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Private Spaceship Makes 1st Solo Glide Flight
http://news.yahoo.com/ ^ | October 10,2010 | AP

Posted on 10/10/2010 3:30:43 PM PDT by Biggirl

MOJAVE, Calif. – Virgin Galactic's space tourism rocket SpaceShipTwo achieved its first solo glide flight Sunday, marking another step in the company's eventual plans to fly paying passengers. SpaceShipTwo was carried aloft by its mothership to an altitude of 45,000 feet and released over the Mojave Desert. After the separation, SpaceShipTwo, manned by two pilots, flew freely for 11 minutes before landing at an airport runway followed by the mothership. The entire test flight lasted about 25 minutes.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: glide; private; spaceship

1 posted on 10/10/2010 3:30:49 PM PDT by Biggirl
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To: Biggirl
It's great to see the genius of that great homebuilder, Burt Rutan, appreciated by those outside EAA. He's come along way since his early designs and deserves all of the accolades he has, and will in the future, receive.
2 posted on 10/10/2010 4:11:32 PM PDT by Prokopton
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To: Biggirl

From Virgin Galactic: "During its first flight the spaceship was piloted by Pete Siebold, assisted by Mike Alsbury as co-pilot. The two main goals of the flight were to carry out a clean release of the spaceship from its mothership and for the pilots to free fly and glide back and land at Mojave Air and Space Port in California."

"Other detailed objectives of the flight were successfully completed, including; verification that all systems worked prior and following the clean release of Enterprise; initial evaluation of handling and stall characteristics; qualitative evaluation of stability and control of SS2 against predictions from design and simulation work; verification of performance by evaluating the lift-to-drag ratio of the spaceship during glide flight; practice a landing approach at altitude and finally descend and land."

3 posted on 10/10/2010 4:15:15 PM PDT by concentric circles
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