be doing.
They'll be going up and coming right back down. Virgin Galactic's flights are be brief, up-and-down trips, though they will go more than 50 miles above Earth, which the United States government considers to mark the boundary of outer space.
Virgin Galactic's suborbital fights hit about more than three times the speed of sound — roughly 2,300 miles per hour — and fly directly upward. The plane will hover at the top of its flight path, giving passengers a few minutes of weightlessness. It works sort of like an extended version of the weightlessness you experience when you reach the peak of a roller coaster hill, just before gravity brings your cart — or, in Branson's case, your space plane -— screaming back down toward the ground.

VSS Unity will then deploy what's called a "feathering system," which allows the space plane's wings to fold up, mimicking the shape of a badminton shuttlecock so it can reorient itself as it begins its descent. It then unfurls its wings again and glides back down to a runway landing.

But it hasn't always worked well. The feathering system was determined to be the "probable cause" of Virgin Galactic's fatal 2014 test flight incident, which took the life of the co-pilot, Michael Alsbury, and left the pilot badly injured. The feathering system was deployed prematurely due to human error, causing the vehicle to rip apart mid air. The company has since parted ways with its manufacturing partner and installed a computerized safe guard to prevent the same mistake from occurring again.
New Shepard vs. SpaceShipTwo
Though Branson has denied that his attempt to reach space this weekend has anything to do with the timing of Bezos' flight, it's sparked plenty of talk about a billionaire space race. And, when it comes to risk, Guerster said there are plenty of pros and cons about the vehicles Branson and Bezos will be taking.
Virgin Galactic's space plane has some inherent advantages: The fact that VSS Unity has wings and takes off horizontally from a runway give the pilots more time to correct course if something goes wrong. With the New Shepard's rocket-and-capsule system Bezos will be flying on, there's slimmer room for error, according to Guerster. Though, New Shepard does have an emergency escape system in place that can eject passengers away from a malfunctioning rocket, and jettison them to a parachute landing if necessary.
The other major difference between the spacecraft is that VSS Unity requires two pilots to fly, while New Shepard is fully automated. Experts are split when it comes to assessing those different approaches.
"You can't really say what is better what is worse," Guerster said.
Still, New Shepard has also flown 15 different test missions and never had a catastrophic accident. And that's why Guerster said that — if he had to choose which spacecraft he'd strap himself into first — he'd chose Bezos' New Shepard.
But then, Guerster added, he'd also be willing to take a trip on Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity.
"I think it's a more exciting ride," he said.

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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#16 Post by Ex-Ascot » Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:15 am

The plane will hover at the top of its flight path, giving passengers a few minutes of weightlessness. It works sort of like an extended version of the weightlessness you experience when you reach the peak of a roller coaster hill, just before gravity brings your cart — or, in Branson's case, your space plane -— screaming back down toward the ground.
So this was no different to the NASA reduced-gravity aircraft. That would have been cheaper. Also they were below the Kármán Line by 10 miles so not really in space and can't call themselves astronauts. See they were giving themselves astronaut wings. I think it takes just a tad of training to earn those.
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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#17 Post by Undried Plum » Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:22 am

In other news: Ryanair Flight 6656 departed EDI on a sub-orbital flight to Palma de Mallorca at 07:12BST this morning. (-|

It'll "scream back towards the ground" at 10:41 local.

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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#18 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Mon Jul 12, 2021 1:27 pm

Ex-Ascot wrote:
Mon Jul 12, 2021 6:15 am
The plane will hover at the top of its flight path, giving passengers a few minutes of weightlessness. It works sort of like an extended version of the weightlessness you experience when you reach the peak of a roller coaster hill, just before gravity brings your cart — or, in Branson's case, your space plane -— screaming back down toward the ground.
So this was no different to the NASA reduced-gravity aircraft. That would have been cheaper. Also they were below the Kármán Line by 10 miles so not really in space and can't call themselves astronauts. See they were giving themselves astronaut wings. I think it takes just a tad of training to earn those.
Frankly, if I was a passenger on such a flight, I would be embarrassed by any implication that I was an "astronaut". More like a piece of sentient ballast! The whole idea behind these wealthy celeb jaunts is completely flawed and counterproductive to anything useful in the real quest for useful spaceflight!
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Bogus Beardie's Bike *****!

#19 Post by TheGreenGoblin » Tue Jul 13, 2021 9:27 pm

On yer bike Beardie!
Virgin Galactic Holding Inc acknowledged on Tuesday that billionaire founder Richard Branson never rode a bicycle to the launch site of his space flight on Sunday, as depicted in a highly publicized video included in the company's webcast of the event.

The video clip showed Branson riding his bike toward New Mexico's state-owned Spaceport America near the town of Truth or Consequences, flanked by two SUVs, and handing his safety helmet to an assistant upon arrival.

Branson, 70, is then seen greeting crewmates dressed in their flight suits with a hug, with one of them, Beth Moses, the company's chief astronaut instructor, telling him, “You’re late, hurry up.”

On Tuesday, a Virgin Galactic official, speaking anonymously, affirmed to Reuters by text that the video in question was filmed on July 5, the Monday before the flight, and that Branson did not ride his bike at all the day of the launch.

“The footage of Sir Richard Branson shown during the event Sunday was prerecorded and misidentified in the broadcast. We regret the error and any confusion it may have caused,” the official said in a text message.

It was unclear whether the disclosure that the Sunday cycling ride was fictional would complicate Virgin Galactic's cross-promotional deal with Wisconsin-based Trek Bicycle Corp. Trek had claimed that Branson rode one of its custom-made bikes to the spaceport on launch day.

Representatives of Trek were not immediately available to comment on the matter.

Branson has touted his rocket plane ride, the company's first fully crewed test flight of the vehicle to space, as a precursor to a new era of astro-tourism, with the company he founded poised to begin commercial operations next year.

The purported Sunday bike ride seemed to typify his public persona as the adventuresome business executive whose Virgin brands - from airlines to music companies - have been associated with ocean-crossing exploits in sailboats and hot-air balloons.

The bicycle video clip was posted to Branson's Twitter feed shortly before Sunday's launch. Virgin also broadcast the clip, with the tagline "earlier today," during its livestream presentation of the flight.

Branson, himself, made mention of the bike ride from the stage of a post-flight celebration back at the spaceport, telling a crowd of supporters, "It’s so awesome to arrive on a bicycle, across this beautiful New Mexico countryside.”

Reuters, along with many other news outlets, included the videotaped account of Branson's bike ride in some of its launch-day coverage on Sunday. Reuters dropped the bicycle ride from its story when doubts about its timing emerged early on Sunday.
https://www.msn.com/en-gb/news/world/vi ... np1taskbar
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Re: More on Virgin Galactic...

#20 Post by Pinky the pilot » Wed Jul 14, 2021 5:23 am

Anyone know exactly what altitude was reached?
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