I am researching Virgin Galactic and need to explain the following: a) what is the White knight? b) What is the SpaceShip Two and how many people can it carry? c)How is SpaceshipTwo launched? d)...

I am researching Virgin Galactic and need to explain the following:

a) what is the White knight?

b) What is the SpaceShip Two and how many people can it carry?

c)How is SpaceshipTwo launched?

d) What is anticipated height of SpaceShip Two?

e)What will passenger experience during this flight?

f)Do passengers have to do any special training or medical testing before a flight?Why/Why not?

g)How much does a ticket on a flight cost? Explain why you think it might be so expensive.

Asked on by maylita

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gsenviro's profile pic

gsenviro | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

1) The White Knight is both the mothership and launch platform for both the manned spacecraft and unmanned launch vehicle.

2) SpaceShip Two is a spacecraft designed specifically for space tourism by Virgin Galactic. It has been designed to carry 8 people- 6 passengers and 2 pilots.

3) The SpaceTwo will be launched by White Knight. The mothership, White Knight, will carry it to an altitude of about 50,000 ft. At that level, it will be released from the mothership and will move further using its own engines.

4) SpaceTwo will attain a maximum altitude of about 110 km. 

5) The passengers will experience weightlessness for a period of 6 minutes, during which they can release themselves from the seats and float around.

6) Tourists will undergo a 3-day training on how to be comfortable in microgravity. The medical testing will ensure that tourists are mentally and physically capable of undergoing and enjoying the experience.

7) The ticket price was earlier set at $200,000, but was increased to $250,000 in May 2013. Tickets are so expensive because the program in itself is very expensive. An example is the cost of SpaceShip Two, which was estimated to be around $400 million as of 2011. In addition there would be development cost of White Knight, tourist training, flight launch and re-entry cost, etc. The entire program may run into over a billion dollars and hence the tickets are so expensive.

Hope this helps.

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kspcr111's profile picture

kspcr111 | In Training Educator

Posted on

a) White Knight is a carrier areoplane which is air launched from beneath in the  Virgin Galactic's suborbital spacecraft and is also used to lift the spaceship two.

Simply we can say that White Knight is like a mother ship

b) SpaceShipTwo is an air-launched suborbital space plane type designed for space tourism.  Its capacity will be eight people — six passengers and two pilots

c) It launches from its mother ship ie,  White Knight Two at an altitude of 15,000 metres (50,000 ft).  And reaches with a supersonic speed within 8 seconds to the outer surface of the earth.

d) SpaceShipTwo's crew cabin is 3.7 m (12 ft) long and 2.3 m (7.5 ft) in diameter.  The wing span is 8.2 m (27 ft), the length is 18 m (60 ft) and the tail height is 4.6 m (15 ft).

e)The passengers were experiencing the weightlessness and the anti gravity phenomena.

f) As the passengers will experience the anti gravity and so they need to know how to move there in space so the Training is conducted. 

And the Medical tests are to know whether the passenger is ready to take the flight, and so to avoid the emergency situations during the flight.

g)

The Flight price was initially $200,000 and is raised to $250,000 before the middle of May 2013. The flight is so expensive because the launching takes up more cost and also the flight craft cost is $2.6 billion, the training for the passengers, safety measures and many other makes up this flight so expensive.

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