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Virgin Galactic Set to Launch its First Commercial Rocket Plane Spaceflight

Virgin Galactic to launch first commercial rocket plane, revolutionizing space tourism. Exciting times ahead! #SpaceTravel #Innovation



Image: Virgin Galactic

Exciting news for space enthusiasts and adventurers alike! Virgin Galactic, the innovative space tourism company founded by Sir Richard Branson, has announced its highly anticipated first commercial rocket plane spaceflight. This milestone event marks a significant step towards the realization of commercial space travel. With Galactic 01 ready for launch, let’s delve into the details of this groundbreaking mission.

The Galactic 01 Crew:
Virgin Galactic has carefully selected a team of experienced astronauts to pilot the historic first commercial spaceflight. The crew members, known as the Galactic 01 Crew, consist of highly trained professionals with diverse aviation and space exploration backgrounds. Their expertise and dedication ensure a safe and successful journey for the passengers onboard.

The Mission:
Virgin Galactic’s rocket plane, VMS Eve, will carry the Unity spacecraft to an altitude of approximately 50,000 feet. At this point, Unity will detach from VMS Eve and ignite its rocket engine, propelling it to the edge of space. Passengers will experience weightlessness and witness awe-inspiring views of the Earth from space. This extraordinary adventure promises to be a life-changing experience for all those fortunate enough to be part of it.

Commercial Space Travel:
Virgin Galactic’s mission goes beyond a single flight; it aims to pave the way for routine commercial space travel. By offering civilians the opportunity to venture into space, the company is making space exploration accessible to a broader audience. This significant step forward signifies a new era in space tourism, where ordinary individuals can fulfill their dreams of experiencing space firsthand.

Safety and Innovation:
Virgin Galactic places the utmost importance on safety and innovation. The company has undergone rigorous testing and development to ensure the utmost reliability of their spacecraft. With cutting-edge technology and a team of experts, they are pushing the boundaries of space travel while prioritizing passenger safety.

The upcoming launch of Virgin Galactic’s first commercial rocket plane spaceflight is an exciting development in the realm of space tourism. This mission not only represents a remarkable achievement for the company but also signifies a significant milestone in the democratization of space. As we eagerly await this historic event, the possibilities for future space exploration and adventure are truly limitless.



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Sierra Space Layoffs: Impact on Dream Chaser Spacecraft and Future Plans

Sierra Space lays off employees and contractors after completing Dream Chaser spacecraft. Uncertainty looms for the company’s future.



Image: Sierra Space

In a surprising turn of events, Sierra Space, the Colorado-based aerospace company, has announced layoffs affecting a significant number of employees and contractors. The company, known for its construction of the innovative Dream Chaser spacecraft, recently completed its first spacecraft and is preparing for its maiden launch.

Sierra Space, which previously employed around 2,200 individuals across the country, has informed approximately 165 employees and an undisclosed number of contract workers that their positions will be terminated. The news of these job cuts was initially reported by CNBC and has since been confirmed by a company spokesperson.


This announcement brings a sense of uncertainty for those impacted by the layoffs, as well as the broader aerospace community. While Sierra Space has taken a significant step forward in its space exploration endeavors with the completion of the Dream Chaser spacecraft, it appears that the company is undergoing internal restructuring.

As the Dream Chaser spacecraft heads to a NASA testing facility in preparation for its upcoming launch, scheduled for April, the future of Sierra Space remains uncertain. The aerospace industry will be watching closely to see how this setback impacts the company’s trajectory and its ability to continue pushing the boundaries of space exploration.

Take a look at the story on CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/11/16/sierra-space-layoffs.html


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Boom Supersonic Announces New Aircraft, Engine, and Investment Milestones



New strategic investment from NEOM comes as XB-1, Symphony and Overture achieve important program milestones

DENVER /PRNewswire/ — Boom Supersonic, the company building the world’s fastest airliner, announced today multiple milestones across the Overture airliner, Symphony engine, and XB-1 supersonic demonstrator programs. The company also confirmed closing of an investment round, including a strategic investment from the NEOM Investment Fund (NIF). Boom’s total funding to date now exceeds $700 million.

New strategic investment from NEOM Investment Fund comes as XB-1, Symphony and Overture achieve important program milestones.

“Our goal is to bring the world closer together through faster flights,” said Blake Scholl, founder and CEO of Boom Supersonic. “We’re excited to collaborate with partners and investors around the globe as we work to realize our shared vision.”

Announced on October 24, the NEOM Investment Fund is the strategic investment arm of NEOM, the sustainable regional development in northwest Saudi Arabia. As part of the agreement, Boom and NIF will collaborate on opportunities to make the Gulf region dramatically more accessible, through the power of supersonic flight. The NIF investment now takes Boom’s total funding from investment and other capital sources to more than $700 million. 

XB-1 readying for first flight this year
Boom achieved key milestones toward XB-1’s historic first flight, which remains on track for later this year at the Mojave Air & Space Port. After the receipt of its airworthiness certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), XB-1 has recently completed successfully a number of integrated tests, including ground vibration mode testing, fuel system integrated testing, engine operability testing, and medium-speed taxi testing up to 90 knots. Following its Flight Readiness Review (FRR) last week, XB-1 will conduct high-speed taxi testing in final preparation for its first flight. 

