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Virgin Galactic

  1. Dec 15, 2005 #1

    ~()

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    sir Richard Brandson claims that his new Virgin galactic flights take passengers into outer space.

    1. Entry interface into space is 121.92 Km (as recorded by American spaceflight engineers). However Virgin Galactic reaches altitudes of somewhat less that this height. According to the source [ http://www.space.com/news/050426_tourism.html ], the passenger has to fork out over $200,000 U.S and climb to an altitude of ony 100km.

    2. If you closely look at the design of Galactic One (or whatever it is called) you will notice there is no TPS (Thermal Protection System).
    If the vehicle breached the atmosphere and reached into the vacuum of space, the gravitational acceleration would cause it to reach a great enough velocity that when it re-entered it would require a TPS otherwise it would burn up. However, there is none installed and if one were it would be a complex and costly venture, one that not even (some of the smartest people in the world) at NASA have mastered.

    How does he expect to get to the moon if he can't even theoretically get into space. Yes, there is some weightlessness at that altitude (of ~100km), a lower pressure atmosphere, however it is not space.
     
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  3. Dec 16, 2005 #2

    FredGarvin

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    Brandson is putting the cart before the horse, just like every other business person trying to dictate innovation. The space tourism "industry" does not have thechnical or safety footings to be viable yet. This is all a bunch of lip service for the wealthy. I wouldn't be surprised if you get idiots like John Travolta going on these flights and then going to NASA and demanding astronaut wings. Great...you've got me started on a rant. I had better stop.
     
  4. Dec 16, 2005 #3
    I thought the 121 km height was when there was no recordable atmospheric drag acting on the vehicle what so ever or is that the max height with consideration of the atmosphere expanding and contracting:confused:
    From what I read Spaceship One didn't need a heat shield (at all?)because it didn't pick up any appreciable velocity to worry about atmospheric friction.
    I tried looking around at what type of heat shields anyone was using for the X-prize contest on their vehicles (I was real curious about that) but couldn't find anything. Did any of them have to worry about heat shields or did that not need to be taken into consideration because of the flight dynamics :confused:
     
  5. Dec 16, 2005 #4

    DaveC426913

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    1. "If the vehicle breached the atmosphere and reached into the vacuum of space, the gravitational acceleration would cause it to..."

    Or, as we like to call it: "falling". :smile:

    The Canadian 'edge of space' shot (for example) doesn't require any heat shielding because it doesn't acquire any lateral velocity. It goes straight up and straight down. Nobody said anything about orbital speeds. Let's not forget that the Shuttle is doing Mach 25 when it makes re-entry.

    I'd like to see some numbers that demonstrate this heat build up due to "gravititational acceleration" is a real concern.

    "Yes, there is some weightlessness at that altitude (of ~100km), a lower pressure atmosphere, however it is not space."

    Weightlessness? Why would there be weightlessness? There's free fall, sure (you'll get that jumping off your garage), but you won't get any weightlessness - there's no orbital velocity.



    2. You guys don't see any value in drumming up interest? Do you think the commercialisation of space travel is going to happen without first generating popular interest (read: private funding)?
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2005
  6. Dec 16, 2005 #5

    FredGarvin

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    I see great value in interest and developing this area. What I have problems with are the business people who throw it into a package and market it before they fully understand what it is they are doing or have it perfected to a point that can be considered safe. I think you can have private funding without selling rides to people as the means to create that funding.
     
  7. Dec 16, 2005 #6

    DaveC426913

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    I defy you to find any reasonable person who's under the impression it is either "safe" or "perfected".
     
  8. Dec 16, 2005 #7

    FredGarvin

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    Anyone that has the money to spend on this endeavor right now, by default, is stupid. OK. I am taking great liberties with that. What I am really saying is that there is absolutely no correlation between a person's wealth and their intelligence. There are plenty of rich, stupid people out there. Brandson is marketing this like it's another ride at Disneyland. That is exactly the way most are going to view it.
     
  9. Dec 16, 2005 #8

    DaveC426913

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    That's a lot of rhetoric - but it doesn't explain why they're stupid.

    As far as people being under the impression that it's safe or perfected, do you really think these people are deluded about that?
     
  10. Dec 16, 2005 #9

    FredGarvin

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    I do indeed think that most people will be uninformed and somewhat mislead when making the decision to go on these early flights.

    It's a good debate, but we're derailing the OP's question here. There is no proof either way in this so I'll be happy just to say that this is my opinion and nothing more.

