SS2 Design Woes

After reading Jeff Foust's latest on the SS2 I'm left seriously doubting the future success of Virgin's suborbital venture.

These Buckos are testing seats in the legendary jet "Vomit Comet" apparently to determine potential comfort issues for the crew who would eventually take the joy ride in space.

Well more than warranted. But wasn't test flights supposed to occur late 2007? And there still testing seat designs?

I guess the argument could be made that for the SS2 most of the design is already a "fait accompli" thanks to the already flown SS1.

But in this article they're talking new engine, possibly new fuel... Although that is denied, the denial sounded like a half implication half denial. The truth is mused, but I left not knowing quite what the plan was for the SS2.

I don't know if this is just bad engineering or just bad pr.


  1. Anonymous12:39 AM

    Or just baseless rumours spread by armchair experts on blogs.

  2. Wow. That was burn. I sure didn't intend to spread rumours, I just asked a question.

    I guess you disagree. So how 'bout you try giving me some reasons why you disagree instead of launching out accusations of your own - because apparently you are the REAL expert.

  3. I'm no expert but I can venture a guess. And it's just a guess.

    They're not testing serially but whatever the opposite of serial is. Batch?

    The normal process might (again, no expert) to design everything in sequence. They design the frame, then fly the seats, then the next test and so on.

    But the guys doing the seat design don't need the actual air time in SS2, they just (for this round) need a O G environment and guys willing to sit in the seats.

    And what a job that would be.

    Say this gets the seat design team 50% of the way to completion. They've just halved their dev time and they didn't need to wait for a flyable SS2 to do it. When SS2 flies they put the 50% done seats in and do the testing that requires SS2.

    Again, just a guess. But we get away with that stuff in hardware and software installs and in my completly uninformed view it seems reasonable.