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Feb 18 2015

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This long, unsatisfying article at least had a little gold at the end

The stratosphere and suborbit: shirtsleeves or pressure suits? It’s WAY long (over 2200 words — longer than any single chapter in Ships & Stones), and it’s unsatisfying because the author doesn’t come to an conclusion or recommendation at the end of the wall of text. Click on the article if you must, but you’ve been warned.

That said, I did learn something from the article, and that’s this:

How does Virgin Galactic’s take on crew and passenger protection compare to XCOR Aerospace’s Lynx Mark II and Sierra Nevada Corporation’s Dream Chaser?

The XCOR Lynx Mark II, the commercial variant of the current test vehicle under construction, will have a pressurized cabin, but both the pilot and the one spaceflight participant on board will wear pressure suits. The XCOR website states the following:

Lynx will have a pressurized cabin; however, pilot and participant will wear full pressure suits during flight for safety in case of an emergency. The pressure suit will be custom designed for XCOR by one of the leading manufacturers of pressure suits such as David Clark Company or Orbital Outfitters.

The Dream Chaser spacecraft is moving forward despite Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) losing a NASA competition provide commercial crew transport to and from the ISS. Dream Chaser is the product of a military contractor, so it comes as no surprise that the crew will wear pressure suits. This was the original intent when the company was competing for the commercial crew contract and it remains so today.

Both Lynx and Dream Chaser will require pressure suits while SpaceShipTwo will not? Looks like I’ll be flying Virgin Galactic.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2015/02/18/this-long-unsatisfying-article-at-least-had-a-little-gold-at-the-end/

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