    Sorry for the diversion ~() (whatever that translates to).
     
  11. Dec 16, 2005 #10

    DaveC426913

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    OK, which I guess, is:
    "How does he expect to get to the moon if he can't even theoretically get into space."

    which seems like kind of a dumb question, unless one has never heard of "baby steps".

    I wonder if the OP is under the impression that Virgin Galactic was meant to be profitable or viable in the short-term, as opposed to being the first in a long line of (perfectly valid and spectacular) publicity stunts to get the world interested in space travel again.
     
  12. Dec 16, 2005 #11

    Astronuc

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  13. Dec 16, 2005 #12

    DaveC426913

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    I would. In a second.

    One of my dreams to do before I shuffle off.
     
  14. Dec 16, 2005 #13
    True these suborbital flights aren’t that impressive, but they are as Dave said the first steps to much more challenging plans. They probably will be beneficial to getting the public interested in space flight again, but more directly for those whose life long dream is to see the Earth from space, even if it’s only 100km above. And there’s no problem finding people to fill those seats, 200k is nothing to a lot rich people out there, so we should see Virgin make a lot of money from this.
     
  15. Dec 16, 2005 #14
    noteworthy observation

    i got to stand next to spaceshipone and white knight this summer
    and on the front of spaceshipone you can see appreciable burn marks
    a good part of the nose didn't have any paint on it anymore
    -shawn
     
  16. Dec 16, 2005 #15
    So now you dictate what is a smart and stupid way to spend money? These guys have 100 mil in the bank, if they want to do it, they do it. Do you really think its about money for them? Who are you to tell them how they should spend their money. If they are going to enjoy their time in space/stratosphere, let them. I bet they know a lot more their purchase than we do.

    Also, how is he putting the cart before the horse? He's simply taking the first step into commercial space travel (for the first time). We can debate whether the ship actually reaches space, but who cares? If things go his way he will be one of the poineers in commerical space flight, whether it reaches space or not. Is it totally safe? No. But neither was the first flight, or the first space flight.
     
  17. Dec 16, 2005 #16

    FredGarvin

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    I'm not dictating anything. Since it looks like you failed reading comprehension, I stated that it was an opinion. A somewhat educated opinion considering I work in an aviation industry directly involved with civilian transport and it's associated engineering responsibilities. Do I think it's about money for them? Hell yes it's about money for them. If you think Branson does anything like this out of the good of his heart you're delusional.

    Yeah, he's doing it for the love of space travel. Puh-lease.

    For the record, I'm not against the aspect of civilian space travel/tourism. I think it's inevitable and I would love to go. I do think that Branson is going way too fast in his quest to commercialize the travel. He's putting space travel in a nice looking package and selling it before the bugs have been worked out. Again, I do not want to derail the OP with a separate debate.
     
  18. Dec 16, 2005 #17

    Well obviously you didn't read my post carefully enough, as it was a quite easy read.

    Although it is your opinion, as it is obviously not a fact, you presented it as if it were if a fact:

    I'm not sure what what way the person is defaulted is stupid but I'm not going to worry about it, as this is obviously wrong.



    Well if you read my post you could easily see I was talking about the CUSTOMERS. Most of them spend more money in one day then you do in a year, don't worry if they'll have enough for the holiday season. Its fun for them, and they are willing to take the risk. Just as if branson is taking a risk with virign galactic, he might be rewarded as being known as a pioneer in commercial space travel. I don't think its COMPLETLEY about money for him either, I'm sure he wants that pioneer title. I think when you become that rich, sucess comes in more ways than just money. Actually, I think thats the case no matter what income bracket you are in.
     
  19. Dec 16, 2005 #18
    I thought the origional question was about the techinical difficulties of spaceflight: not how people choose to spend their money, :uhh:.
     
  20. Dec 16, 2005 #19

    FredGarvin

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    Yes. It was very easy to read. Especially when you said
    Again the whole reading comprehension thing eludes you.

    Sarcasm is lost in the internet.
     
  21. Dec 17, 2005 #20
    I displayed the quotes that my comments alluded to, you contradicted yourself. I'm not going to get into a semantic arguement with you. Admit it, your jelous cause you aren't as wealthy as richard branson, thats why you went off on money != intellegence rant. No one cares, those people have tons of "play money" and they spend it like they wish. If they want to go into the upper atmosphere, let them, who cares.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2005
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