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Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Rocket Motor Will Now be a Part of The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

But you will be able to see it in the year 2024.

News18.com

Updated:February 11, 2019, 11:17 AM IST
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Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Rocket Motor Will Now be a Part of The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum
But you will be able to see it in the year 2024.
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A piece of private spaceflight history will now be a part of the exhibits at The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. Virgin Galactic, a spaceflight company of the Virgin Group, has donated the SpaceShipTwo's (VSS Unity) historic rocket to the museum. The significance of this motor is that it took the spacecraft into space for the first time in December 2018. The motor will be a part of a planned Future of Spaceflight gallery, which will focus on exhibits signifying commercial ventures that took humans into space.

But you cannot see this motor on exhibit just yet—this will be slated to open sometime around the year 2024, at The Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington DC.

“The SpaceShipTwo rocket motor is a fitting addition to the National Air and Space Museum’s collection,” said Ellen Stofan, John and Adrienne Mars Director of the National Air and Space Museum. “It does not just represent technical achievement. It is sure to also inspire our visitors by demonstrating what can be achieved through entrepreneurial innovation.”

The motor weighs around 3,000 pounds, with 320kN of thrust and a burn duration of around 60 seconds. This created sufficient energy to propel VSS Unity to space at almost three times the speed of sound. The donated rocket motor, also referred to as the Case-Throat-Nozzle (CTN) assembly, was an integral part of SpaceShipTwo’s hybrid propulsion system.
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