New RocketMotorTwo Test Firing

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

Scaled Composites did another test firing of its hybrid RocketMotorTwo engine last Thursday evening. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson has posted a description of the test firing by Program Manager Matt Stinemetze on his blog along with a photograph. Stinemetze describes the nighttime firing in vivid detail and concludes:

“The first in a rapid series of final confirmation firings leading up to SpaceShipTwo’s first rocket powered flight was completed in dramatic style!”

Awesome! I’m really looking forward to seeing that.

A source at the airport estimates that the test firing lasted approximately 45 seconds. This would be the 25th test firing of the engine.

The Scaled Composites website appears to be offline right now, so I can’t check to see if the company has posted a summary yet.

UPDATE: The company hasn’t posted anything yet. Will update when they do.

Editor’s Note: I think it’s been about four years since the public has seen a video that shows the full duration of one of these engine firings. If the test was as spectacular as Steinmetze says (and I have no doubt it was, having seen engine tests before), then why not release the video? Not the usual five or 10 seconds excerpt, but the whole thing.

How about it, Sir Richard? Why limit this to a picture and words? You understand the power of video better than anyone. Why hold back?