Author Topic: Virgin Galactic  (Read 5457 times)

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Offline Taman Tun

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Re: Virgin Galactic
« Reply #30 on: November 02, 2014, 09:25:15 AM »
This is from today's Sunday Telegraph:-

Branson spaceship explosion: The 'missed' warnings
Sir Richard Branson’s company and US authorities were repeatedly warned about safety issues surrounding Virgin Galactic’s rocket engine
Sir Richard Branson's space tourism company Virgin Galactic has been accused of ignoring a series of warnings that its $500 million rocket was unsafe for flight.
A number of senior aerospace engineers repeatedly voiced fears over the design of Sir Richard’s SpaceShipTwo and the safety protocols surrounding its testing.
The Telegraph has seen emails and other documents in the public domain — dating back several years, and as recently as last year — in which the engineers warned of the dangers of Virgin Galactic’s rocket engine system.
It also emerged on Saturday that three senior Virgin Galactic executives — the vice-president in charge of propulsion, the vice-president in charge of safety, and the chief aerodynamics engineer — had all quit the company in recent months.
The Virgin Galactic spacecraft, which was scheduled to begin passenger flights early next year, blew up in the sky above the Mojave Desert in California during a test flight on Friday.

The incident, in which one pilot died and another was seriously injured, puts in jeopardy Sir Richard’s dream of space travel for passengers, each paying $250,000 (£156,000).
The dead pilot was named as Michael Alsbury, an experienced American test pilot.
His widow, Michelle Saling, said: “I have lost the love of my life. I am living in hell right now.”
His co-pilot Peter Siebold, 43, was undergoing surgery on Saturday night after sustaining serious injuries.
Scaled Composties, the US aerospace company which employed the pilots, said Mr Siebold has been "alert" and talking with his family and doctors.
Virgin Galactic, in an attempt at damage limitation, initially dismissed the explosion as an “anomaly”. However, aerospace experts insisted that it had been a disaster waiting to happen.
Tom Bower, an investigative journalist and Sir Richard’s biographer, described the crash as “predictable and inevitable”. He said: “It’s a very crude rocket.”
Sir Richard arrived at the crash site on Saturday insisting that “safety has always been our number one priority”. He admitted that only if the problems that caused the crash could be overcome would the programme continue.
The Telegraph can disclose that Sir Richard’s company, as well as US authorities, were warned about safety issues on numerous occasions, as long ago as 2007 when three engineers died in an explosion during testing of a rocket engine on the ground.
Carolynne Campbell, the lead expert on rocket propulsion at the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS), said: “This explosion is not a surprise. None whatsoever, I am sorry to say. It is exactly what I was expecting. It was Russian roulette which test flight blew up.”
She had first warned Virgin Galactic about the danger of its nitrous oxide-propelled engines in the aftermath of the 2007 disaster, and has repeated those warnings since.
In a study published in 2010 on her website and sent to Sir Richard’s company as well as to the US authorities, she wrote: “We are not confident that … we yet know enough about N2O [nitrous oxide] to consider it a safe oxidiser for use in passenger flight.
"In the light of what we do know, safety must remain a major concern.”
In the study, she questioned Virgin Galactic’s claim on its website that its rocket system was “benign” and “stable”.
In emails sent by Geoff Daly, a US-based British rocket scientist, to officials at the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) last year, he warned of another disaster if test flights were given the go-ahead.
At the time, Virgin Galactic had planned to begin its first passenger flights in December 2013, although the date of the inaugural flight had been repeatedly postponed.
In the emails, published on a US government website, Mr Daly wrote on July 13 2013: “We respectfully request a response from you on what actions the FAA will be taking with respect to the permit issued and the operations as planned in the Mojave and New Mexico facilities.
"Remember three people have been killed and numerous persons injured by a prior explosion involving N2O in this motor design. We do not need another incident on the ground/flight line or in the air.”
In another email — this time to the US Chemical Safety Board and sent on July 17 2013 — Mr Daly wrote: “Sir Richard Branson, his two children, Justin Bieber [the singer] and one other will be the first passengers to fly into space during this coming December 2013, and everyone realises there is a problem, even the engineers …have said so off the record.”
Tomasso Sgobba, executive director of IAASS and the former head of safety at the European Space Agency, said that Virgin Galactic had refused to share information with industry experts outside the company and declined to have its rocket design peer-reviewed.
Representatives of Virgin Galactic had refused to come to IAASS meetings, he said.
“They operated in secrecy, which is difficult to understand,” said Mr Sgobba. “They don’t use modern techniques in putting safety into the design.
"They use outdated methods like testing and then seeing what happens. There has been no independent oversight.
"There is no peer review. I have been saying for some years now this was an accident waiting to happen.”
Mr Bower, who exposed the safety concerns surrounding the project in his biography of Sir Richard published earlier this year, said: “What happened yesterday was very sad for the pilot obviously but it was predictable and inevitable.
“All the engineers in California working on the project I’ve spoken to said it was very dangerous.”
US investigators on Saturday began examining the wreckage to determine what went wrong.
One area of focus will be claims that the test pilots had requested a two-hour delay in take-off due to concerns over the temperature of the nitrous oxide in the fuel tanks.
SpaceShipTwo was being tested ahead of a possible passenger launch in March. It was the first test flight using a different hybrid fuel system.
In May this year, the company and its partner firm Scaled Composites said they would switch from using a rubber-based solid fuel burned in a stream of nitrous oxide, which had caused engine instabilities in earlier test flights, to a plastic-based solid fuel called thermoplastic polyamide also burned in nitrous oxide.
It was claimed the new fuel would be more reliable and more powerful.
In a statement on its website on Friday, the company said: “During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle.”
A spokesman for Virgin Galactic said: “The investigation of the accident is now in the hands of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and we are not permitted to make any comment whatsoever until that investigation has run its course.”
The NTSB investigation is its first involving a manned spacecraft. It was unclear if there was a “black box” flight recorder.
Sir Richard dismissed claims that Virgin Galactic had ignored safety warnings.
“To be honest I find it slightly irresponsible that people who know nothing about what they are saying can be saying things before the NTSB makes their comments,” he said.
He added: “We aren’t going to push on blindly. To do so would be an insult to all those affected by this tragedy.
"We are going to learn from what went wrong, discover how we can improve safety and performance and then move forwards together.
We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out. Churchill

