How Green is Virgin Galactic?

Max Luke and Jenna Mukuno: Boldly Going Where No Greens Have Gone Before, Wall Street Journal

"When you include the energy of the entire Virgin Galactic operation, which includes support aircraft, it is seven times more than the flight from Singapore to London. As such, a single trip on Virgin Galactic will require twice as much energy as the average American consumes each year. (These numbers were confirmed by a representative for Virgin Galactic.)"

Virgin's Spaceship Already Meets Fuel-Economy Goal, , George Whitesides, Wall Street Journal

"The article rightly implies that a return economy trip from London to Singapore, in any modern airliner, will generate a C02 footprint per passenger of at least two tons. The FAA estimates that Virgin Galactic's fully reusable SpaceShipTwo passenger spacecraft will take you to space and back leaving a carbon footprint of just 0.28 tons--in fact, less than the carbon output of an economy return seat from Los Angeles to New York. To be fair to the authors, Virgin Galactic, for safety reasons, launches its spacecraft from a specially designed carrier aircraft. This aircraft is the largest all-carbon-composite aviation vehicle ever built and is the lightest and most fuel-efficient aircraft of its size. Therefore, in a typical space mission fuel usage for the carrier aircraft will only equate to a carbon footprint per astronaut passenger of about 1.5 tons, giving a total for aircraft and spaceship of around 1.8 tons (less than a return economy class ticket from London to Singapore)."

SpaceShipTwo Goes Supersonic for Third Time, earlier post

  • submit to reddit


Loading




Join our mailing list




Monthly Archives

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on January 13, 2014 8:55 AM.

Time For Planetary Scientists to Start Job Hunting? was the previous entry in this blog.

CASIS Defines Bedtime Stories on ISS as "Major Payload" is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.