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Old 03-04-2011, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, B.C., Canada
10,777 posts, read 22,492,110 times
Reputation: 5195

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Z_cUOYwV3E

Man, I have a huge amount of respect for that test pilot, you can see that he know what he is doing is incredibly dangerous, but he does it anyway, because someone has to and that was the old spirt of the apollo missions that got us into space and later to the moon.

I belive the total cost to build it was 100,000 million and it made 3 sub-orbital space flights

I am not a fan of Richard Branson he comes off as if created the ship himself but the actual ship was designed by Burt Rutan and built by Scaled Composites and Jame Benson and his company designing the hybrid rocket engine.

Burt Rutan is the real legend but props for Richard Branson for having the vision to start Virgin Galactic.

Last edited by GTOlover; 03-04-2011 at 10:28 AM..
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Old 03-04-2011, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,738,568 times
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I was there for the X-prize-winning flight. I'm less impressed by Branson, Rutan, and Benson. Sure aerospace toys are fun, but that's what they're building; toys for rich tourists. These are just sub-orbital sounding rockets that go high, but not fast. Unless you can push a payload up to 7km/s, what's the big deal? If all you want to do is go high, then you might as well just use a balloon.

Sure, some microgravity researchers might buy free-fall time/space cheaper than they can get on-orbit time, but the major push for this is to put tourists up for a few minutes of free fall and a chance to see the black sky.

That test pilot's got guts, though, since he's basically flying a paper airplane with a rocket engine and a copper nosecone.
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Old 03-05-2011, 06:03 PM
 
Location: Hopewell New Jersey
1,393 posts, read 6,936,709 times
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I agree with aspects of both previous posts. Impressive..yes..but it's not a replacement for a cargo hauling "shuttle" type vehicle; but after all, that wasn't' the challenge at this point.

What I do take away from this sort of thing however is that when someone/ or group throws down the gauntlet (usually a big chunk of money) enterprising independent people will often think outside the box and come up with the solutions required to meet the proposed contest. Wether it be the demo here, the man powered flights (Gossamer Condor/Albatross) or going way back to a seaworthy stable clock that allowed accurate longitude positioning at sea..

More often than not a small group of dedicated people prove to be the real visionaries....not bloated bureaucracies.


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