The company Virgin Galactic unveiled a new tourism model rocket plane SpaceShipTwo. Previous apparatus was destroyed in the air in the autumn of 2014 due to pilot error (but not only). This model repeats the previous design. Let's hope that it provides protection against errors, and increased reliability.
Rocket plane should start from under the wing of an aircraft White Knight at an altitude of 15 km and 100 km above the rise thanks to hybrid rocket. The return will take place in the planning mode. Six passengers will be able to look at the Earth from the outside and can be considered as people made a space flight.
The previous model before the accident reached the stage of flight tests of fire but could not rise above 22 kilometers. It identifies problems with the instability of the hybrid engine. The feature of this engine is that the fuel therein solid - rubber and oxidizer - the liquid nitrous oxide. The last flight tested a new fuel - plastic. The engine had a good start, but for some reason, the pilot unlocked the aerodynamic stabilizer, which is used only during the descent. This error is ruined and rocket plane and pilot.
Now Virgin Galactic emphasizes the fact that the new unit will be a large number of tests. They have already tested the components separately, and now it's time to complete the test. First, it will work on the ground: check the power supply system, test the reliability of attachment to the aircraft carrier. Because will starts without the inclusion of a rocket engine - will fulfill the first stage of the launch and landing. And only then will move to fly with a rocket thrust. I think that at this rate the first tourists into space will go no earlier than in two years, at best.
Ticket price is called the $ 250 thousand. dollars. There are already a few dozen tickets were purchased for pre-order.
The new rocket plane has its own name VSS Unity, at the suggestion of Stephen Hawking, who also counts on a flight.
In the future, this technology is considered as a means for hypersonic passenger flights through okolokosmicheskoe space. Tourist flights must develop technology.