Production staff at Virgin Galactic sister organization The Spaceship Co. (TSC) are “working three shifts” as they near completion of SpaceShip Two serial number 2, says Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides.
Workers at The Spaceship Co. have integrated the oxidizer tank into the second SpaceShipTwo in Mojave.
Virgin Galactic says full-duration hot-fire tests of the hybrid rocket motor with the rubber-based fuel are achieving the optimum thrust profile.
While assembly of SpaceShip Two No. 2 nears completion, engineers at Mojave have also just completed a 10,000-cycle fatigue test of the vehicle’s passenger cabin.
Despite delays and last year’s accident, Virgin Galactic says more than 700 ticket holders remain committed to the program—including physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking, pictured with other customers at a recent gathering in Cambridge University, England.
Virgin Galactic confirms that, following a series of successful hot fire rocket tests, it has reverted to an improved form of the original rubber-based fuel for powering the company’s sub-orbital SpaceShipTwo.
Guy is a Senior Editor for Aviation Week, based in Colorado Springs. Before joining Aviation Week in 2007, Guy was with Flight International, first as technical editor based in the U.K. and most recently as U.S. West Coast editor. Before joining Flight, he was London correspondent for Interavia, part of Jane's Information Group.