Jump to content

Virgin Galactic.


Recommended Posts

The US government issues space wings to anyone going over 50 miles. So I suppose Lord Branson of Space is now an astronaut😁

 

Trevor 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was reading about the dispute over the Karman line. Like so many transatlantic disputes it seems to arrise from rounding up to whole numbers and the difference between metric and imperial.

Personaly I consider "Space" to be in orbit. I appreciate that the official definition is more nuanced and based on atmosphere and gravity etc though.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, there is no hard definition. Both Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom officially made sub-orbital spaceflights in 1961 and nobody argued they hadn't been in space.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/13/2021 at 8:05 AM, Eric Mc said:

Yes, there is no hard definition. Both Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom officially made sub-orbital spaceflights in 1961 and nobody argued they hadn't been in space.

I completely agree @Eric Mc. I cannot see anyone rewriting the history books so as far I can see Richard Branson made it into space.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As far as I’m concerned, the criteria for “into space” is whatever the FAI says it is, just as it was when X-15 pilots flew into space in the late 60s. However… Virgin Galactic is just a thrill ride. Altitude is no substitute for insertion. It does nothing to help us exploit space; it teaches us nothing about lifting re-entry orre-usable launchers; and it has no capability to deliver payloads. The whole billionaires big willy contest leaves me cold, but Musk and Bezos at least bring _something_ useful to the table. SpaceX boosters landing are far more interesting and significant than Branson’s private vomit comet… Virgin Galactic is a complete dead end…

best,

M.

 

 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm far from certain that demonstrating launching sizeable and man-capable vehicles from an aerodynamic platform ("piggyback") is such a complete waste: even though this isn't an ideal platform neither was early attempts at re-usable boosters.  Relying on brute force to overcome gravity always seems a very fuel-expensive way of doing things, doing it because we can rather than because it was good.  The actual value of these "space trips" is another matter.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think Orbital Sciences in the 90s (and Virgin Orbit) already proved the scope for 1 1/2 stage to orbit launches. Virgin Galactic’s “sizeable and man capable vehicle” is not “launched” in any meaningful way since it’s nowhere close to achieving orbit. The it would be a lot more sizeable if it was carrying the energy and propellant needed for insertion, or had the structural capability to re-enter from orbital speed. It’s smoke and mirrors, teaching us nothing valuable about addressing an  air launch to orbit…

best,

M.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

While the materials may have improved and the cost come down, the concept of piggy back launching of sub orbital vehicles was proven by the X15 in the 1960s.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 13/07/2021 at 08:05, Eric Mc said:

Yes, there is no hard definition. Both Alan Shepard and Gus Grissom officially made sub-orbital spaceflights in 1961 and nobody argued they hadn't been in space.

 

Because they both topped the hard FAI definition of 100km - they had to, or the Soviet Union would have died laughing. In fact they did 100 miles just to be safe 😉
 

OK there is debate about where space physically starts, but spaceflight is 100km. Unless you are the US Air Force, for the usual political and parochial reasons (and the X-15 is one of my all time favorites, I have the books and models to prove it).

 

I have slightly less issues with Virgin/Branson than Amazon/Bezos as businesses and human beings, but if I was to take one of their flights (and yes, I can afford one - but just one) it would be Blue Origin simply because they go into space, no arguing. If VG could top 100 miles with passengers they would.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And the Soviets lied about Gagarin's flight pretending that he didn't eject towards the end. That was to fool the FAI that he had completed his flight in his spacecraft because by ejecting (he, and all the other Vostok cosmonauts) nullified their flights and any records associated with those flights - according to FAI rules.

 

So, applying rather arbitrary rules established by a bunch of Frenchmen is always rather dodgy (VAT is another example).

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...