[FPSPACE] SS1 documentary "Black Sky" Sunday at 4PM

Porter, William R wrporter at iupui.edu
Fri Oct 8 13:14:38 EDT 2004


The show about the 2nd flight was on last night and man it only happened Monday, talk about the power of digital editing.


Randall Porter
Indiana University, Purdue University Indianapolis
UITS/ TLIT/ Classroom Services
Zone 1, IU School of Nursing


-----Original Message-----
From: fpspace-bounces at friends-partners.org [mailto:fpspace-bounces at friends-partners.org] On Behalf Of Palladium at aol.com
Sent: Friday, October 08, 2004 11:45 AM
To: DwayneDay; fpspace at friends-partners.org
Subject: Re: [FPSPACE] SS1 documentary "Black Sky" Sunday at 4PM

<<The show will be repeated on Sunday at 4PM.  It's really something.  Don't miss it.
>>

I didn't miss it, and whoah! Amazing footage of the actual flights, and the stuff leading up to them was nearly as good. I was amazed at the scenes of Rutan and his crew performing a last-second fix on the nitrous oxide tank. Someone reports there's a leaky valve, and Rutan says, "well, let's take a look-- someone find me an eye-shield and a flashlight." Very seat-of-the-pants, backyard rocketry club kinda stuff. Mike Melville's wife was the picture of someone nearly paralyzed with fear for her husband, but absolutely determined not to show it to her man, the very essence of bravery.

After the first X prize flight (and the crazy roll), Meville tells Rutan that he thought the roll might have been kicked off by a "very powerful asymetric thrust".. hat tip to you, DDA.  I ducked out during a commercial break and missed the first few seconds of Rutan's own explanation of the roll-- did he confirm the thrust problem?  He also said (I think) that part of the roll problem was that SS1 was on an absolutely vertical trajectory-- in other words, gravity and aerodynamics offered no assistance in keeping the ship level, and that the flight path would be altered on the next flight so it didn't go completely vertical until the very end of the burn sequence.

DS Michaels
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