Wednesday, January 21, 2009

SpaceShipTwo Assembly Video

This is about a year old, but I hadn't seen it before, so I'm guessing that there are some of you that haven't seen this either.

1 comment:

Peter said...

Yeah I think this was released when they unveiled the designs for WK2 and SS2. According to VG's latest newsletter and backed up by reports by Flight International and Personalspaceflight.info Scaled has resumed rocket testing including a few hot firings. According to a source in Mojave this has been done by SpaceDev at one of their facilities (not in Mojave).

At first I didn’t think that SpaceDev had the facilities to fire the full scale SS2 motor but according to their website they have a rocket firing facility in Capistrano (which according to google earth is in Irvine, CA). But I still wonder if they’re really firing the actual SS2 motor or a subscale motor so as to test out differant fuel and/or oxidizer combinations at a more cost effective level. I’m just speculating but it seems like it would be possible to use the original SS1 tank and motor to test out the various fuels while Scaled continued to troubleshoot the SS2 motor accident.

If they are testing the full scale SS2 motor I hope they release video or photos soon anyhow.

As for the assembly video of SS2, in the press release Scaled made about the accident they indicated that they’d be moving from a plastic liner (on their oxidizer tank) to a metal one (given that certain plastics burn quite well in an oxidizer rich environment). So I’m guessing that they had to disassemble SS2 to remove that tank (and I’m not sure that they designed it to be removed). The SS1 tank was bonded to the inside of the fuselage, all the way around, with an elastomeric compound so it wasn’t a permanent epoxy bond but still??? Just curious if they had to do some serious hacking to remove the tank or even start from scratch if it’s not removable.