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SpaceShipTwo Crash

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Damn it. Not only good people died, humanity may have lost prospects for suborbital transoceanic passenger flights today, may be even forever.

Not forever. Humankind has NEVER let this kind of disaster end it's dreaming of leaving the pale blue dot. That is what makes it so painful. This is not something we can just forget and move on. We have to continue to push the limits knowing full well who died to get us this far.

Suborbital tourism will continue. Because people will continue to dream of witnessing the beauty of that momentary period of space. And then people will dream of visiting private space stations. And then people will dream to be picked to be a Mars Colonist.

If we "give up" say "It is too risky to do this." Then these pilots died for NOTHING!

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let me direct you to thomas selfridge http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Selfridge , the first person to die in the crash of a powered aircraft, just goes to show that even through the dark storm humanity is still able to persevere through it and advance its amazing technological wonders. and before that, otto lilienthal, who died when his hang glider stalled. and this guy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jean-Fran%C3%A7ois_Pil%C3%A2tre_de_Rozier . and APOLLO 1, that didnt keep the United states from landing man on the moon!

Edited by Exerminator2000
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Probably not the end of space-tourism, but this is a rough week for private spaceflight in general.

Some technologies, however, despite their benefits, have such bad publicity when things go wrong that civilization almost entirely abandons them. Why do you think Nuclear power isn't more widespread?

If Virgin lost a SpaceShip2 with passengers--remember what happened with the Hindenburg, or the Concorde? Those two accidents respectively ended major zeppelin use and supersonic passenger flights.

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VG aren't exactly the only people trying to do this, and they've by a good margin got the worst record. They've already had three deaths in a NOX tank explosion.

I wonder if the NOX tank blew? From what I get it seems like only a small blast tore the vehicle apart.

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The new component on this flight was the solid portion of the motor, not the tank. It being the cause would be a pretty big coincidence.

EDIT: Reports are that the tank is intact. They swapped in a wound carbon-composite one after the accident, it was probably one of the strongest parts of the whole plane.

Edited by Kryten
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I really don't see them continuing after this. This is the last nail in the coffin for the hybrid engine. They would need to rebuild a new aircraft and develop a new engine, while they were already over schedule and over budget.

Many people in the industry have been warning that Scaled and VG were taking huge risks and that SS2 was a dead end. It's extremely sad that there has had to be yet another fatality to prove them right.

Edited by Nibb31
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This will most definitely not be the end of space tourism.

In '67 the Apollo crew capsule caught fire killing three.

Also in '67 Soyuz 1 crashed due to parachute failure killing one.

In '71 Soyuz 11 accidentally decompressed after un-docking killing three.

'86 shuttle Challenger exploded during launch killing seven.

'03 shuttle Colombia burned up during re-entry also killing seven.

All progress will suffer occasional set backs. As sad as this is accidents WILL happen. But we can't let it deter humanity from moving on.

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Whilst I don't think this will be the end to space tourism, there is a bit of a conformation bias going on here. There have also been cases of single events effectively ending progress.

1937 - Hindenburg disaster results in almost complete death of airship industry.

2000 - Concorde crash ultimately results in Concorde being retired & the end of commercial supersonic flight.

I wonder if the SpaceShipTwo design will survive this.

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