Scaled Composites: Builder of SpaceShipTwo

Space.com | 7/12/2018 | Staff
Mandyixus (Posted by) Level 3
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Scaled Composites is a Mojave, Calif.-based subsidiary of Northrop Grumman, which is building Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo — a spaceship that is designed to take tourists into space. SpaceShipTwo completed several powered test flights in 2018, which means that the spacecraft turned its engines on during test flights within the atmosphere. Virgin has not disclosed when it plans to send tourists into space; the current ticket price for a ride is $250,000.

Scaled first came into the public eye in 2004 when its earlier spacecraft, SpaceShipOne, became the first private manned spacecraft to reach the boundary of space — 100 kilometers (62 miles) above Earth's surface. For that feat, the company won the Ansari X-Prize and received $10 million in prize money. Just before Scaled won the prize, serial entrepreneur Richard Branson announced his plan to run tourist flights using the technology.

SpaceShipTwo - Passengers - Board - Rocket - Space

SpaceShipTwo will eventually launch with six passengers on board, and rocket to space from underneath its carrier aircraft — WhiteKnightTwo. Once the aircraft and spacecraft reach 50,000 feet in altitude, SpaceShipTwo will fly into space at a peak altitude of 62 miles (100 km).

On July 12, 1989, the European Space Agency launched an experimental communications satellite named Olympus-1. It was the largest civilian telecommunication satellite ever built, and some nicknamed it "LargeSat." It malfunctioned in 1991 and was lost in orbital space for a year before communication was re-established. Then in 1993, it was damaged by a meteor during the Perseid meteor shower and was decommissioned for good.

SpaceShipTwo - Ground - Landing - Spaceship - Ability

As SpaceShipTwo prepares for a ground landing, the spaceship has the ability to turn its rudders up to 90 degrees to increase drag. This "feathering" will give the spacecraft more control as it glides through the thin atmosphere.

When the air thickens around 70,000 feet (21,336 meters), the spacecraft will move its rudder back to...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Space.com
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