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Virgin Galactic's Beth Moses becomes first woman in space on a commercial spacecraft

By Cal Jeffrey · 7 replies
Mar 18, 2019
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  1. The short test flight made Moses the first woman to fly to space on a commercial craft. It also made her the 571st human to travel to space and earned her qualification for her commercial astronaut wings from the FAA.

    Even though, the instructor has many hours of high-G centrifuge experience, simulations, and parabolic flights behind her, the trip and the 55-mile-high view from space left Moses in awe.

    “It just took my breath away,” she told The Verge in a recent interview. “It was amazing. I hope everyone can see it.”

    The flight was not all fun and sightseeing though. Moses conducted several tests during the trip to have a better understanding of what passengers should expect, how they should egress their seats, and the best positions in the cabin for viewing Earth. Due to the short flight time, her tests were not just casually enjoying the experience.

    “I had a strict timeline of where to be, and what to evaluate, and how to do it,” said Moses.

    All her observations and tests will be used on the ground when training passengers for future flights. For example, it was critical for her to know how long it takes to get in and out of your seat. Since flight time is limited, passengers need to know when to get back into their chairs to be safe.

    Moses indicated that Virgin Galactic is still a good ways away from taking up passengers from the general public. Even though it has been over four years since a fatal crash left one VG pilot dead, engineers, pilots and trainers still have a lot to do to ensure flights are as safe as possible. There are still many tests to perform, and other employee passengers will probably be going up to perform observations and testing similar to Moses'.

    “I, of course, would love to fly again,” she said. “But our aim is to enable many, many people to fly. And it’s not just my own opinion about the cabin and the procedures that matters. It’s other people’s opinions as well. I want as many people as possible to see and feel what I saw and felt, because it’s really magic.”

    Permalink to story.

  2. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,804   +664

  3. Paulos7

    Paulos7 TS Booster Posts: 34   +33

    You know, I took the time to read through this article three times, but you never did tell us what the "fight" or "fights" were about. Was there more than one woman on board, making it a cat fight? Was it a fight for the window seat? Fighting for the window seat makes sense, as I'd hate to pay all that money to fly to space and not have a window seat. Was it a fight for the last oxygen bottle or jelly donut?

    The title implies that the "Fight provided the astronaut instructor insights into how to train passengers for future trips". So, are they training future passengers how to fight in space? The fight or fights are mentioned at least 6 times, but no clue as to what these fights were about. The fact that they'll be "training passengers for future fights" makes it even more interesting. We need details. And those stupid headings that are often put before TechSpot news articles for once makes sense to me, "What just happened"?
  4. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 14,779   +3,906

    @Paulos7 You gotta know it's even harder to fight in a spacesuit than it is in hockey gear. Ergo, people have to be specially trained to grab that helmet visor with one hand, and punch with the other.

    That's because in a weightless environment, Newtonian physics would kick in, and throwing a punch without being tethered to your opponent, would merely propel you in the opposite direction. :facepalm:

    @Cal Jeffrey Was this woman the pilot? Because it sounds more like she was training to be a stewardess.

    Did she practice giving "the talk"?

    "This is your life jacket. In the event of an emergency, pull the cord to inflate it, put your head between your knees, and kiss your a** goodbye"..:eek:
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
    Cal Jeffrey likes this.
  5. JaredTheDragon

    JaredTheDragon TS Guru Posts: 564   +374

    I mean LEO isn't even "space". These people don't even know what the word means.
  6. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,162   +1,581

    Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! XD
    Jeff Re likes this.
  7. GreyFoxx

    GreyFoxx TS Booster Posts: 96   +65

    It's almost like you forgot the first rule of the Virgin fight club!?
  8. Paulos7

    Paulos7 TS Booster Posts: 34   +33

    This is exactly what I meant. How are we to know these things if we don't get the whole story? We're teased with all this talk of space fights, but we have to fill in the gaps ourselves? Oh, and that "tethered to your opponent" thing is an interesting idea. Maybe with a giant rubber band? But still, it would be nice to know how Virgin Galactic does it.

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