Skip to comments.Space ship blasts through sound barrier, reaches new heights in test
Posted on 09/05/2013 5:28:16 PM PDT by BenLurkin
During the test, SpaceShipTwo was taken to about 46,000 feet by a carrier aircraft, and nearly one hour into the flight, it was dropped like a bomb.
After a short free fall, pilot Mark Stucky and co-pilot Clint Nichols engaged the hybrid rocket motor -- powered by nitrous oxide and a rubber compound -- for 20 seconds.
SpaceShipTwo blasted to Mach 1.43, reaching about 56,000 feet in altitude.
The rocket plane flew solo for nearly 30 minutes, making a smooth landing in Mojave about 9:25 a.m.
The flight began on a desert runway at Mojave Air and Space Port, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Mojave is where the aircraft was designed and built.
(Excerpt) Read more at latimes.com ...
my dyslexia read that as “SpaceShipTwo was taken to about 46,000 feet by a aircraft carrier” and i thought how incredible is that but what would be cool is to read a headline “Space ship blasts through light barrier...”
Pretty cool stuff...
Ok...someone has to explain the nitrous and rubber engine.
“to explain the nitrous”
Makes everybody happy! It’s a laughing matter.
Pretty good explanation here: http://www.nbcnews.com/id/5226424/ns/technology_and_science-space/t/historic-rocket-powered-rubber-fuel/
56,000 feet - ooooh!
Lots of us flying the T-38 in Air Force flight school popped above 50,000’ on a solo flight just to say we’d been in “space”. And that was in the late ‘60s.
I’ve never so much as piloted a glider — probably just as well too.
Never could get a kite to work.
my dyslexia read that as SpaceShipTwo was taken to
about 46,000 feet by a aircraft carrier and i thought how
incredible is that but what would be cool is to read a
headline Space ship blasts through light barrier...
Same thing happened to me. The two words aircraft and carrier really
only go together one way... poorly written... but wait... there is this:
Thanks! But a bit of cowling around those lifters might be nice.
Nitrous oxide is the oxidizer, synthetic rubber is the fuel. Both are well known , non-exotic substances, safe to transport, fairly inexpensive and provide the requisite thrust. They can be combined and are still not dangerous.
The nitrous is held in a spherical tank ahead of a cylinder containing the rubber compound. This has a hollow center. The nitrous is self pressurizing, so no fuel pumps are needed. An igniter, similar to a truckers flare, lights the rubber. The nitrous tank valve is opened providing the oxidizer. The flow can be regulated to allow throttle control of the engine.
Simple, reasonably safe (as rocket engines go), affordable and so far, very reliable.
Get a copy of “Black Sky” the Discovery Channel special on Rutan’s SpaceShipOne winning the X-Prize. Excellent one hour show!
That $hit the Germans used to mix up for their rocket planes in WW2 was bad ass dangerous. Called it Zed stuff and T stuff...can’t remember what it actually was though.
That fuel is novel and amazingly safe, but I don’t think it would be usable in any orbital program (as opposed to sub-oribital launches).
Although I’m not in favor of human cloning, I would allow exceptions for the Rutan brothers, in that they are national treasures and possibly otherwise irreplaceable resources.
The fuel was known as C-Stoff, a mix of 30% hydrazine hydrate + 57% methanol + 13% water with a small amount of potassium-copper-cyanide, and the oxidizer, known as T-Stoff, consisted of a hydrogen peroxide, which reacted violently on contact, as a hypergolic propellant combination.
They must have had quite a laugh!
During the test, SpaceShipTwo was taken to about 46,000 feet by a carrier aircraft... [then] engaged the hybrid rocket motor... for 20 seconds... blasted to Mach 1.43, reaching about 56,000 feet in altitude. The rocket plane flew solo for nearly 30 minutes, making a smooth landing in Mojave about 9:25 a.m.Gained the better part of two miles altitude in twenty seconds.
“Burning rubber” is not just for race car drivers anymore.
Video of engine in operation here: