Virgin Galactic, climate change, and Scotland

A few recent developments involving Virgin Galactic:

Virgin Galactic has struck a deal with NOAA to collect atmospheric data on WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo flights. The vehicles will be equipped with sensors to measure carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the upper atmosphere; the sensors will sample air from existing systems that collect air for use by the airspeed sensors on the vehicles, thus requiring no additional modifications. The initial agreement covers the approximately 200 test flights for the WK2 prototype.

Those test flights have yet to begin, and Flight International reported this week that the first test flights have been pushed back to later this year. The test flights were slated to begin in September when WK2 was rolled out in late July in Mojave.

Virgin officials also said this week that they are still interested in conducting flights from Scotland, starting in 2013. RAF Lossiemouth is the best of three locations under consideration, according to Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn. “The runway is on the edge of the sea so you can take off over the Moray Firth, which is safer than taking off over a populated area,” he said of the Lossiemouth location. “There’s also closed air space in that area which would be ideal for us launching the spaceship at 50,000ft.”

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>