[FPSPACE] on Virgin Galactic

Keith Gottschalk kgottschalk at uwc.ac.za
Wed Nov 5 03:06:41 EST 2014

     I too support the request that the co-pilot's name should be added to the Roll of Honour of fallen astronauts.
   Was the cause of the tragedy:
1) engine failure?
2) structural integrity failure?
3) pilot or co-pilot error?
4) If it was co-pilot error, are the controls ergonometrically optimal to minimize the chance of such disasters repeating?
5) The same query about flight operational protocols?
  This forum is the obvious one for debate about the tragedy. My own response is not yet to get too heated about arguing the precise cause. There is no substitute for waiting until the Accident Board's final technical report is published, & then reading that cover to cover, twice.
    We can anticipate that further failures will occur during R&D testing programmes of the rival sub-orbital spaceplanes.     What we can say at this moment is that it is difficult to predict which of Virgin Galactic, Xcor, Sierra Nevada, Blue Origin, etc, will be the first to actually launch paying passengers on scheduled flights. Or even SpaceX using Dragon capsule to send thrill-seekers on a sub-orbital or orbital trip.
    But we can be confident that one of them, sooner or later, will succeed, just as some of the batch of the first airlines in the world succeeded during the 1920s.
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