New Photos of SpaceShipTwo Show Rocket Nozzle

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SpaceShipTwo landing in Mojave after a glide flight on Dec. 19, 2012. (Credit: Bill Deaver)

SpaceShipTwo landing in Mojave after a glide flight on Dec. 19, 2012. (Credit: Bill Deaver)

My good friend Bill Deaver forwarded me this photo of SpaceShipTwo landing at Mojave this morning. This appears to be the first glide flight with both the nitrous oxide tank installed and a nozzle on the back end.

A rocket nozzle with a round pipe in the middle of it is shown in this image of SpaceShipTwo after it completed an unpowered glide flight on Dec. 19, 2012. (Credit: Bill Deaver)

A rocket nozzle with a round pipe in the middle of it is shown in this image of SpaceShipTwo after it completed an unpowered glide flight on Dec. 19, 2012. (Credit: Bill Deaver)

The picture above shows a closer look at the rocket nozzle. Reports indicate that the nozzle appears to be bolted on to the back of SpaceShipTwo. There is a round pipe that extends from the interior of the spaceship in the middle of the nozzle. Nobody is quite sure what it is used for. One theory is that it would be used for venting nitrous oxide. The other is that is for the “starter motor” that will be used for initial test flights. [Update: The pipe might be used for cold flows of the nitrous oxide without saturating the fuel grain in the solid part of the motor.]

SpaceShipTwo in flight on Dec. 19, 2012. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

SpaceShipTwo in flight on Dec. 19, 2012. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Virgin Galactic just Tweeted the above picture of the SpaceShipTwo in flight over Mojave this morning.

1 Response to “New Photos of SpaceShipTwo Show Rocket Nozzle”


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