Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Virgin Galactic First Manned Free Flight Debuts in Kern Counties Mojave Air and Spaceport

The first free flight of the SpaceShipTwo (VSS Enterprise) craft began this week after a series of captive carry flights. The captive carry flights are flights where SpaceShipTwo is attached to its mother ship WhiteKnightTwo (aka:Eve after Sir Richard Branson’s mother) which took place earlier this year in March. The free flight confirmed that the VSS Enterprise’s flight systems were all functioning correctly. News reports quote the pilot Peter Siebold saying “That was a real joy to fly,” “especially when one considers the fact that the vehicle has been designed not only to be a Mach 3.5 spaceship capable of going into space but also one of the worlds highest altitude gliders.” Virgin Galactic plans to enter into commercial operations once all testing is complete. The craft will be taken up to a high altitude by a conventional plane then released at which point, a rocket booster will propel the craft out of the atmosphere. Its reentry would be similar to NASA’s Space Shuttle with a controlled glide to a predefined landing point

It took place in California's Mojave Desert at the Mojave Air and Space Port in the center of Mojave, Ca. between Hwy 14 and Hwy 58 and just north of Edward Airforce Base in Kern County. Flight testing activities have been centered in Mojave since the early 1970s as there is limited population. In addition, being near Edwards Airforce base restricted airspace is ideal for testing. It is also been an emergency landing site for the Space Shuttle, and a famous moth ball fleet site of unused commercial planes covering the horizon. The FAA has given the airport spaceport status through 2014. It has recently gained fame as a Spaceport with Virgin Galactic but other private space companies like XCOR Aerospace a rocket engine and spaceflight development company, Orbital a satellite launch and manufacturer, Masten Space Systems an aerospace startup company, and Interorbital Systems which is working on a line of launch vehicles aimed at winning the Google Lunar X Prize all call Mojave their home. The area has a sparse population but very high tech ambitions. This adds to Antelope Valley’s a reputation for flight as Palmdale, Ca Plant 42 was the original home of the B-2 Stealth Bomber.

Virgin Galactic $450 million project will eventually see six commercial vessels shuttling into space as Virgin Galactic has lined up some 370 customer deposits totaling some $50 million for what it will be the world’s first commercial passenger space flight operation. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows, one side window and one overhead, so that, if you don't want to float free in space, and you'd rather just remain in your seat, you still get a great chance to see the view.

Lancaster, Palmdale and Mojave Ca. continue to promote high tech opportunities with homegrown technologies that can’t be outsourced. The growth in Solar, Wind, Aerospace and Space technology provide long term professional jobs within a commuting proximity to Greater Los Angeles. These are the types of signs of an expanding economy, and an investment opportunity to be ahead of the curve. Landbanking is based on buying and holding undeveloped land for the near and long term. Low priced land is available today in 2010 for a good potential profit in five to ten years.

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