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Feb 20, 2016

Virgin Galactic rolls out new error proof spaceship

Less than 16 months after its first commercial sized spaceship crashed during a test flight, Virgin Galactic has rolled out a replacement with error proofed controls.

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VSS Unity revealed, photo by Mark Greenberg
VSS Unity revealed, photo by Mark Greenberg

Less than 16 months after its first commercial sized spaceship crashed during a test flight, Virgin Galactic has rolled out a replacement with error proofed controls.

High expectations ride on the vehicle named Virgin Space Ship or VSS Unity, which will offer joy flight rocket rides to the edge of space over 100 kms above the earth, and a brief experience of micro gravity or near weightlessness.

Virgin Galactic says it has 700 ‘future astronauts’ with paid reservations for the flights, which might well begin before the end of this decade.

However VSS Unity, rolled out overnight at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California, will first have to succeed in a series of demanding test flights before it is licensed to carry up to six high paying passengers.

Its predecessor VSS Enterprise broke up over the Mojave Desert on 31 October 2014, when the movable tail boom feathers were inadvertently deployed prematurely, killing the co-pilot who made that mistake and seriously injuring the other pilot, who escaped by parachute.

Unity will have to fly much faster and higher than Enterprise, and perfectly and repeatedly critical tasks , before it is licensed to carrying passengers by America’s FAA.

The NTSB hasn’t issued a final report into the loss of the Enterprise, but has indicated on going consideration of the regulatory, testing and certification processes involved in the Virgin Galactic project.

The Virgin Galactic site showcases the rocket ride experience, and also provides an overview of its unmanned satellite launching program.

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3 comments

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3 thoughts on “Virgin Galactic rolls out new error proof spaceship

  1. comet

    This must be the world’s first error-proof spacecraft.

  2. Tango

    The feathers can’t be deployed before certain conditions are met.

    Not only pilot error, but they did not practice the flight before hand, reading the pre report it was a total mess.

    Nothing remotely professional about it. sad

  3. derrida derider

    Yes, it always seemed as soon as reports came through of what happened with Enterprise that things there were entirely too makeshift. The attitudes proper to those building and flying Louis Bleriot’s plane, not Richard Branson’s.

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