Wednesday, March 16 2016 19:04 EET
Tech and Science
Renewed SpaceShipTwo
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The company Virgin Galactic represented a new model rocket plane for tourism SpaceShipTwo.

In the autumn of 2014, previous vehicle collapsed in the air due to the pilot's error and technical reasons. This model repeats the previous design.

Let's hope that it has protection against errors, as well as increased reliability.

Rocket plane should start a flight with the help of the aircraft White Knight at an altitude of 15 km. Its developers say that the new vehicle rises above 100 km thanks to its hybrid rocket motor.

Six passengers will be able to look at the Earth from the outside. They will be the ones to make a genuine space flight. The return will take place in the planning mode.

Before the accident, the previous model reached the stage of flight tests, but could not rise above 22 kilometers. The main problem was the instability of the hybrid engine.

The feature of this engine is that the fuel is solid, consisting of rubber, and the oxidizer is the liquid nitrous oxide. 

A new plastic fuel was tested for the last flight. The engine had a good start, but for some reason the pilot unlocked the aerodynamic stabilizer, which is used only during the descent. This error ruined the rocket plane and took pilot's life.

Now Virgin Galactic emphasizes the fact that the new rocket plane will undergo many tests.

They have already tested the components separately, and now it's time to complete the holistic test.

First, it will work on the ground: the power supply systems will be checked, and the attachment to the aircraft carrier will be tested as well.

It will start without the inclusion of a rocket engine, working out better ways of the launch and landing.

After the test, it will attempt to fly with a rocket thrust.

At this rate, the first tourists will travel to space earlier than in two years.

The price for space trip will be about $250,000. A few dozen pre-order tickets have been already purchased.

The new rocket plane has its own name – VSS Unity, created at the suggestion of Stephen Hawking, who also counts on a flight.

In the future, this technology is considered a way for hypersonic passenger flights through the space. Tourist flights will further develop this technology.

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