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VSS Entreprise Un ticket pour l'espace avec AERO AFFAIRES

Spaceship II aka VSS ENTERPRISE. A very special kind of aircraft... 

History continues to be made in the skies above the Mojave Desert. Hot on the heels of last week’s nitrous venting and feather test, SpaceShipTwo achieved another successful first today with a spectacular “Cold Flow” flight. The test objectives were successfully met, advancing another important step towards powered flight.

In preparation for SpaceShipTwo’s first powered flight, the test teams from Scaled Composites and Virgin Galactic completed the profile of the upcoming milestone flight – apart from actually igniting the rocket. Importantly, and for the first time in the air, oxidizer was flowed through the propulsion system and out through the nozzle at the rear of the vehicle– thus successfully accomplishing the “Cold-Flow” procedure.

As well as providing further qualifying evidence that the rocket system is flight ready, the test also provided a stunning spectacle due to the oxidizer contrail and for the first time gave a taste of what SpaceShipTwo will look like as it powers to space.

The upcoming first powered flight of SpaceshipTwo is in many ways the most significant milestone to date, being the first time that the spaceship has flown with all systems installed and fully operational. It’s an incredibly exciting stage of the program



• Uses much of the same technology, construction and design of SpaceShipOne, but is twice the size

• Carries six passengers and two pilots


• Technical specifications


Wing span: 42 feet

Length: 60 feet

Tail height: 18 feet (feather down)


Cabin details: 6 passenger seats; 90-inch diameter x 12 feet long

Cabin approximately the size of a Falcon 900 executive jet

Whole fuselage used for passenger cabin – no raised “floor”

Large windows positioned throughout the cabin to afford maximum viewing potential for


Planning for reclining seats to maximize cabin space in zero-g and for re-entry

Feathering wings for re-entry: same technology as SS1; improved aerodynamics

Construction: All structural components are 100 percent carbon composite

Propulsion: hybrid rocket motor uses benign fuel and oxidizer (the same means of propulsion as

SS1) and is controllable – can be shut down at any time during boost phase of flight

After release from carrier aircraft, rocket motor is engaged for ascent to space; re-entry

and landing are without propulsion


Gear: tricycle gear configuration; 2x wheeled main gear; 1x nose skid, with abrading shoe, like



• Flight Profile

- Total independent flight time around 30 minutes; flight time including captive carry by

WhiteKnightTwo around two hours

- G-Forces: Max gx (front to back): 6g; Max gz (head to toe): 3.5g

- Planned apogee of spaceflight: at least 110 km

- Zero-g phase – several minutes of out-of-seat time

- Velocity: supersonic within eight seconds of rocket ignition with a maximum velocity of

approximately Mach 3.5


• Total Number of Flights: 44 (24 glide flights; 1 cold flow flight; 18 captive carry flights; one rocketpowered

supersonic flight; all as of April 29, 2013)


• Milestone dates:

- Unveiled on Dec. 7, 2009

- First “captive carry” test flight: March 22, 2010

- First drop test and solo flight: October 10, 2010

- First feathered flight: May 4, 2011

- Cleared full glide-flight envelope for airspeed, angle-of-attack, center of gravity, and structural

loads: August 11, 2012

- First in-flight nitrous vent test: April 3, 2013

- In-flight cold flow test (mission rehearsal for first powered flight): April 12, 2013

- First rocket-powered supersonic flight: April 29, 2013

- Designed and built by Scaled Composites; future SS2 vehicles will be manufactured by Virgin Galactic’s

The Spaceship Company (TSC)


WhiteKnightTwo (WK2, VMS Eve)

• Carrier aircraft for SpaceShipTwo

• Largest carbon composite carrier craft in service (all structural components are 100 percent carbon


• Training vehicle for SS2 spaceflight

- Can simulate SS2 g-force profile

- Both fuselages replicate that of SS2 and right-hand cabin interior is identical, allowing

passenger training

- Unique high-altitude lift aircraft potentially suitable for various payloads


• Technical specifications:

- Dimensions:

Wing span: 140 feet (only 16 feet less than Boeing 767-300)

Length: 78 feet

Tail height: 25 feet

- Construction: Twin boom/fuselage construction

- Powerplant: uses highly efficient turbo fan jet engines

- Gear: Quadricycle gear configuration, retractable

- Performance: SS2 ferry range; U.S. coast to coast


• Flight profile for nominal SS2 release:

- Total flight time: approximately two hours

- From takeoff to SS2 release: approximately 60 minutes

- SS2 release: approximately 50,000 feet

• Total Number of Flights: 115 flights (as of April 29, 2013)


• Milestones:

- First flight: Dec. 21, 2008

- Test flight program substantially complete with more than 100 successful flights, including

high-altitude and long-duration

• Designed and built by Scaled Composites; future WK2 vehicles are being manufactured by Virgin

Galactic’s The Spaceship Company (TSC)

Environmental Impact

• Air release of SS2 means short rocket burn.

• Both WK2 and SS2 are reusable, resulting in no space debris.


• U.S. regulatory framework established by 2004 Commercial Space Launch Amendments Act, which

empowered the Office of Commercial Space Transportation within the Federal Aviation Administration

to regulate and license commercial space launch vehicles and operators.

• Enshrined the principle of Informed Consent for space flight participants, permitting a licensed

operator to carry passengers on space flights, once the passengers are informed of and accept a

comprehensive explanation of the potential risks involved.


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