Monday, 21 June 2004

SpaceShip One

SpaceShip One/White KnightIs due for it's first sub-orbital mission in three hours time.

If all is Nominal (which is space-talk for 'going well') :
After one hour of flying, at an altitude of 15km, the "Knight" will release SpaceShipOne, which will ignite its rocket engine and begin a vertical rise.

The rocket will burn for approximately 80 seconds, propelling the craft straight up at a speed of about 3,500km an hour, or about three and a half times the speed of sound, to a height of some 50km above the planet.

Once the rocket's fuel has been spent, the craft will continue upward for some three minutes to reach 104km, a height at which it will lose speed like a spent bullet.

During this time, the pilot will feel weightless as do astronauts in space.

The zero-gravity effect, lasting three minutes, will continue until SpaceShipOne returns to about 60km.

The pilot will gradually take control again and from 25km altitude, the craft will glide for about 17 minutes back to a landing at Edwards Air Base.
I'm not superstitious. But I am crossing fingers.

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