Mario Ferreira gets closer to being the first Portuguese in space. White Knight Two completed with success her third test flight. The test flight plan is scheduled to last until the end of this year and the spaceflights will begin in 2010.
“I’m thrilled with this flight test and I feel closer to achieving my dream of becoming the first Portuguese to fly to space” Mario Ferreira said when he heard the news. One of Virgin Galactic Founders Mario Ferreira will be amongst the first 100 people in the world to fly to space with the VG sub-orbital flights.
The test flying program for WhiteKnightTwo (WK2), the space launch vehicle being developed for Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo (SS2) has now completed its third successful test flight - the longest and fastest to date with a duration of over two and half hours, maximum speed of 140 knots and an altitude of over 18,000 ft. The flight also saw a further 7 tests successfully completed including in flight engine restarts, engine thrust asymmetry assessment and continued expansion of WK2’s operating envelope and evaluation of WK2’s handling qualities.
Christened “EVE” in honor of Sir Richard Branson’s mother, WK2 is both visually remarkable and represents ground-breaking aerospace technology. It is the world’s largest all carbon composite aircraft and many of its component parts have been built using composite materials for the very first time. At 140 ft, the wing spar is, we believe, the longest single carbon composite aviation structural component ever manufactured.
Driven by a demanding performance specification set by Virgin Galactic, WK2 has a unique heavy lift, high altitude capability and an open architecture driven design which provides for maximum versatility in the weight, mass and volume of its payload potential. It has the power, strength and manoeuvrability to provide for pre space-flight, positive G force and zero G astronaut training as well as a lift capability which is over 30% greater than that represented by a fully crewed SpaceShipTwo. The vehicle has a maximum altitude over 50,000 ft and its U.S. coast-to-coast range will allow the spaceship to be ferried on long duration flights.
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