Offline Taman Tun

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Re: Virgin Galactic
« Reply #31 on: January 23, 2016, 10:58:33 PM »
Branson has been very quiet recently about when his $250,000 paying passengers will get their flights. But never mind they can look forward to buying some exciting new clothes during their long wait:-

January 14, 2016
Virgin Galactic And Y-3 Announce Exclusive Space-Apparel Partnership

Spaceport America in New Mexico provided the backdrop for the launch of a new partnership for Virgin Galactic which will see Y-3 take on the challenge of jointly designing and then producing the complete range of garments required for our commercial spaceflight operations.

Y-3 is the collaboration between Japanese design guru Yohji Yamamoto and Adidas, which for more than ten years has been at the forefront of the high-end sportswear industry. Under the agreement with Virgin Galactic, Y-3 will be responsible for everything from flight-suits for our future astronauts and pilots, to garments worn by our operations and maintenance teams as well as our hosting staff.

Virgin Galactic has always recognised that the quality of every aspect of the customers’ journey, across the whole spaceflight experience, will ultimately determine the company’s success and is therefore delighted to collaborate with internationally renowned specialist organisations which share the same ethos.

Y-3 has a technical know-how and an approach to style which emphasizes the use of advanced fabrics, special techniques and bespoke specifications to ensure fit, comfort and performance. As such it is ideally placed to imagine and create the future of operational apparel for the world’s first commercial spaceline.

During the launch, the Design Heads from both Y-3 and Virgin Galactic revealed the prototype flight-suit to be worn by our space pilots.

