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#1 2018-12-14 03:23:08

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,858

Virgin Galactic success

It's not space as we know it, Jim...

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-46550862

...but it is a viable business model.

Seems like commercial space tourism is about to enter on the boom years.

This will be very important for creating a dependable revenue stream for Space X.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#2 2018-12-14 15:17:30

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: Virgin Galactic success

I don't totally understand why this is in the news at all.

Virgin Galactic appears to have replicated the flights performed (on a practically identical craft) in 2004 by Scaled Composites.

Indeed, with a peak altitude of below 83 km this flight wasn't even properly suborbital.

Color me unimpressed.


-Josh

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#3 2018-12-14 15:32:30

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,858

Re: Virgin Galactic success

I think it's news because they are going to be taking commercial paying customers to the edge of space in 2919.

JoshNH4H wrote:

I don't totally understand why this is in the news at all.

Virgin Galactic appears to have replicated the flights performed (on a practically identical craft) in 2004 by Scaled Composites.

Indeed, with a peak altitude of below 83 km this flight wasn't even properly suborbital.

Color me unimpressed.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#4 2018-12-14 15:57:20

Terraformer
Member
From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,362
Website

Re: Virgin Galactic success

2919? At  this rate, they'll be lucky to hit that deadline...


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#5 2018-12-14 16:02:44

JoshNH4H
Member
From: Pullman, WA
Registered: 2007-07-15
Posts: 2,526
Website

Re: Virgin Galactic success

louis wrote:

I think it's news because they are going to be taking commercial paying customers to the edge of space in 2919.

Maybe I have too little faith but at this rate they may not make it for 2919 lol

It cost roughly $30,000,000 to develop the SpaceShipOne.  I have no idea how much SpaceShipTwo cost but almost definitely substantially more than that, not to mention roughly $50 million in subsidies going to Spaceport America (which has been sitting unused since it opened in 2011) from the taxpayers in New Mexico.  It's not unreasonable to think that the whole thing will start off $150 million in the hole before a single passenger can fly and with substantial ongoing operational expenses to cover.

What I'm saying is that when all is said and done this suborbital tourism route will likely be a money-losing boondoggle brought to us by an eccentric billionaire and and benefiting from the largess of under-informed, overly optimistic taxpayers and civil servants (influenced by just this sort of credulous reporting).

I'm sure it's a cool view from up there and perhaps VG will learn something about building reliable, reusable rocket engines on the cheap.  But unless VG can inspire repeat customers (which I find quite difficult to imagine) suborbital tourism won't be long for this world.


-Josh

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#6 2018-12-14 17:45:26

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,078

Re: Virgin Galactic success

SS2 did come at the cost of a pilot and ship but all else doing joy rides is what the rich do....

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#7 2018-12-15 05:33:02

louis
Member
From: UK
Registered: 2008-03-24
Posts: 6,858

Re: Virgin Galactic success

2919! ha-ha

$150 million sounds a lot but is no big deal.  $8 million pa could service that debt.

The SS2 can carry 8 people  - with 2 pilots and 2 attendants, that leaves 4 paying passengers.

If you could put on weekly flights, that would be about 200 passengers per annum.

Add annual running costs to the developments costs - let's say $20 million - then divide $28 m by 200 and you get $140K per ticket.

For a lot of very rich people, that's hardly anything to pay for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Even if $28million is an underestimate and running costs were higher at $30 million, the ticket price would be $190K.

Running costs would likely fall as experience was gained.


Let's Go to Mars...Google on: Fast Track to Mars blogspot.com

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#8 2021-07-11 10:00:08

tahanson43206
Moderator
Registered: 2018-04-27
Posts: 7,297

Re: Virgin Galactic success

This topic has been waiting since 2018 for today's flight!

Major US networks covered the flight live.

It appears to have been flawless, so I expect there'll be a backlog of future flights in preparation right now.

This topic is a great place for updates as the celebrities sign the guess logbook in the terminal at Spaceport America.

(th)

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#9 2021-07-11 10:14:21

GW Johnson
Member
From: McGregor, Texas USA
Registered: 2011-12-04
Posts: 4,571
Website

Re: Virgin Galactic success

Congrats to Richard Branson and his team.  A fine success. 

Now we await Jeff Bezos's ride.

GW


GW Johnson
McGregor,  Texas

"There is nothing as expensive as a dead crew,  especially one dead from a bad management decision"

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#10 2021-07-11 10:21:22

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 884

Re: Virgin Galactic success

Looks like Musk was there to support him

https://twitter.com/richardbranson/stat … 1037716485

The Virgin company live-streamed the flight on social media

Not Orbital not going to Mars but it fits the definition of Spaceflight, Richard Branson becomes first billionaire in space funded by his own spaceship.

Virgin Galactic beats Bezos/Amazon/BlueOrigin to space?
Spaceport America in New Mexico

Spaceport America is "the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport", designed and constructed specifically for commercial users that had not previously been an airport or federal infrastructure of any kind.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaceport_America
Previous Operator Boeing Helicopters tested helicopter auto-landing technology on moving platforms. An aircraft equipped with the technology under test made numerous landings on  platform as it was towed along the Spaceport America runway. The current tenants working in the U.S spaceport are HAPSMobile Aerovironment, UP Aerospace, SpinLaunch, and Virgin Galactic.

Last edited by Mars_B4_Moon (2021-07-11 10:24:44)

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#11 2021-07-11 10:24:41

Oldfart1939
Member
Registered: 2016-11-26
Posts: 2,221

Re: Virgin Galactic success

Only difference between this and Bezos' is the final altitude. New Shepard will go either near or above the Karman line at 100 km. But the USA recognizes 50 miles as entering space. This was a fine success.

If Elon wanted to get involved in the one-upsmanship game, he would simply ride on a short orbital flight.

P.S. The Spaceship 2 reached an altitude of 283,000 feet. That's about 90 km.

Last edited by Oldfart1939 (2021-07-11 10:33:20)

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#12 2021-07-14 12:59:50

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 884

Re: Virgin Galactic success

Billionaire Richard Branson Says Completing Lifelong Goal of Visiting Space Felt Like 'a Dream'
https://people.com/human-interest/richa … -22-space/

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#13 2021-07-14 19:16:39

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,078

Re: Virgin Galactic success

I am sure it felt good but now lets start flying frequently with simular news coverage to keep the hype going....

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