The countdown is on for the first powered SpaceShipTwo flight on Monday. And you can feel the excitement here in Mojave! It’s a mixture of anticipation, nerves and sweat (the last bit being from both hard work and the desert temperatures, which are beginning to climb right up the old thermometer).
WhiteKnightTwo is out on the ramp today, presumably with SpaceShipTwo underneath it. (I couldn’t tell from the highway.) They’re out getting some sun for their big day in the Sunday which, ironically, will actually take place on Monday.
Meanwhile, another NOTAM has been posted on the FAA website concerning the flight:
!MHV 04/030 MHV AD AIRPORT CLSD TO TRANSIENT ACFT EXC PPR 661-824-2433 EXPECT DELAYS WEF 1304290100-1304301900
Putting that code into my trusty NOTAM Decoder (if you don’t have one, you really should), that reads out as:
!MHV 04/030 MHV Aerodrome AIRPORT Closed TO TRANSIENT Aircraft Except Pilot Permission Required 661-824-2433 EXPECT DELAYS Effective from 1304290100-1304301900 .
The times are UTC, so this means they’re limiting air traffic to the airport from Sunday at 6 p.m. to Tuesday at noon. That will give Scaled Composites an extra day if for some reason they don’t fly on Monday.