Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo crash leaves one dead, another seriously injured

By Shawn Knight ยท 16 replies
Oct 31, 2014
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  1. Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, a suborbital spaceplane designed for space tourism, crashed during a test flight over the Mojave Desert. One pilot was killed and another seriously injured according to a report from Reuters.

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  2. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    Tragic but loss of life is the norm while pioneering.
  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    I'd bet Elon Musk woulda had enough hot air to put one o' them thar spacesheeps inta orbit and a keep it thar.....
  4. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,724   +3,699

    I doubt Elon Musk would be available everytime the craft was ready for launch. We need to remove all foreign anomalies that would make the flight a success.
  5. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 616   +176

    You should reread that last sentence. Add some punctuation and change it to mean what I hope you meant?
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,724   +3,699

    ****, the one time I don't quote someone, my comment is taken out of context.
  7. Sad for the pilots and their loved one's and friends, but the price of progress in this kind of endeavour.
  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    Other than that, the only thing this crash demonstrates to be, is now ill equipped the private sector is to deliver on their own hype about how we'll all be able to take a ride in a rocket ship, the day after tomorrow.

    We were on the moon decades ago. No matter how preoccupied, unnerved, and dissatisfied the perennial whiners of today are with US surveillance, the US government can do things that nobody else ever has, with respect to space flight.

    The young ones here seem to believe that you can fund a moon shot with "Kickstarter". Rubbish!

    These flight bookings which "Virgin Galactic"is pandering, are really nothing but kickstarter funds, bilked out of the rich and uber rich.

    The fact the the billionaire owner of Virgin Galactic is booked on the first flight, is pure bullsh!t and propaganda. Simply a PR stunt to keep, "ticket sales", flowing. In other words, "I'm putting on my brave face, send money". The owner absolutely must be intending to be on the first flight, if only for the sake of political correctness.

    When you come right down to it, this endeavor isn't that much more than shooting a chimp downrange in a capsule. And God knows, that's been done to death, (pun not intended). Although granted, with wings and landing gear, you incur a lot more degree of difficulty points from your dismount.
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014
  9. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    Richard Branston is is not the short of person who is adverse to taking risks with his life. He will take the first flight not as a PR stint but as he is keen of setting new records such as his power boat race and ballooning.

    Space travel is still risky but is it any more dangerous than visiting Iraq or Palestine. How about treating people with the Ebola virus?
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    Regardless of any of that, if he weren't booked on the 1st flight, it would be a PR disaster.

    For all intents and purposes, Virgin Galactic's spacecraft hasn't, "gotten as far as visiting Iraq", so the answer is "yes" to that part of your supposition.

    With a mortality rate of 50%, it's probably on a par with Ebola.

    Speaking of which, I love how, (now that it's surfaced in the US), big pharma has finally gotten around to working seriously on a vaccine.
  11. davislane1

    davislane1 TS Grand Inquisitor Posts: 4,736   +3,757

    Like any of the other nasty microorganisms that call the jungles home, there's no financial or humanitarian justification to dump resources into a virus prior to it having developed a plausible threat.

    Therefore, -1 pts. for missing an opportunity to stick one to all those open border types who immediately changed their tune when CNN reported on the advanced symptoms.
  12. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    You make some good points, and I may be too youthful, and thus full of optimism.

    I do think that the reason we succeeded (we being the US) in getting to the Moon was because the government essentially required it to be done, and I assume there was pretty much an unlimited budget given. We probably got incredibly lucky, the Russians were as good or better than us right? They got a satellite up before we did, the Russians took bigger risks and had a higher failure rate, correct? Or maybe I'm just being brainwashed by US propaganda?

    I think the US has proven to the world (and the Russians have too) that with a boatload of money, you can get things into space pretty reliably. The problem is, the public is pretty reluctant to give out more money when all the new rage is to hand out money to disadvantaged people. So some entrepreneurs think they can make a lot of money by trying to do **** that was done 50-60 years ago because they can play on the emotions of people that are wondering why if it was done that long ago why it can't be done now.
  13. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    There's no justification for a national ad campaign for a drug the likes of "Eloquis" either. The drug companies are creating replacements for perfectly serviceable, effective, mainstream, low cost drugs, such as the blood thinner/ anti coagulant, "Warfarin", which is damned old common rat poison. I've taken it for 22 years, and I haven't had any of the issues the commercials for Warfarin substitutes ascribe to it. It's now a $9.00 a month script at Walmart, and I wouldn't even want to hazard a guess what the uninsured cost of "Eloquis" or its ilk would be.

    Not to mention the fact that I couldn't use "Eloquis" anyway, since I have a toy heart valve. To summarize, the new drug is likely 20 times more expensive, and has less applications.

    As far as vaccines go, the new, heavily advertised shingles vaccine, is about $200.00 a dose.

    And before I forget, look at all the R&D money that must have gone into developing a drug for, "restless leg syndrome". Money well spent, I'd say! :rolleyes:

    "Flesh eating bacteria", have been a peripheral news item for more than decade. There's no "humanitarian interest", or even reasonably prudent foresight where the major drug companies are concerned. Big pharma has no vested interest, other than lining its pockets at both the people's and the government's expense.

