Beautiful First Feather Flight of Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo – Video Within

This is another step towards Space Traveling. Virgin Galactic has successful tested its SpaceShipTwo (SS2, named VSS Enterprise) capability (for the first time) to execute the Feathered configuration for re-entry.

This “shuttlecock” position or feathered configuration, where the wings tilted 65 degrees to increase the drag during the re-entry, is to ensure the safest way that the SS2 can re-enter Earth. Here is a description of what happen.

After a 45 minute climb to the desired altitude of 51,500 feet, SS2 was released cleanly from VMS Eve and established a stable glide profile before deploying, for the first time, its re-entry or “feathered” configuration by rotating the tail section of the vehicle upwards to a 65 degree angle to the fuselage. It remained in this configuration with the vehicle’s body at a level pitch for approximately 1 minute and 15 seconds whilst descending, almost vertically, at around 15,500 feet per minute, slowed by the powerful shuttlecock-like drag created by the raised tail section. At around 33,500 feet the pilots reconfigured the spaceship to its normal glide mode and executed a smooth runway touch down, approximately 11 minutes and 5 seconds after its release from VMS Eve.

And this beautiful video captured by telescopic cameras (watch the feather at 1:47).

Click Here to Virgin Galactic website

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