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Author Topic: Virgin in space - Will Richard Branson succeed?  (Read 6101 times)

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Virgin in space - Will Richard Branson succeed?
« on: 10/09/2008 21:16:39 »
Before all you red-blooded males get too excited...

Richard Branson wants his Virgin consortium to offer space flights to Joe Public. Does anyone have any thoughts as to whether he will succeed?

I've seen drawings of the proposed vehicle, but not being a rocket scientist (not being any kind of scientist) I don't really know what to make of it.

Here's a link to the website
« Last Edit: 18/09/2008 18:11:36 by chris »


 

Offline Make it Lady

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Re: Virgin in space - Will Richard Branson succeed?
« Reply #1 on: 10/09/2008 21:36:22 »
Whatever Richard wants, Richard gets. I think he most definitely will succeed. Take a sick bag though because weightlessness gives you really bad motion sickness. I'd be hopeless. I throw up on a trampoline. 
 

Offline Karen W.

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Re: Virgin in space - Will Richard Branson succeed?
« Reply #2 on: 10/09/2008 21:58:14 »
Book Me Dano!! I'm going!!! YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!  That sounds so cool.. I hope he succeeds and meets all the safety requirements to make it possible!
 

Offline neilep

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Re: Virgin in space - Will Richard Branson succeed?
« Reply #3 on: 11/09/2008 02:21:13 »
I like Richard, I think he's great !
 

Offline RD

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Re: Virgin in space - Will Richard Branson succeed?
« Reply #4 on: 11/09/2008 04:35:30 »
$200,000 to float about in globules of vomit for a few minutes, no thanks Dicky.
« Last Edit: 11/09/2008 04:37:05 by RD »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Virgin in space - Will Richard Branson succeed?
« Reply #5 on: 11/09/2008 13:45:11 »
$200,000 to float about in globules of vomit for a few minutes, no thanks Dicky.


 

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Re: Virgin in space - Will Richard Branson succeed?
« Reply #6 on: 11/09/2008 14:18:43 »
Beardy will NOT be launching on his (revised) launch date, he never has. I think this is now his third, revised, date. Maybe Bored Chemist has some back issues of private eye, or just a better memory than i do.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Virgin in space - Will Richard Branson succeed?
« Reply #7 on: 11/09/2008 16:24:29 »
I'm not sure I trust anyone with deviant facial hair
 

Offline engrByDayPianstByNight

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Re: Virgin in space - Will Richard Branson succeed?
« Reply #8 on: 17/09/2008 02:30:53 »
How much would it cost per passenger? Is it really $200,000? What's the flight path? Is it just a flight to the upper atmosphere of Earth or does it include, say, docking with the International Space Station?

I'm not sure people who can afford a round-trip ticket like that qualify as joe public. It certainly sounds fantastic and sexy being able to go to the outer space on a spaceship for your next summer vacation (by comparison a trip to Antarctica would be like a Sunday picnic). But I myself find it unlikely to happen in the next 30 years, not to the point that the top 5% of the population, e.g., those guys working at Lehman Brothers, could do that on a once-every-five-years basis. I may be too pessimistic about space travel, but I don't see that happening in another two generations.

But bold thinking is a great thing, and I commend Branson for thinking big, even if it fails in the end and there's no shame in that. 2001: Space Odyssey is still my favorite sci-fi movie. That was quite a bit of bold thinking back in 1968 when the movie was made. 2001 was seven years ago.

 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Re: Virgin in space - Will Richard Branson succeed?
« Reply #9 on: 17/09/2008 03:57:04 »
I know quite a bit about rocket engineering, and yeah, Rutan knows how to do this. The flights are suborbital, they will brieflygo above the 100 km 'Karman line' that is generally agreed to mark the boundary of space, and won't reach orbit.

I don't think that you'll get very bad spacesickness, the weightlessness is only for a few minutes at most, but we'll have to see what happens in practice.

Another company, XCOR aerospace's aircraft doesn't go as high, but may be a much better deal, they have much lower running costs, as they only need one aircraft, and unlike Rutan's it's fully reusable. You'll get somewhat shorter zero-g, but the costs are likely to be much more reasonable in the long run. However, so far as has been publically acknowledged, it won't reach the Karman line, but the view should be roughly as good. It might be 1/4 of the cost of Rutan's trip perhaps.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Virgin in space - Will Richard Branson succeed?
« Reply #10 on: 17/09/2008 09:39:18 »
Wolfekeeper - that's very interesting. I'd heard of XCOR, but I'd forgotten about it with all the hype about Virgin. Living in England, our news is bound to favour a Brit (even 1 who looks like a philatelist)
 

Offline Don_1

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Re: Virgin in space - Will Richard Branson succeed?
« Reply #11 on: 17/09/2008 09:47:09 »


I'm not sure people who can afford a round-trip ticket like that qualify as joe public.


Are you suggesting there might be a one-way ticket???

Oi!! Bugger off!!! you didn't buy a round trip ticket so you have to stay up here, cut that tow rope Fred!!!
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Re: Virgin in space - Will Richard Branson succeed?
« Reply #12 on: 17/09/2008 19:34:30 »


I'm not sure people who can afford a round-trip ticket like that qualify as joe public.


Are you suggesting there might be a one-way ticket???

Oi!! Bugger off!!! you didn't buy a round trip ticket so you have to stay up here, cut that tow rope Fred!!!

Oi carn't read n Oi carn't wroite, but Oi kin droive a tractor beam  :D
 

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Re: Virgin in space - Will Richard Branson succeed?
« Reply #12 on: 17/09/2008 19:34:30 »

 

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