DC-X Reunion: Whitesides Talks SpaceShipTwo

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They’re are having a 20th anniversary reunion for the first flight of the DC-X experimental vehicle in New Mexico this weekend. Although I was unable to go, long-time reader Nickolai Belakovski is there, and he will be filing some reports for us.

Virgin Galactic President George Whitesides spoke earlier today and took some questions. Here’s Nickolai’s report:

He said they’re gearing up for the second powered flight, probably for that September date you wrote about recently. Mentioned there was no flutter in the first powered flight while going through supersonic, in general he seemed to imply that the first flight test went well. They’re building second carrier aircraft and second spaceship, making good progress on both. They even have the cabin for the third spaceship

Someone asked about first spaceflight. He declined to give a date and mentioned that VG has an opinion, scaled has an opinion, jested that his boss has an opinion, clearly referencing Branson’s Christmas wish. “We’ll have to see how it goes”.

I’ve heard the next powered flight might come earlier, possibly later this month. The September date that Nickolai mentions is a gathering of Virgin Galactic’s customers here in Mojave on Sept. 25. That event might include a glide flight.