WASHINGTON (AP) -- The pilot of a Virgin Galactic spaceship that disintegrated midflight recalls trying in vain to activate
Burt Rutan, the legendary aerospace engineer and designer of the Ansari XPRIZE-winning SpaceShipOne, explains how the achievement a couple of bicycle shop owners (Orville and Wilbur Wright) inspired the most significant individuals in the first century of aerospace.
When Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo disintegrated in flight on October 31 , that vehicle, named VSS Enterprise, and one of its pilots, Michael Alsbury, joined a long list of experimental aircraft and test pilots that made their final flight in the blue skies over California's High Desert.
In the end, it is Branson, propelled by an overarching sense of boyhood adventure, or desperate folly, and rocketing to establish himself in the pantheon of brave travel pioneers, who has become entangled in a Gordian knot of his own vainglorious making and from which he does not know how to untie himself.
"We are continuing to build the second SpaceShipTwo (serial number two), which is currently about 65 percent complete and
A significant part of their business model extends beyond tourism and into science. Realizing that they will be able to create an environment where weightlessness can be relatively frequently sustained for 4 to 6 minutes, Virgin Galactic has worked hard to create, advertise, promote, and implement true scientific research opportunities on SpaceShipTwo.
Perhaps we feel like we've already gone through the most difficult part of the learning curve when it comes to rocketry, and that now it's just a matter of perfecting a few minor technical issues. Judging by last week's twin failures, I'm not so sure that's true.
SpaceShipTwo ignites her hybrid rocket motor, as seen from WhiteKnightTwo. During the Jan. 10, 2014, test flight, the rocket
Virgin Galactic plans to launch its SpaceShipTwo spacecraft into space for the first time by the end of 2013, according to