Symphony propulsion system hits development milestone
Boom also announced that Symphony, the Boom-developed propulsion system purpose-built for sustainable and economical supersonic flight, has successfully conducted its key 2023 engineering milestone, known as the Conceptual Design Review (CoDR). This important achievement paves the way toward Symphony’s first hardware rig tests planned for 2024. 

Overture Superfactory construction ahead of schedule
In late September, Boom commemorated the “topping out” of the Overture Superfactory at the Piedmont Triad Airport in Greensboro, North Carolina, signifying the completion of the building’s frame. Over the past six weeks, the company has finished the decking on the top of the structure, poured the concrete flooring, and installed the metal side wall panels. The work to complete the Overture Superfactory is now ahead of its original schedule with completion anticipated in the second quarter of 2024.

For more information about Overture, please visit: https://boomsupersonic.com/overture

For more information about XB-1, please visit: https://boomsupersonic.com/xb-1

About Boom Supersonic
Boom Supersonic is transforming air travel with Overture, the world’s fastest airliner, optimized for speed, safety, and sustainability. Overture will fly at twice the speed of today’s airliners and is optimized to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Overture’s order book stands at 130 aircraft, including orders and pre-orders from American Airlines, United Airlines, and Japan Airlines. Boom is working with Northrop Grumman for government and defense applications of Overture. Suppliers and partners collaborating with Boom on the Overture program include Aernnova, Leonardo, Aciturri, Safran Landing Systems, Eaton, Collins Aerospace, and the United States Air Force.

Symphony™ is the propulsion system that will power Overture, a Boom-developed engine with world-class suppliers including Florida Turbine Technologies (FTT), a business unit of Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., GE Additive, and StandardAero. For more information, visit https://boomsupersonic.com

Connect with Boom Supersonic on TwitterLinkedInFacebookInstagramYouTube

NEOM Investment Fund
NEOM Investment Fund is the strategic investment arm of NEOM, designed to activate, advance, and accelerate the global transformational changes critical to a sustainable future. NIF will support the buildout and development of NEOM and deliver mutual, long-term value across sector projects with large multinationals, innovators, and the wider institutional investment community that are participating in the building of NEOM and the implementation of its vision for the future. Its core activities include executing investments alongside NEOM’s sectors and subsidiary companies in pioneering growth companies and next-generation industries, and on fundraising at the project level that would ultimately lead to strategic management of NEOM’s diverse portfolio of commercial assets. As a catalyst for change, NIF actively seeks out and advocates for setting up large anchor businesses in NEOM, along with “moonshot” tech investments that are required to deliver sustainable long-term prosperity at a time when the world faces challenges of unprecedented scale and complexity.

For more information about NEOM Investment Fund, visit https://www.neom.com/en-us/invest/neom-investment-fund or visit http://www.neom.com and http://www.neom.com/en-us/newsroom

SOURCE Boom Supersonic

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Aerospike Engines: Efficient Altitude-Compensating Rocket Technology

Discover the innovative aerospike engines, designed for efficient altitude compensation in rocket technology, promising enhanced performance.



The aerospike engine is a unique type of rocket engine that maintains its aerodynamic efficiency at various altitudes. It falls under the category of altitude-compensating nozzle engines and has been extensively studied for many years. While it has not yet entered commercial production, it is widely regarded as a promising engine for single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) designs and was even considered for the Space Shuttle main engine.

NASA‘s Toroidal aerospike nozzle

The terminology surrounding aerospike engines can be confusing. Originally, the term “aerospike” referred to a truncated plug nozzle with a conical taper and gas injection, creating an “air spike” to compensate for the absence of the plug tail. However, the term is now commonly used to describe a full-length plug nozzle.

Traditional rocket engines use a bell-shaped nozzle to direct exhaust gases and generate thrust. However, as the vehicle ascends, the expanding exhaust escapes in the wrong direction, reducing engine efficiency. In contrast, an aerospike engine avoids this efficiency loss by firing the exhaust along the outer edge of a wedge-shaped protrusion, or “spike,” which acts as a virtual bell. The recirculation of exhaust gases in the base zone of the spike helps maintain pressure, especially at low altitudes, where the ambient pressure compresses the exhaust against the spike.

As the vehicle climbs to higher altitudes, the reduced air pressure decreases the exhaust’s contact with the spike. However, the recirculation zone at the base of the spike maintains pressure higher than the near-vacuum in front of the vehicle, providing additional thrust. This compensates for the decreasing ambient pressure, making the aerospike engine an effective altitude compensator.

Are Aerospikes Better Than Bell Nozzles?

Aerospike engines have some drawbacks, including the additional weight of the spike and reduced performance in the Mach 1-3 range due to reduced airflow pressure. Nevertheless, variations of the aerospike design, such as the toroidal aerospike and linear aerospike, offer different shapes and possibilities for improved efficiency and control.

In conclusion, the aerospike engine presents a promising solution for maintaining aerodynamic efficiency across various altitudes. Its innovative design and altitude-compensating capabilities make it a potential game-changer in the field of rocket propulsion, opening up new possibilities for future space exploration and transportation.

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