Dragonland: A SpaceX Tribute
"Dragonland" is a music montage honoring SpaceX, specifically
the robotic Dragon cargo ship and the recently announced
Dragon V2 that will fly crew to the International
Space Station and, later in the decade, the Bigelow
Aerospace expandable habitats.
a Whole New Outer Space Out There
Virgin Galactic Flies SpaceShipTwo
VSS Unity to Edge of Space
On December 13, 2018, two pilots flew
the Virgin Galactic VSS
Unity spaceplane to an altitude of 82.7
km (51.4 miles). The WhiteKnightTwo
aircraft carried Unity to about 15 kilometers
(50,000 ft) and then released it. Unity
fired its hybrid rocket motor, powered with
liquid nitrous oxide and solid fuel. This
video shows highlights of the flight:
After coming back down into the atmosphere,
the wings of the SS2 folded upward, putting
the vehicle into a V configuration that
allows for high stability during reentry
into the atmosphere (designer Burt Rutan
named this action"feathering"
after the feathers in a badmitton birdie).
In this video, Richard Branson tells his
children about his own father and relates
his father’s advice on living a good life
SpaceShipTwo flight to the edge of space.
The video also includes additional footage
of the flight: To
my grandchildren | Virgin
Note that Virgin Galactic uses 80 km as
to space rather than the more common
100 km. There is some support for this.
USAF and NASA pilots who flew the X-15
spaceplane to above 50 miles in the 1960s
were awarded space wings.
Commercial rides on Unity should begin
this year. Virgin has over 700 customers
who have put down deposits on the $250,000
price for tickets to ride on Unity. Two
other SpaceShipTwo vehicles are under construction
to provide for weekly flights from Spaceport
America in New Mexico.
Run the Satellite
Tracking Tool from BINARY
SPACE right here at HobbySpace
in your browser. (Windows 10 users must instead get the
app here.) The program allows you to track a large
set of satellites in both low earth and geostationary
orbits. (Note: the program requires Microsoft
Silverlight, Version 5 or higher, as well as the latest
version of your browser. Currently the program works on
the Microsoft® Windows® platform only.) The Satellite
Observing section provides additional information
and web resources about the hobby of satellite tracking