    With that being said, I live in a neighborhood chock full of illegal aliens from Sub-Saharan Africa. They're mostly an unpleasant lot. To the upside, they really haven't mastered fire yet, and wind up burning themselves out of their current squat, with an ill placed kerosene heater or two.

    They should all breathe a sigh of relief that I'm not running the INS, ICE, the navy or the air force. The first thing I'd do, is carpet bomb all their airport runways, and put up a naval blockade around the African sub continent.

    As far as open border types, they should show us how its done, by heading away from the US border, Again, if I had my way, I'd strike the inscription from the Statue of Liberty, and replace it with a "no trespassing" sign.

    Take a typical Latin American country run by mostly drug cartels. First, they undermine the American economy by siphoning billions of dollars out of it for illegal drugs. Then, the children who are, "in fear of their lives because of the drug gangs", illegally emigrate here, to siphon more money out of the US economy by virtue of social entitlements. I'm not completely convinced these children are not bred to this end. First we get hooked on the drugs, then we feel sorry for the children and keep them. That's really an edgy brand of, shoot yourself in the foot kind of stupidity, on the part of the American public. But remember, "we're number one"....:mad:

    Not to mention via Ebola and other diseases like it,the illegals now have the individual, personal potential, for being, "a weapon of mass destruction".

    To keep this on topic, "and that, boys and girls", is why the US government can no longer afford a space program.
  14. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    Pretty much. The Mercury program cost $US277m ( $US1.6+bn 2014 equivalent), the follow-on Gemini program $1.3bn ($US7.3bn equivalent), and the Apollo program $20.4bn ($US110bn equivalent, or $170bn if referencing Wikipedia*) - you're basically looking at $120/180* billion which basically excludes a lot of rocketry hardware since the early programs used USAF funded and/or decommissioned ICBM's (Atlas D), and doesn't include the Ranger Program for mapping the moon.
    The Soviets had a pretty decent rocketry program, a fairly advanced high altitude flight program, an excellent metallurgical knowledge base, but like their strategic missile program, fairly rudimentary avionics and guidance...and of course no public scrutiny, and a willingness to cut corners.
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
  15. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    Quite possibly. But realistically speaking, there should be no need for "optimism", since there's no new frontier being conquered.

    NO, we put a bunch of turds with feathers on our launch pads, and expected them to fly. The Navy did poorly with its "Vanguard" program. 3 out of 11 to orbit.

    I think the point you missed is, "yeah, our government threw boatloads of money, that was actually worth something at the space program. Cigarettes were 35 cents a pack back then, the same price as a gallon of gasoline.

    With that being said, the SR-71 flew with analog instrumentation! Now you can get a head's up display, in the family sedan.

    In 5th grade, (1959 or 60), I went with my school to the Franklin Institute. The Museum was justifiably proud of it's small house sized vacuum tube computer. "Univac" or "Eniac", I think they called it.

    Suffice it to say, it was tools like this that were present at the start of the space program. Today's "computer savvy"/ idi0t savants, can't order a coffee from Starbuck's without a computerized phone .

    So, today's tech "geniuses", when they're not arguing about which computer will do a better job running "Crysis", or how bad "content" is, which is why they're not willing to pay for it, are ripe for the plucking for people like Elon Musk. Whose press releases by the way, always remind me of Burt Lancaster's performance in, "The Rainmaker". :spareme:

    I know, right? I was at McGuire AFB a few years back, where they were displaying a B-1 "Lancer". The first thing that sprang into my mind was, "**** 'Head Start', we should use that money to buy more of these"!:)(y)
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2014
  16. Tanstar

    Tanstar TS Evangelist Posts: 616   +176

    As to the first part, I'm not sure you understand the use of quotation marks.

    As to the second, you do realize this wasn't Virgin Galactic's first flight, right? Saying the mortality rate is 50% because on one flight it was, is like saying the shuttle program had a 100% mortality rate right after the Challenger blew up.

    To your other messages, no argument that Big Pharma is only interested in money, but suggesting new drugs that are supposed to counteract side affects are wasted money, just because you haven't had that side affect and can't use the drug is every bit as self centered as the conglomerate you are attacking.
  17. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    Well, yes I do. And they can be used for other things besides direct quotes, such as coinages, around a literary title, around a fictitious name, and self quotes

    Oh, I don't know, the Challenger was an operational mission. Since Virgin Galactic hasn't gotten that far yet, why don't we just dispense with the mortality stats altogether. In fact, you should book and pay for a ticket, to help keep those research dollars flowing in to the company.

    Saying that big pharma is releasing new drugs, "to counteract side effects", is rather naive. At the end of every drug commercial there is normally a laundry list of bad sh!t the drug can possibly do to you, up to and including, precipitating your demise.. In some cases, such as "Eloquis", some of the side effects caused by it, are exactly the same as those of Warfarin, such as bleeding and bruising. Were you to start presenting with those symptoms, I suspect that your doctor might prescribe the same set of blood tests that attach to adjusting Warfarin dosage. I eat the same junk year in, and year out. My blood PT numbers are dead on the money, year in, and year out. For all intents and purposes, the only reason my doctor has to pull blood for pro-thrombin time, is protocol. And here we're dealing with a drug that has for me at least, zero co-pay.

    And BTW, the term "affect", is normally used in the psychiatric realm, to describe a patient's presentation and personality, although granted, usually in the singular.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2014

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