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Space Science Technology

SpaceShip Two, XCOR Lynx Prepare For Powered Flights 77

Posted by timothy
from the hope-it-all-goes-to-plan dept.
RocketAcademy writes "Virgin Galactic's SpaceShip Two is in the final stages of preparation for powered flight. The suborbital spacecraft, built by Scaled Composites, has successfully completed airspeed, angle-of-attack, center-of-gravity, and structural tests during unpowered glide flights. It is now on track for powered glide flights by the end of this year. Meanwhile, in the hangar next door, XCOR Aerospace continues to work on the Lynx spacecraft, expected to begin powered flight tests early next year. Some exclusive photos provide a sneak peak at things to come." Also to watch for in the world of private space launches, next month (possibly as early as the 8th), SpaceX has another launch scheduled to reach the ISS.
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SpaceShip Two, XCOR Lynx Prepare For Powered Flights

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  • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @04:11PM (#41403955)
    <facepalm>
  • by Urza9814 (883915) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @04:51PM (#41404409)

    Yea, they're doing well because they've gotten the benefits of _both_ the dollars "poured into public spaceflight" AND the private subsidies. What, you think they're reinventing the rocket from the ground up?

    NASA is the only R&D shop working for the public benefit. And now that they've done the hard work, we're going to now start funneling our tax dollars into private corporations for them to make private profit off of public funding. "Privatizing profits and socializing debt" indeed...

  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @05:15PM (#41404693) Homepage Journal
    Subsidy does not mean what you think it means. Protip: government agency buying desktops from Dell is not a subsidy. Even though Dell is "building private profit" with your tax dollars.
  • by Higgs Boozin (2492852) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @05:32PM (#41404903)
    Interesting comparison considering the RD-180 engines under the Atlas V were also publicly funded (paid in rubles, not dollars) and were already fully developed by the time they were chosen for the Atlas. One wonders why the whole rocket ends up being so expensive. Russians make great engines at bargain basement prices...maybe we should have had them build the whole rocket.
  • by 0123456 (636235) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @05:33PM (#41404933)

    Yea, they're doing well because they've gotten the benefits of _both_ the dollars "poured into public spaceflight" AND the private subsidies. What, you think they're reinventing the rocket from the ground up?

    NASA spent about the same to put a fake upper stage on a shuttle SRB and launch it into the sea as SpaceX did to develop a brand new rocket engine and two rockets and launch them into space.

  • by 0123456 (636235) on Thursday September 20, 2012 @05:36PM (#41404983)

    Last I looked, Republicans were pushing the Senate Launch System while Democrats were pushing for NASA to buy private sector launch services to ISS. Numerous people have commented on what an absurd reversal that is.

  • by mosb1000 (710161) <mosb1000@mac.com> on Friday September 21, 2012 @01:16AM (#41407873)

    The engine for instance, do they have a casting and forging facility to build the fuel pumps and valves? Do they build their own integrated circuits that goes into the control computers? Do they build their own sensors and servos from a delivery of beach sand and metal ingots? All these components come from subcontractors.

    No, they don't. Those parts are purchased from vendors the same way you or I might purchase a valve or some screws from a hardware store.

    Space X buys what they can "off the shelf". They make whatever else they can, and the subcontract out the rest. If you can't trust them about their business model, who can you trust?! You're basically speculating about how things must be with no guiding principle other than "their rockets must be more expensive than they claim."

    Now II don't see Lockheed, Boeing, Arianespace exiting the launch business do you?

    SpaceX has been winning contracts left and right. Of course, they've only ever launched 3 Falcon 9 rockets, and their capacity is still increasing to meet demand, so if you need something launched in the next few years you can't use SpaceX (they're all booked up). But in the future, if SpaceX is able to ramp up production and get a reasonable success rate with their rockets they most certainly will put all the other launchers out of business.

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