Questions tagged [virgin-galactic]

Virgin Galactic is a commercial space tourism company run by Sir Richard Branson. The launch system they have developed involves White Knight Two (carrier aircraft) and Space Ship Two (rocket powered craft carrying tourists). Use for questions about the spacecraft portion only. Questions about the aircraft functions may be asked on Aviation.SE

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Why did Virgin Galactic decide to use a hybrid engine vs liquid on their space ship?

To me, it seems like their business case is very dependent on rapid reuse. With this in mind, using a hybrid engine that would need to be replaced every flight seems very counter intuitive vs a liquid ...
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Payloads and orbits Virgin Galactic's Launcher 1 can provide, comparison to Electron?

What type of payload and orbit will Virgin Galactic's Launcher-1 be used for? How does it compare to Rocket Labs' Electron in terms of capacity an types of orbits accessible (inclination, altitude)? ...
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Why is SpaceShipTwo's nozzle scarfed? [duplicate]

As seen in this photo (from here) there appears to be a significant scarf to the nozzle. I'm familiar with scarfing reaction control jet nozzles to fit fuselage contours, but this one is completely ...
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What do these patterns on Virgin Galactic's VSS Unity represent, and how are they applied?

The NPR news article Virgin Galactic Space Plane Reaches New Heights In Test Flight links to the Virgin Galactic YouTube video VSS Unity | Third Rocket Powered Flight which is quite beautiful to watch!...
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Why did Virgin Galactic switch back to HTPB after one launch using thermoplastic polyamide (i.e. nylon)?

A subsection of Second-generation engine in Wikipedia's article on RocketMotorTwo says: New fuel formulation Rather than use rubber-based HTPB in the solid portion of the hybrid rocket motor—...
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Why did Virgin Galactic choose N2O / HTPB as its fuel?

It seems very exotic compared to something like RP1 or Methane, especially for a vehicle which should be flying a lot and around civilians. Why was this choice made?
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Why is (conventional) ramjet not used for 2nd stage of rocket propulsion?

Due to nature of space-rocket launches using "conventional" rocket fuel (fuel+oxidizer, e.g. hydrogen+oxygen), every kilo of fuel that has to be carried impacts the rocket's range in a very nonlinear ...
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108 views

Feathering Profile Change for Virgin/TSC/Spaceship Two

We know that the Spaceship One and Spaceship Two designs from Virgin Galactic/The Spaceship Company/Scaled Composites employ feathering for aerobraking and maneuverability. I can't seem to track down ...
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Why does the WhiteKnight2 of Virgin Galactic have so large fuselages?

Since the White Knight Two doesn't transport passengers or cargo, why does it even have a fuselage? Wouldn't a purely wing shaped aircraft be better? Is it simply more convenient to use an existing ...
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Could the 'anomaly' in the recent Virgin Galactic crash impact the other SpaceShipTwos?

I just found out about today's horrific crash of one of Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo spaceplanes, the VSS Enterprise. It apparently was due to an 'anomaly.' I realize that details are still ...