SpaceShipTwo VSS Enterprise with WhiteKnightTwo [Virgin Galactic]
SpaceShipTwo [Virgin Galactic]
SpaceShipTwo VSS Enterprise [Virgin Galactic]
Virgin Galactic unveiled in January 2008 the design of its new, environmentally benign, SpaceShipTwo suborbital space launch system based on the X Prize winning technology of SpaceShipOne, which successfully flew into space for the third time in October 2004 and won the $10m Ansari X Prize.
The construction of the WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) mothership at Scaled Composites in Mojave is nearly completed and is expected to begin flight testing in the summer of 2008. It is the world's largest, all carbon composite aircraft; it has a unique high altitude lift capacity, capable of launching SpaceShipTwo and its eight astronauts into sub-orbital space flight. The WK2 mothership is powered by four Pratt and Whitney PW308A engines which are amongst the most powerful, economic and efficient engines available. The WK2 mothership has also been designed to be capable of lifting other payload and launching it into space.
SpaceShipTwo itself is an enlarged version of the SpaceShipOne, which will be capable to transport two pilots and six passengers to an altitude of more than 100 km. It is also powered by a hybrid fueled rocket motor. For reentry, the twin tails will be folded upwards for a stablized belly-first reentry. Finally, for landing the tails will return to a conventional position to allow a runway landing.
The first SpaceShipTwo was named VSS Enterprise. It was lost during the fourth powered flight. The second plane was named VSS Unity.
The WhiteKnightTwo was originally also to launch the unmanned LauncherOne orbital rocket.
|SpaceShipOne (1)||White Knight-2||SpaceShipTwo / RM-2|
|SpaceShipOne (2)||White Knight-2||SpaceShipTwo / polyamide based motor|
|SpaceShipOne (3)||White Knight-2||SpaceShipTwo / Kerosene-LOX motor|
No.TypNo Type Fl.No Date LS Aircraft Payload
1 1 SpaceShipTwo (1) PF1 29.04.2013 Mo RW12/30 * White Knight-2 SpaceShipTwo VSS Enterprise F1 Mach 1.20; 16.8 km 2 2 SpaceShipTwo (1) PF2 05.09.2013 Mo RW12/30 * White Knight-2 SpaceShipTwo VSS Enterprise F2 Mach 1.43; 21.0 km 3 3 SpaceShipTwo (1) PF3 10.01.2014 Mo RW12/30 * White Knight-2 SpaceShipTwo VSS Enterprise F3 Mach 1.40; 21.6 km 4 4 SpaceShipTwo (2) PF4 31.10.2014 Mo RW12/30 *F White Knight-2 SpaceShipTwo VSS Enterprise F4 5 5 SpaceShipTwo (2) PF1 05.04.2018 Mo RW12/30 * White Knight-2 SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity F1 Mach 1.87; 25.7 km 6 6 SpaceShipTwo (2) PF1 29.05.2018 Mo RW12/30 * White Knight-2 SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity F2 Mach 1.90; 34.9 km Failures: 4: SpaceShipTwo disintegrated due to unlocked feather mechanism during propulsive flight, one of the crew killed, the other injured Launch sites: Mo = Mojave Air and Space Port, Mojave, California, USA