MadameConcorde
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Richard Branson Opens Virgin Galactic Spaceport

Mon Oct 17, 2011 1:38 pm

Historic day in New Mexico

A historic day today in New Mexico as we will be opening the first commercial spaceport in the world - Spaceport America.
The first astronauts to join us on Virgin Galactic flights will be there with us, along with our Virgin Money Australia and #spacecheetah competition winners.

http://www.virgin.com/richard-branson/blog/historic-day-in-new-mexico

Those who have already bought tickets:
http://www.jpspacejobs.com/articles/virgin_galactic_passenger_list


  

[Edited 2011-10-17 06:53:38]
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
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nighthawk
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RE: Richard Branson Opens Virgin Galactic Spaceport

Mon Oct 17, 2011 2:00 pm

Does this mean the first flight will be taking place today?

Apparently NASA have also charted the aircraft for a flight, with options for two more future flights.
 
nomadd22
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RE: Richard Branson Opens Virgin Galactic Spaceport

Mon Oct 17, 2011 3:42 pm

I'm not exactly sure what "open" means since there are no scheduled flights yet. Maybe it just means the fueling and service facilities are up. Virgin won't be flying passangers for at least a year, but there will be testing and other possible uses for White Knight II. I know NASA just signed a contract with them.
It could also mean open to GA now.

[Edited 2011-10-17 08:43:25]
Anon
 
MadameConcorde
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RE: Richard Branson Opens Virgin Galactic Spaceport

Tue Oct 18, 2011 6:45 am

FYI i received this email newsletter from VG

http://www.virgingalactic.com/

Sir Richard Branson and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez dedicate the ‘Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space'
WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo soar over Spaceport America

http://www.virgingalactic.com/news/i...cate-the-virgin-galactic-gateway-/

Somehow I don't get excited by this VirginGalactic thing at all. Also I find it way too overpriced for the experience.
I would spend (much less) money doing a "Edge of Space" flight from Moscow in a two-seater Mig 25 with some 45 minutes of excitement reaching basically the same heights as the Virgin Galactic suborbital flights. Thei pilots are true aces.

http://www.flymig.com/aircraft/MiG-25/11.htm

For those with the big $$$ you can buy yourself the real thing... fly to the ISS in a Soyuz complete with a Space Walk, even a Lunar flight.
http://www.spaceadventures.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=orbital.welcome

Why get the imitation when you can get the real thing?

    
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
hal9213
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RE: Richard Branson Opens Virgin Galactic Spaceport

Tue Oct 18, 2011 2:32 pm

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 3):
Why get the imitation when you can get the real thing?

As for the people: I guess for the rich, its just because its there (or will be). Its like "The amusement park xyz is really great, but why not try that other one?". Just yet another adventure ride.

As for the technology: I believe its a technology capable of advancing much further, and doing much more than shooting some people to 100km. As a kid, someone said, that most the fuel of a conventional rocket is used to overcome gravity in the first stage of flight. I always wondered (and do so today) if its not viable to build a heavy-lifter (like AN225) with wings and engine technology to go as high as possible, and incorporate some kind of "launch-pad". How much less fuel would you need launching a conventional rocket from 60-70k feet altitude?
The virgin thing is like a step towards my childhood illusions.
 
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PW100
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RE: Richard Branson Opens Virgin Galactic Spaceport

Tue Oct 18, 2011 4:01 pm

Quoting hal9213 (Reply 4):
How much less fuel would you need launching a conventional rocket from 60-70k feet altitude

The problem in going orbital is not so much the altitude, but the speed requirements. You need to go 28000+ km/hr to get anywhere near a low earth orbit. An AN225 is not going to substantially help that.

PW100
Immigration officer: "What's the purpose of your visit to the USA?" Spotter: "Shooting airliners with my Canon!"
 
26point2
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RE: Richard Branson Opens Virgin Galactic Spaceport

Tue Oct 18, 2011 8:52 pm

I didn't see it mentioned in the story or on the website...where is this airport? New Mexico, obvious. Las Cruces, perhaps... because HQ is there, but is the facility built on an existing airfield or was a dedicated one built? There seems to be no mention of a specific location. Just curious.
 
babybus
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RE: Richard Branson Opens Virgin Galactic Spaceport

Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:36 pm

Quoting hal9213 (Reply 4):
As for the people: I guess for the rich, its just because its there

I would say that a good proportion of those people have been given free tickets as a marketing tactic. It's like those big property developments where they tell you David Beckham has bought one of the flats/villas and he's never been near the place.

I really don't see the point of this Galactic operation. It only lasts a couple of minutes as far as I understand it.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
justloveplanes
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RE: Richard Branson Opens Virgin Galactic Spaceport

Tue Oct 18, 2011 9:42 pm

Quoting hal9213 (Reply 4):
As for the technology: I believe its a technology capable of advancing much further, and doing much more than shooting some people to 100km. As a kid, someone said, that most the fuel of a conventional rocket is used to overcome gravity in the first stage of flight. I always wondered (and do so today) if its not viable to build a heavy-lifter (like AN225) with wings and engine technology to go as high as possible, and incorporate some kind of "launch-pad". How much less fuel would you need launching a conventional rocket from 60-70k feet altitude?
The virgin thing is like a step towards my childhood illusions.

I think that's how the launch system works. A mule with a high altitude releasable passenger carrying vehicle.
 
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DeltaMD90
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RE: Richard Branson Opens Virgin Galactic Spaceport

Tue Oct 18, 2011 10:58 pm

This is just my opinion, but I would think a spaceport would be more of a connection to another port--whether that be on the moon, another planet, or even a docking station somewhere in space. Just taking off, "hitting space," and coming back might make this technically a spaceport, but I am not impressed...
Ironically I have never flown a Delta MD-90 :)