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[BBC] Virgin Galactic space tourism could begin in 2013

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Article
Sir Richard Branson's space tourism venture said it hopes to launch the service in two years time, but even that date is not fixed.

....

The 2.5-hour flights will offer five minutes of weightlessness. Tickets cost $200,000 (£127,000).

Source

I will believe it when I see it, but this could mark the start of "affordable" commercial space flight.


Edited by GingerJohn - 10/27/11 at 2:02pm
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post #2 of 15
Uh huh. 2.5 hour ride, and yet only 5 mins of actually being in Space?
To be honest, can't you already experience weightlessness in a modified Boeing 747 or something like that?
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbudden View Post
Uh huh. 2.5 hour ride, and yet only 5 mins of actually being in Space?
To be honest, can't you already experience weightlessness in a modified Boeing 747 or something like that?
Yes, but that's not in space. That's just a plane doing the sine wave schtick.

If I recall, Space Ship Two will be carried to altitude by another plane before being released, so it can ignite its rockets. Most of the 2.5hr trip is probably during the mounted stage, then release and burn, then a few minutes weightless in a suborbital parabola, then reentry.
post #4 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus2129 View Post
Yes, but that's not in space. That's just a plane doing the sine wave schtick.

If I recall, Space Ship Two will be carried to altitude by another plane before being released, so it can ignite its rockets. Most of the 2.5hr trip is probably during the mounted stage, then release and burn, then a few minutes weightless in a suborbital parabola, then reentry.
True. But it's essentially the same thing though. Just being able to be weightless for a little bit. Though I think on the Boeing, it's more like a minute.

But I think it would be cool to be able to look out the window and see blue turn into black. That alone would be awesome. But yeah, that's essentially what it does. Then glides back down to earth.
post #5 of 15
The mere fact that it's in space-- >100km above the Earth's surface and above the bulk of the atmosphere--is what makes a flight in SpaceShipTwo better than a flight in a Boeing doing parabolas. If you don't get it, then you don't get it.
post #6 of 15
If it pushes the industry forward, unlike our floundering federal space program, then I am all for some rich people throwing money at it.
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post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phaedrus2129 View Post
The mere fact that it's in space-- >100km above the Earth's surface and above the bulk of the atmosphere--is what makes a flight in SpaceShipTwo better than a flight in a Boeing doing parabolas. If you don't get it, then you don't get it.
This.

It is like the difference between masturbation and sex; sure they achieve a similar result, but I know which one I want to do. Oh, and one lasts longer, costs more and you have to wait for it...

Yes, I am all for private funding and projects that push our tech, just so long as the results and the tech don't stay private.
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post #8 of 15
I believe this is a highly important first step for the long term survival of the human race!
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post #9 of 15
In the video shown on the link, the journalist talks about the wings being able to fold upwards to increase the drag when re-entering the atmosphere at 1:40, therefore there is no need for heat shields on the spacecraft.

Imagine the wings malfunction during atmospheric re-entry, no heat shield means danger danger
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post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingerJohn View Post
This.

It is like the difference between masturbation and sex; sure they achieve a similar result, but I know which one I want to do. Oh, and one lasts longer, costs more and you have to wait for it...

Yes, I am all for private funding and projects that push our tech, just so long as the results and the tech don't stay private.
Yup and 5 minutes sound about right based on your analogy.
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Overclock.net › Forums › Industry News › Technology and Science News › [BBC] Virgin Galactic space tourism could begin in 2013