Enterprise’s Feather

 

In my continuing coverage of all things related to the not-quite-a-starship Enterprise…   Well, SpaceShipTwo cleared another milestone with its first flight test of the ‘feathering’ system it uses to remain stable during re-entry.    

Keep in mind, its a powered trip to the edge of space, but its all glide back down.

The video is probably more expressive than I can be:

http://www.space.com/11715-virgin-galactic-spaceshiptwo-passes-entry-system-test.html

 

Obviously a shake-down of the re-entry system is a necessity before we can proceed with attaching the rocket engine.    🙂

Even Enterprise made it a Good Friday…

 

The second of these was just a neat pic I wanted to share with you.   VSS Enterprise completed its fifth, and so far longest, glide test on Friday, April 22, above the Mojave desert.

Here is the Enterprise touching down at the Mojave airport spaceport:

Enterprise touches down

But this one is just nifty, and likely soon to become a routine sight:

VSS Enterprise detaching from its carrier ship, the VMS Eve for its fifth glide flight.

Both photos:  CREDIT: Bill Deaver/Deaver-Wiggins and Associates

Getting closer to testing its actual rocket.   Last month, they did a hot-fire test using a 1/6th scale version in ground testing.   Apparently everything went swimmingly.

Seems the VSS Enterprise is doing its namesake shuttle proud, although this one is destined for space… or at least the edge of it.    If SpaceShipThree does become an orbital version.. I wonder if they’ll retire this one and christen the new one the Enterprise A ?

N33955 – VSS Enterprise

 

Here are some pics of the Enterprise from its first solo glide:

VSS Enterprise - 1st Solo Glide

No rocket motor was installed during this test flight.

 

VSS Enterprise

(Photos are from Space.com)