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2016-12-06 17:56:56











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2016-10-31 21:08:29





Dear all,

Today marks the anniversary of the VSS Enterprise test flight accident, and the tragic death of Mike Alsbury.

Two years have gone by, but the memories and emotions remain strong. It is of course a difficult day for those most closely affected, and our thoughts and prayers are with them. The Virgin Galactic and TSC teams will be marking the moment with a minute’s silence in Mojave at 10am PDT, in New Mexico at 11am MDT and in London at 5pm GMT. Please join us if appropriate, but we know you will all remember and reflect in your own way, wherever you are in the world.

Our heartfelt thanks for your ongoing support and commitment.
Best wishes, from all of us at Virgin Galactic and TSC

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2016-10-27 09:28:26






It’s been a busy few weeks in Mojave since VSS Unity’s first captive carry flight. The team continues to analyse the terabytes of data gathered from the many test objectives completed during the almost four hour flight, in part by comparing actual data to the anticipated results driven from computer simulations. We are also completing a few further ground tests to confirm vehicle readiness for our next flight. This flight will take place soon, and will be the first ‘glide’ flight during which Unity will be released from VMS Eve and fly home solo.

Ahead of that and in order to give a better idea of the objectives from our first flight, the data currently being analysed resulted from tests that included:

  • Environmental control systems – checking the cabin regulates to the right pressure and is a comfortable environment for the pilots (and all of you!);
  • Communications testing – within the cockpit and back to mission control;
  • Cabin leak testing - to make sure the pressurised cabin is airtight;
  • Flight control cycling – the pilots activate all flight controls through the full range of motion to ensure they respond as expected;
  • Release simulation - flying spaceship to the release point; simulating countdown to release to test processes and procedures.

These and the many other tests are important proof points, and also give our pilots, operations and mission control teams invaluable insight into vehicle performance before we move to the next phase…the glide flight series. This is a key stage of the test flight programme, as we prove out the aerodynamic characteristics of the spaceship and systems performance before the rocket motor is integrated for powered flight. We thought it would be useful to outline these different stages and how they interlink by putting together an infographic to help explain the testing roadmap. We hope you find this useful, and if you’d like to know more about a particular area please let us know.

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2016-09-27 00:00:00










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2016-09-25 16:30:57



Thank you for your lovely feedback following VSS Unity’s first flight on 9th August. The amount of exclamation marks filling our inbox was a great indication of the excitement in the Future Astronaut community, and much appreciated by all of us!

We wanted to share this short clip with Mike Moses, our VP of Operations, as it gives a good insight into the activity and test objectives of the flight, as well its significance for the team. Those of you on our recent Mojave tours have met Mike and seen his and the team’s enthusiasm and dedication first hand, and the team’s motivation following first flight. We have two more tours left this year so get in touch if you’d like to join us and see for yourselves.

So what’s next? As with all our test flights there were a number of objectives on the ‘test card’, and our engineers are continuing to analyse the valuable data generated from the flight. This will help confirm the aerodynamic performance of the spaceship as well as the performance of many subsystems and components at cold temperatures, low atmospheric pressures and high aircraft like altitudes. Our pilots, mission controllers and ground operations teams gained invaluable experience from the first VG/TSC crewed flight, and are continuing to build on their processes and procedures. All of these data points will be reviewed and confirmed before the next test flight; our first glide flight during which Unity will be released and fly home solo. We will of course keep you posted on that and if you have any questions or areas you would like to hear more about, please let us know.
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