Friday, June 13, 2014

Virgin Galactic Comes Together


Click the arrow to watch the CNN video. You may be subjected to an ad first.

Virgin Galactic is still years behind schedule, and years behind fulfilling its promises, but they're still ahead of the suborbital pack when it comes to free publicity.

Much of the CNN report is about The Spaceship Company, which is building SpaceShip Two, Serial Two for Virgin Galactic.

Last month, NBC News reported that “Virgin Galactic says it's switching from a rubber-based solid fuel to a plastic-based fuel for the motor that's designed to power its SpaceShipTwo rocket plane to the edge of space.”

“We made the decision to go with a polyamide, which is a fancy way of saying a type of plastic,” Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides told NBC News on Friday. His statement came after months of reports indicating that an alternative to the rubber-based fuel, known as HTPB, was being used in some rocket test firings at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

Closer to the Space Coast, competitor XCOR was one of three companies participating in a National Space Club luncheon Tuesday in Cape Canaveral.

XCOR Aerospace showed an artist's rendering of its two-seat Lynx space plane soaring high over the Florida peninsula, an experience it hopes to make a reality by early 2016 with launches and landings at Kennedy Space Center's shuttle runway ...

Those early $95,000 flights by a prototype Lynx will climb about 38 miles to approach the edge of space, short of the internationally recognized threshold of 62 miles — reached by 536 people as of November, according to Wikipedia — that a next-generation Lynx will cross.

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