Virgin Galactic’s successful re-entry quest, according to Branson

by | Jun 10, 2009 | Seradata News | 0 comments

branson ss2 w560.jpg

credit Virgin Galactic / caption: Virgin group chairman Sir Richard Branson with WhiteKnight Two, SpaceShip Two

Virgin group chairman Sir Richard Branson hailed what he calls “our successful quest to find a re-entry mechanism” in an answer to questions from readers on Monday 8 June

SpaceShip Two (SS2) and SpaceShipOne (SS1) chief designer Burt Rutan might take issue with that as the “feathering” mechanism, where the spacecraft’s booms are moved to a perpendicular position relative to the fuselage to change the aerodynamics, was designed for SS1 long before SS2 was thought of. Unless of course there is more to SS2’s re-entry than just dropping like a stone a la SS1?

Branson answered readers’ questions when “guest editing” on 8 June. Read the full question from Dutchman Thijs van der Tuin and Branson’s answer below: 

Virgin Galactic is going to offer a service that can’t be matched by anyone else at this moment. It brings the possibility of space flight to a lot people. What has surprised you the most since you gave the green light to Virgin Galactic? For example: are there things you thought that wouldn’t be possible, but now they are? Media feedback? The amount of time it consumes in your daily life? PS compliments to you for signing with Brawn G.P. Thijs van der Tuin – The Netherlands. 

RB: What has surprised me is our successful quest to find a re-entry mechanism. It has made Virgin Galactic possible and it is something that has plagued NASA before. I’m pleased to say Virgin Galactic consumes much of my time and I’m confident our great team will make it happen shortly. I can’t wait to be on the first flight with my family. Thank you for your kind comments on Brawn G.P. Jenson Button has done a great job with a great car.

About Seradata

Seradata produce the renowned SpaceTrak Launch & Satellite Database. Trusted by 100 of the world’s leading Space organisations, SpaceTrak is a fully queryable database used for market analysis, failure/risk assessment, spectrum analysis and space situational awareness (SSA).

For more information go to

Related Articles

NORAD to track Santa again

As part of the Christmas celebrations, NORAD (North American Aerospace Defence Command) is attempting to track Father Christmas (Santa Claus) Read more

Musk plans a stock offering for SpaceX after successful IPOs in his other firms

Elon Musk, the billionaire Internet, clean energy and rocket entrepreneur who made his initial fortunes in the internet business, most Read more

US military once planned to explode atom bomb on Moon

There has been much tabloid interest in what is a re-release of the revelation originally made by the protect's leader Read more

Opinion: ESA has chosen badly with respect to its launch vehicle development

ESA really had three choices with respect to its launch vehicle development: it could built the Ariane 5 ME which Read more

Musk goes for methane-burning reusable rockets as step to colonise Mars

While speaking at the Royal Aeronautical Society in London in November, the billionaire former Paypal Internet executive, Tesla electric car Read more

No space predictions (or space errors) in Skyfall as James Bond serves his country well (Updated)

While the latest James Bond adventure Skyfall (Director: Sam Mendes) does use a lot of 'Big Brother' surveillance technology to Read more

History: UK gave up impressive space programme including plans to launch UK astronauts “just to get into Europe”

There will be sadness in those "space cadets" in the United Kingdom of all ages as we note that new Read more

Opinion: The madness of imprisoning earthquake scientists may halt satellite seismic forecasting research

To world scientific dismay, on 22 October, seven scientists working at the Italian National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention Read more