Friday, October 31, 2014

Virgin Galactic space ship blows up (video)

Seth Auberon, Pat Macpherson, Wisdom Quarterly; (The Guardian) UPDATED
(AP) Branson screws up, Virgin Galactic spaceship goes down. Justin Bieber not on board.
(CNN/YFN) Confirmation: Virgin space plane pilot has died unlike crewless Antares cargo ship.
Wreckage from Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo
The wreckage from Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo (Reuters/
Happy Halloween from space, Branson!
Virgin Galactic said plane designed for commercial space travel was undertaking test flight in California when an "in-flight anomaly" occurred.
A Virgin Galactic spacecraft crashed after an explosion during a test flight over [California's] Mojave desert today, killing one of the pilots, seriously injuring another, and leaving debris scattered over a wide area.

An image from video shows wreckage of SpaceShipTwo.
 Video still of SpaceShipTwo wreckage (AP)
[This comes on the eve of the first rain California has seen in months, with L.A. news outlets predicting a "100% chance of rain" tonight and snow in Yosemite and on the heels of a NASA failure with the loss of an Int'l Space Station delivery rocket earlier this week.]
The plane, SpaceShipTwo, was undertaking a test flight as part of Sir Richard Branson’s plans for commercial space travel when a “serious anomaly” occurred, the company said.
Exchange Wither Space City
Space plane (vimana) uses foolish fuel (SCPR)
Witnesses reported the spacecraft broke apart soon after it was detached from the launch plane that carries it to 45,000 ft. Rescuers found one of the pilots dead on the ground. The other, who appeared to have deployed an emergency parachute, was airlifted to a hospital with serious injuries.
Virgin Galactic said that SpaceShipTwo was powered by a fuel mix that had not previously been used in flight, although it had been tested extensively on the ground. The company was unable to say whether the change to the fuel mix offered an explanation for the accident, which happened just before 11am local time. More [This is not the first time.]
Blow for Virgin space program as prototype rockets go up in smoke
I'm a billionaire, not a rocket scientist!
Propulsion system for hybrid craft blows up. Three workers killed and three wounded in blast. Richard Branson's plans to run the first commercial space flight service were thrown into disarray [in 2007] after an explosion during a test of the rocket's propulsion system left three workers dead and three seriously wounded with shrapnel injuries and burns. Witnesses at the world's first commercial spaceport at Mojave in California, said the explosion was accompanied by a blast that sounded like a 500 lb. bomb. The accident happened...during tests of the propulsion system used in the new SpaceShipTwo [what happened to one?] -- the prototype for Virgin Galactic's eight-seater private rockets. The system is hybrid, using both solid fuels and liquid oxidizers, a combination chosen paradoxically because it is safer than solid fuels alone. Two workers were killed at the scene while the third died later in hospital. The billionaire entrepreneur [had to that dated] invested at least $200 million (£99m) in the groundbreaking work of Scaled Composites, the company leading the mission... More

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