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Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo hits “feather” re-entry milestone

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Science, Transportation

spaceshiptwo feather

One of Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic spaceships on Wednesday completed a re-entry technique known as a "feather" configuration for the first time.

The SpaceShipTwo (SS2), known as the VSS Enterprise, has now completed seven solo flights since its December 2009 debut, but Wednesday's was the first that successfully tested out this re-entry procedure.

Virgin Galatic is Branson's commerical spaceflight program, which plans to take the average (albeit wealthy) tourist into space in the next two years.

The VSS Enterprise took off from a California runway this morning at 6:43am Pacific time attached to the WhiteKnight (WK2) carrier aircraft, the VMS Eve. The spaceship was controlled by Pete Siebold and Clint Nichols, test pilots from Scaled Composites, which designed and build the spacecrafts. Mark Stucky, Brian Maisler, and Brandon Inks manned the VMS Eve.

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Weekend Reading: Breyfogle, Ellis, Craven, and Spider-Man Sings!

Scott Pilgrim 2I can’t believe the Spider-Man musical will hit Broadway on December 21. Are there really enough little old ladies who want to take the bus in from Long Island on a Wednesday afternoon to see an all-singing, all-dancing super-hero? That’s quite a bit different from Starlight Express and Cats, right? My prediction: It’ll close before the Tonys are announced, but then a touring version will criss-cross America for years with Jake Lloyd, Mischa Barton, Gabe Kaplan and Angela Lansbury in key roles.

Now let’s see what else is going on:

Scott Pilgrim I: Over at John Scalzi’s Whatever, guest blogger John Anderson bows down before the triumph that is Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World.

Scott Pilgrim II: The Early Word takes a look at how a comic book movie adaptation might help sales of said comic and then delivers a slap to the way DC Comics handles itself. “However, those intrigued by the Green Lantern movie are unlikely to be engaged by the continuity-heavy, you-must-buy-every-single-collection tale like Blackest Night. The folks buying Blackest Night? They are already Green Lantern comics fans.”


Pterosaur Takes Flight

RC Pterosaur

Take this, mini-helicopters. If you want to impress other RC toy operators, this Pterosaur could be just the way to do it. The 440 x 340 x 80 mm lizard has flapping wings, glowing LED eyes, and is made of EPP foam so that it is lightweight and almost crashproof. The dinosaur’s remote is also it’s charger and it will fly in all directions up to 100 feet. With a charge of 30 minutes, you can get about 10 minutes of flight time. The Pterosaur runs on 6 AA batteries (not included) and is available for £39.95 (~$81.00.)

 

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