Space tourism. Crash. White Knight. History and prospects.
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Space tourism and the collapse of White Knight

Space tourism. History and prospects.


  On Friday, October 31, the disaster of the American Space Ship Two private spacecraft occurred. This news has bypassed all the news channels of the world. One of the two pilots managed to eject.

 What is this project a passenger spacecraftSpace Ship and the ship carrier White Knight?


White Knight


  For the first time, the question of the commercialization of space flight was raised back in 1967, by the Americans. But the idea did not find support in the state. Space flights were still very dangerous and expensive.

   However, in 1996, the famous, tireless designer, inventor and pilot Burt Rutan It was created by a private engineering company to create a space, a passenger ship of reusable use. Commercial use of space flight has received a new impetus. The concept of "space tourism" takes on a new, broader meaning. Of course, only later it was space tourists. They were sent to the station "Peace", Russian ships "Union". But, firstly, it was worth millions of dollars, and secondly, these were isolated cases, and tourism, in the broad sense, could not be considered. Programs financed by large companies, or a flight paid for by private individuals.

 Bert Rutan suggested more massive and more affordable flights for all comers, and not just for billionaires. And after the first successful flights of the bunch Space Ship Two - White Knight Two, It became clear that his plans are feasible.

 The flight itself takes place according to the following program: SS2 and WK2 take off on an airplane, from a special airfield. Upon reaching a height of about 15 km. separation from the carrier occurs, the SS2 engines are started and it begins to climb to 110 km. By definition, this is space (above 100km). In flight, the spacecraft reaches speeds of 4M (M is the speed of sound. 4M is speed over 4000 km per hour), and short-term overload 6g.

 The designs of both the shuttle itself and its carrier aircraft are unique. But is the idea of ​​such a bundle really so new?

space flight by plane

 In the USSR, back in the mid-to-late 30, tests of the so-called “Link - Vakhmistrov” were carried out. On a heavy aircraft designed by A.N. Tupolev TB-3 hung from two to five (8) fighter aircraft. The aircraft were placed on the wing, hung under them and on the fuselage. Such a coupling rose into the air, was delivered to the place of combat work, where the I-5, I-16 light fighters uncoupled from the aircraft and performed independent tasks. After completing the BZ, the planes landed at suitable airfields. The range of fighters in such a tandem increased by 80%. Several such "Aviamatok" took part in the hostilities.

 Much later, when testing "Buran" such a layout again became popular. On a heavy, specially prepared plane An-225 Mriya, Transported the shuttle "Buran" and the carrier rocket "Energy". Tests were carried out in air launch. As we see, saying that "new is well forgotten old", it is confirmed.



Plane crash Space Ship Two, even indefinitely pushed the possibility of private, affordable (relatively) spaceflight. It will take a few months for additional tests and inspections. But the most important one - the direction and design of the unusual aircraft and the space shuttle, are correct.

White Knight aircraft

And despite another catastrophe occurred 29 October Antares rocket and shuttle Cygnus, close to the time when the space can fly to any person.

We wish the company Virgin Galactic, and the creators of a unique coupling, good luck in their difficult path of creating the pioneers of space, mass tourism.

Valery Smirnov specifically for

... On a heavy, specially prepared aircraft An-225 Mriya, the Buran shuttle and the Energia launch vehicle were transported ...
In fact, both Buran and Energy in the course of their development as well as
The only practical launch into space was transported by a completely different aircraft of another design bureau. And Mriya drove Buran already only AFTER the termination of this
programs - for all kinds of "commemoration-presentations" of the buried Soviet space. LAUNCHING Buran from Mriya - there was NEVER TIME (but inside - as all the aircrafts carry - like a load)! Why mislead readers? Is this a propaganda site for the Ukrainian aviation industry?