Three Italian researchers for "SpaceShipTwo"
Agreement signed between Virgin Galactic and Italian Air Force
An agreement between Virgin Galactic and the Italian Air Force (AMI) was announced yesterday that will allow three of Italian researchers to carry out experiments in space on the occasion of a suborbital flight on board the SpaceShipTwo in 2020. During the mission the company will provide the training and specialization of the scholars and will also support the phase that will anticipate the flight supervising the experimental loads including tools to verify the biological consequences on the human body in the passage from gravity to microgravity and means to study the composition green fuel chemistry.
Scaled Composites Model 339 SpaceShipTwo (SS2) is an experimental sub-orbital spaceplane equipped with a hybrid rocket engine, developed by the US society The Spaceship Company, a joint-venture between the aeronautical Scaled Composites firm of engineer Burt Rutan and Virgin Group of the magnate Richard Branson, as part of their "Tier One" program.
Destined to be used as a vector for space tourism, it is currently being tested. The first prototype was lost during the flight on October 31, 2014 following a command activated in an unexpected phase of the flight, with consequent structural failure of the aircraft. One pilot was killed in the accident, while the other suffered serious injuries.
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