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Thread: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Flight Test

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    Re: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Flight Test

    We didn't get the new Dreamliner right and we had passengers on that. We bring new cars onto the market every year with fatal flaws. Engineering is hard.
    We went from sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me to safe spaces.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Flight Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    They were planning on taking passengers next year! If you're six months away from possibly taking passengers, perfection is expected.

    And frankly, their resume doesn't impress me. What leaves an impression is this:
    July 27th 2007 - Test site explosion kills three Their internal investigation released after the event said "The body of knowledge about nitrous oxide (N2O) used as a rocket motor oxidizer did not indicate to us even the possibility of such an event. That of course is completely false.

    Here's the take from some of the rocketry community before the governmental investigation was completed:
    Scaled Composites accident - Mojave Desert, California | Knights Arrow

    And the result of the actual investigation
    Scaled Composites at Fault for Fatal Explosion

    Basically, they didn't posses even a basic knowledge of how to deal with N2O. The danger of spontaneous explosions with improperly stored N2O were published as early as 1937. The risks were all well known throughout the rocketry community. Not only that, the container type, temperature measuring technique, and solar exposure all show a fundamental lack of understanding of rocketry in general. Protection for viewing test firings consisted of a chain link fence a dozen meters from the rocket.

    Looking back through forums and commentary prior to this accident, one certainly gets a sense that Scaled Composites is pretty good at some stuff, incompetent at others, and has no ability or desire to differentiate between the two.

    As an addendum, eventually they posted a plaque in memory of the three who died during the easily predictable explosion in 07; in a hard to notice position well away from the other exhibits over an electricity cable junction box and behind a vertical steel supporting girder.
    We are just going to have to disagree. I do business with them so maybe that shades my view of them. Sorry but in my personal and professional dealings they have always struck me as professionals profesionals. I am going to continue to do business them.
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  3. #43
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    Re: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Flight Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Capster78 View Post
    There is a HUGE difference between appolo 1 and the space shuttle. By the time the space shuttle was developed, they had pretty much made space flight as safe as commercial flight.
    Safe? LOL. Never heard of what happened to Challenger or Columbia? You have no idea what youre talking about. Going into space is inherently unsafe and will continue to be unsafe.

    When the space shuttle was built, the technology already existed and only needed to be built upon to make things safer. The reason both space shuttles failed was due to the reduction of that budget to continue to improve the space shuttle.
    The space shuttle was already outdated by the 1980's and its performance completely failed in what it was intended for. Saturn V was an older technology yet it had a better safety record.

    And once again you back up my argument that NASA was vulnerable to budget constraints due to politics even though your argument on that is pretty flawed since it doesnt matter what a program's budget will be because accidents still do happen.

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    Re: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Flight Test

    Quote Originally Posted by The Giant Noodle View Post
    The whole thing...... set back back YEARS. Did anyone gamble on the stock? IS there stock?
    They used an old refurbished Russian engine, what are you talking about?
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    Re: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Flight Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Capster78 View Post
    Sure, but the technology used in this aircraft is not new at all. It should have been no more dangerous then any other maiden flight of any other aircraft. Its not like they were flying the first airplane ever made. This technology has been available for decades and it has been used safely for decades. What they are doing is not new at all.
    It's new applications of existing technology which has just as many unknowns. Large scale use of composites has not been done before in supersonic, LEO vehicles, as one example. New application for the engines as another.
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    Re: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Flight Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Mithros View Post
    They were planning on taking passengers next year! If you're six months away from possibly taking passengers, perfection is expected.

    And frankly, their resume doesn't impress me. What leaves an impression is this:
    July 27th 2007 - Test site explosion kills three Their internal investigation released after the event said "The body of knowledge about nitrous oxide (N2O) used as a rocket motor oxidizer did not indicate to us even the possibility of such an event. That of course is completely false.

    Here's the take from some of the rocketry community before the governmental investigation was completed:
    Scaled Composites accident - Mojave Desert, California | Knights Arrow

    And the result of the actual investigation
    Scaled Composites at Fault for Fatal Explosion

    Basically, they didn't posses even a basic knowledge of how to deal with N2O. The danger of spontaneous explosions with improperly stored N2O were published as early as 1937. The risks were all well known throughout the rocketry community. Not only that, the container type, temperature measuring technique, and solar exposure all show a fundamental lack of understanding of rocketry in general. Protection for viewing test firings consisted of a chain link fence a dozen meters from the rocket.

    Looking back through forums and commentary prior to this accident, one certainly gets a sense that Scaled Composites is pretty good at some stuff, incompetent at others, and has no ability or desire to differentiate between the two.

    As an addendum, eventually they posted a plaque in memory of the three who died during the easily predictable explosion in 07; in a hard to notice position well away from the other exhibits over an electricity cable junction box and behind a vertical steel supporting girder.
    I'll grant that the talk of taking paying pax next year is silly. Likely it's marketing speak by Branson. Scaled Composites, however, as the developer isn't about to put the bird into commercial use until it's ready if for no other reason than to protect their reputation. I'm assuming additionally that from a regulatory standpoint the FAA has oversight and wouldn't allow a patently unsafe aircraft into revenue passenger operation.
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

  7. #47
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    Re: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Flight Test

    Quote Originally Posted by PoS View Post
    Safe? LOL. Never heard of what happened to Challenger or Columbia? You have no idea what youre talking about. Going into space is inherently unsafe and will continue to be unsafe.


    The space shuttle was already outdated by the 1980's and its performance completely failed in what it was intended for. Saturn V was an older technology yet it had a better safety record.

    And once again you back up my argument that NASA was vulnerable to budget constraints due to politics even though your argument on that is pretty flawed since it doesnt matter what a program's budget will be because accidents still do happen.
    So in the first line of your argument you use Columbia and Discovery as examples of failure by Nasa and then go on to say that both shuttles were outdated 1980's technology. So you're basically agreeing with me then. Not sure if you realize you just did that.
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  8. #48
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    Re: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Flight Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaius46 View Post
    It's new applications of existing technology which has just as many unknowns. Large scale use of composites has not been done before in supersonic, LEO vehicles, as one example. New application for the engines as another.
    Yes they have.. What do you think the F-22, F-119, B-1, B-2, and SR-71 are made of?
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    - Idealistically, everything should work as you planed it to. Realistically, it depends on how idealistic you are as to the measure of success.
    - Better to be a pessimist before, and an optimist afterwords.

  9. #49
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    Re: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Crashes During Flight Test

    Quote Originally Posted by Capster78 View Post
    Yes they have.. What do you think the F-22, F-119, B-1, B-2, and SR-71 are made of?
    To quote my own post: "large scale use of composites in supersonic LEO vehicles."

    The SR71 is mostly metal construction. All of the rest are relatively low altitude, low speed - only the B1 is even capable of supersonic flight and then just barely.
    None of them combine complete composite construction with high speed, high altitude flight.
    Don't be a grammar nazi - Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 1 #7

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