Adam Wells, Head of Design at Virgin Galactic, commented, “Our evolution into a fully-functioning spaceline presents unprecedented opportunities to create original designs in support of our unique customer experience. Together with the incredibly talented team at Y-3, we will explore the potential to create innovative apparel and accessories – both for our staff and for our pioneering customers – that is appropriately functional and fit-for-purpose, is thoughtfully and elegantly crafted, and is fulfilling and fun to wear and use. Our design teams’ shared values will doubtlessly result in the creation of some extraordinary, special and highly treasured products, and we look forward to sharing their development stories as Virgin Galactic steps closer to commercial operations”.


We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out. Churchill

Offline Roger

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Re: Virgin Galactic
« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2016, 11:23:08 AM »
'Evolution into a fully functioning spaceline'......  Oh yea ?
I think that any 'spaceline' looks some way away and others may get there before Branson's lot, (from snippets on the news about reusable rocket designs coming).
And I don't have $250,000 or ANY desire to go into orbit EVER so I'll reserve my energy for other things.
My Missis has rather rudely added - 'What energy's that then Dear ?'.
Right !

Offline Taman Tun

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Re: Virgin Galactic
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2016, 12:56:50 PM »
I wish to nominate Adam Wells for the B-S Artist of the Month Award:-

 “Our evolution into a fully-functioning spaceline presents unprecedented opportunities to create original designs in support of our unique customer experience.
We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out. Churchill

Offline Roger

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Re: Virgin Galactic
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2016, 01:06:51 PM »
Agreed. Pompous tw*t. (AW that is !). ATB

Offline thaiga

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Re: Virgin Galactic rolls out new space tourism rocket plane
« Reply #35 on: February 20, 2016, 01:33:46 PM »
Virgin Galactic rolls out new space tourism rocket plane

Virgin Galactic rolled out a new version of its SpaceShipTwo space tourism rocket Friday as it prepares to return to flight testing for the first time since a 2014 accident destroyed the original craft, killing a pilot and setting back the nascent industry.

full story: news.yahoo.com

[VIDEO] Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic Unveils New Passenger Spaceship

credit@WorldNewsLive
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline Roger

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Re: Virgin Galactic
« Reply #36 on: February 20, 2016, 02:43:42 PM »
TT's comments will be interesting as I seem to remember he is a big fan of Richard Branson. The 2014 accident was put down to an error by one of the two Pilots, activating a braking system at the wrong time.
RB was attempting to spin positively on TV today but didn't acknowledge the deceased Pilot's sacrifice in the clip I heard.
Good luck to Virgin Galactic - I won't be signing up for the trip myself  ::)

Offline Taman Tun

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Re: Virgin Galactic
« Reply #37 on: February 20, 2016, 02:55:16 PM »
Yes, Branson has rolled out a nice new spaceship in a glare of publicity.  It will need at least two years of testing before it is proved ready for passenger service.  Meanwhile he sits on the approx. $30 million he has already taken in fares for flights that should have taken place years ago.  Some people will call this fraud. 
We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out. Churchill

Offline thaiga

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Re: Virgin Galactic
« Reply #38 on: February 20, 2016, 03:03:20 PM »
He's a law unto himself - he didn't even have a RE-ENTRY permit  :evilgrin
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.

Offline Taman Tun

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Re: Virgin Galactic
« Reply #39 on: March 04, 2016, 12:09:12 PM »
For the past few days I have been ensconced in my library, drinking the finest Port, whilst revisiting some of the classics of English literature.  One particular volume which caught my eye was "Is it Just Me or is Everything Shit?" written in 2005 by a couple of disgraceful lefties:- Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur.  Their diatribe against modern culture contains the following very interesting page on Virgin Galactic.

We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out. Churchill

Offline Roger

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Re: Virgin Galactic
« Reply #40 on: March 04, 2016, 03:23:55 PM »
Well TT thanks for that.
I howled with laughter and was forced by the 'Boss', to read out the whole piece. How much she got the humour, I'm not sure.
Also the 'Bono' bit was fun.
ATB

Online Baby Farts

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Re: Virgin Galactic
« Reply #41 on: March 06, 2016, 10:42:43 AM »
Loved the piece, TT! 

 



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