Technical Difficulties from on Top of the Mountain
2004-06-23
  Travelling into space
Well it was very exciting being there for the launch of SpaceShipOne into space. While they did make their 100km altitude, it turns out that they made it by the thinnest of margins, and with great difficulty.

There were no less than four serious malfunctions during the flight. There were un-planned rolls during the rocket firing, it cut off early, some strange banging noises from the rear during flight, and there was some loss of attitude control up in space. All in all, Mike was lucky to make it back in one piece. While they had planned to pass the goal by 20,000 feet, they ended up only getting to 100.12km, or 310 feet past. Cutting it rather close. Burt has some serious repair work to take care of before this thing goes up in the air again, and he's said that most likely they'll need another test flight before trying for the x-prise. (The x-prize group has also mentioned that they require 50 days advanced notice before an attempt, and so far they haven't received any notice from anybody.)

I found a few more pictures from various articles. The best ones are of SS1 coming back in for landing. Here's one taken from the chase plane, as it passes over the parking lot (I'm there in the fourth row, silver van, near the bottom):

You can also see the crowds on the flight line as it lined up for touchdown on the runway,

And finally a view from the crowds. I'm not sure what's in the background there. It looks kind of like the outskirts of the Mos Eisley spaceport, but its just the local fauna and accumulated junk of Mojave.

As far as going back, I've been thinking about what it would mean for me and for the space program. Out of the three possible upcoming launches, I think I might go back for the final x-prize attempt. That would be when the prize was won. Maybe there'd be some cooler stuff at the merchandise tent by then, though we scored this last time by waiting until the launch, and then picking up "I was there" postcards which had been postmarked with the date. The rest of the stuff--tshirts, hats, cups--was all available on the web site, which takes all the fun out of it.

Some suggestions for the crowds returning next time (and the times after that):

 
Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home
Life in the middle of nowhere, remote programming to try and support it, startups, children, and some tinkering when I get a chance.

ARCHIVES
January 2004 / February 2004 / March 2004 / April 2004 / May 2004 / June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / August 2008 / February 2009 / August 2009 / February 2010 / February 2011 / March 2011 / October 2011 / March 2012 / July 2013 / August 2013 / September 2013 / October 2013 / November 2013 / December 2013 / December 2014 / February 2015 / March 2015 / July 2016 / September 2016 / December 2016 / April 2017 /


Blogroll
Paul Graham's Essays
You may not want to write in Lisp, but his advise on software, life and business is always worth listening to.
How to save the world
Dave Pollard working on changing the world .. one partially baked idea at a time.
SnowDeal
Eric Snowdeal IV - born 15 weeks too soon, now living a normal baby life.
Land and Hold Short
The life of a pilot.

The best of?
Jan '04
The second best villain of all times.

Feb '04
Oops I dropped by satellite.
New Jets create excitement in the air.
The audience is not listening.

Mar '04
Neat chemicals you don't want to mess with.
The Lack of Practise Effect

Apr '04
Scramjets take to the air
Doing dangerous things in the fire.
The Real Way to get a job

May '04
Checking out cool tools (with the kids)
A master geek (Ink Tank flashback)
How to play with your kids

Powered by Blogger