Tag: virgin galactic

Win a Trip to Space With Land Rover

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SpaceShipTwo on final approach during a glide flight on Jan. 17, 2014. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

SpaceShipTwo on final approach during a glide flight on Jan. 17, 2014. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Land Rover Press Release

Today Land Rover unveiled the 2015 Discovery Sport, the brand’s new premium compact SUV and first of the new Discovery family of vehicles, in a video hosted on LandRoverUSA.com. The new Discovery Sport debut video, shot at Spaceport America, New Mexico, was released in conjunction with the announcement of the Land Rover “Galactic Discovery” competition, offering groups of aspiring astronauts a chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime trip to space with three friends for the ultimate adventure.
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SpaceShipTwo Conducts Successful Glide Flight

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WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo just after takeoff from the Mojave Air and Space Port. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo just after takeoff from the Mojave Air and Space Port. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

It’s funny. You see the most interesting things driving into Mojave sometimes. Driving in on Highway 14 this morning, I saw that WhiteKnightTwo was down at the end of the runway, as I had expected. I new a flight was planned, so I got up early.

Then I noticed it seemed to be getting bigger and a whole bunch of dust getting kicked up. Hey! That thing’s taking off. So, I pulled over to the side of the road and snapped a few photos as it flew overhead.

Takeoff! (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Takeoff! (Credit: Douglas Messier)

WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo are pretty amazing vehicles to look at. You don’t get tired of watching them take off.

For this flight, I decided to drive up to Koehn Lake, which is a dry lake bed that’s probably 20 miles or so north of Mojave. I figured it would be a good spot to try to get some photos of the drop.

It would have been, had my camera been cooperation. But, it picked a fine time to go not cooperate with me. I did get a few shots of the release with my cell phone.

SpaceShipTwo on a glide flight with WhiteKnightTwo above it. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

SpaceShipTwo on a glide flight with WhiteKnightTwo above it. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

SpaceShipTwo was venting something, but I saw no flames nor did I hear the rumbling across the desert that accompanies a powered flight. It was fairly silent out there, except for the distant drone of WhiteKnightTwo’s engine. [UPDATE: Virgin Galactic confirms that the test was a cold flow of gasses used in  powered flight.]

Virgin Galactic Tweeted that it was “an in-flight test of #SpaceShipTwo’s ‘plumbing’ – the pressurization system for the rocket motor.” It’s also a dress rehearsal for the next powered flight, which the company promises is “coming soon.”

That flight will likely come in September. I’m looking forward to it.

Virgin Galactic Does the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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Video Caption: We were proud to answer Richard Branson’s call to complete the Ice Bucket Challenge, and to support the fight against ALS. We challenge our global community of Virgin Galactic Future Astronauts, as well as the current crew of astronauts on board the International Space Station!

Thanks to our friends at Antenna Films for putting together this video and supporting the challenge.

We encourage you to donate to a worthy charity as part of the Ice Bucket Challenge, such as the ALS Association (http://www.alsa.org/donate/).

Book Review: Safe is Not An Option

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safe_not_optionSafe is Not an Option: Overcoming the Futile Obsession with Getting Everyone Back Alive that is Killing Our Expansion into Space
By Rand Simberg
Interglobal Media LLC
2013

On May 26, 1865, Captain J. C. Mason pushed off from a dock in Vicksburg, Miss., and steered the steam-powered paddle wheeler SS Sultana north along the rain-swollen Mississippi River. The Sultana’s decks groaned from the weight of more than 2,500 passengers and crew members.

At 2 a.m. the following morning, the ship’s boilers exploded north of Memphis. As many as 1,800 people died in the explosion and fire or drowned in the fast flowing river. The majority of the dead were Union soldiers recently released from a pair of hellish Confederate prison camps. Their ticket home had become a death warrant.

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Attenborough Sez: Virgin Galactic Just Like Virgin Trains

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Video Caption: Virgin Trains interviewing Stephen Attenborough, Commercial Director of Virgin Galactic, on the Kendal Calling Express on-route to Kendal Calling. Space being the theme for 2014 and Virgin Trains as Travel Partners of the Festival.

Northrop Grumman Selected for XS-1 Program

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XS-1 entry (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

XS-1 entry (Credit: Northrop Grumman)

REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Aug. 19, 2014 (Northrop Grumman PR) – Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) with Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic is developing a preliminary design and flight demonstration plan for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Experimental Spaceplane XS-1 program.

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Video Highlights California Aerospace Manufacturing

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Video Caption: This video is a project by the Centers for Applied Competitive Technologies (CACT): http://www.makingitincalifornia.com

The CACT is part of the California Community College Chancellor’s Office, Economic & Workforce Development program: http://www.cccewd.net/

This video was produced by melodysheep:
http://www.youtube.com/user/melodysheep

SNC Abandons Own Hybrid Motors on Dream Chaser

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Dream Chaser Main Propulsion System Test. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Dream Chaser Main Propulsion System Test. (Credit: Sierra Nevada Corporation)

Sierra Nevada Corporation won’t be using its own hybrid rockets for its Dream Chaser space shuttle, making it the second company in recent months after Virgin Galactic to dump the nitrous oxide-rubber motors.

Kathy Lueders, program manager for NASA’s Commercial Crew Program (CCP), revealed the change in an update during the third quarterly meeting of the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel (ASAP) on July 24.

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Branson Reiterates Plan to Fly By End of Year

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Sir Richard Branson "high tens" with SpaceShip2 test pilot Mark Stuckey following the successful first powered flight of SpaceShipTwo. At left is Mark Stuckey's wife Cheryl and at right is Virgin Galactic President and CEO George Whitesides..  The spacecraft was dropped rom its "mothership", WhiteKnight2 over the Mojave, CA area, April 29, 2013 at high altitude before firing its hybrid power motor. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Sir Richard Branson “high tens” with SpaceShip2 test pilot Mark Stuckey following the successful first powered flight of SpaceShipTwo. At left is Mark Stuckey’s wife Cheryl and at right is Virgin Galactic President and CEO George Whitesides.. The spacecraft was dropped rom its “mothership”, WhiteKnight2 over the Mojave, CA area, April 29, 2013 at high altitude before firing its hybrid power motor. (Credit: Virgin Galactic)

Maria Bartiromo talks to Richard Branson about a number of subjects, including Virgin Galactic.

Q: You mentioned Virgin Galactic — what is your timing in terms of this program taking off?

A: I’ll be bitterly disappointed if I’m not into space by the end of the year. The rockets have now tested successfully. We’ve got three more rocket tests and then we should be up, up and away by the end of the year. That should be the start of the program. The space port’s ready. We are now in the last few weeks before finally embarking on the space program.

The “three more rocket tests” are likely the “handful” of additional powered flights that Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides has mentioned in recent months.

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Commissioners to Propose State Take Over Southern Road to Spaceport America

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Credit: David Wilson, Spaceport America

Credit: David Wilson, Spaceport America

Dona Ana County is looking for the state to take over a southern road leading to Spaceport America.

Also Tuesday, county commissioners will vote on a resolution petitioning the governor and transportation department to build a new interchange at Upham, the main exit off Interstate 25 to reach Spaceport America from a southern route.

The proposal also asks the state to take over ownership of the road as a state route and build it out as an “all-weather paved highway.”

The proposed resolution calls on “businesses, business organizations, governmental entities, and elected officials from throughout the region” to join the petition.

The existing 24-mile road is not paved. Dona Ana County has been struggling with how to fully pave it with the limited amount of money that the New Mexico Spaceport Authority has available for the project.

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