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    Jonathan.firth Jonathan.firth Presentation Transcript

    • Virgin GalacticOut of this world and back Jonathan Firth Project Director February 2008
    • “Exploration is not achoice, really; it’s an imperative” Michael Collins, Gemini & Apollo Astronaut
    • “To be able to float around in zero-G,I just wish everybody could experience this.The view is so hard todescribe, it’s moving,it’s emotional”John Glenn, Mercury andSpace Shuttle Astronaut
    • • Virgin Galactic Overview – Buildingon the Success of SpaceShipOne – Virgin Galactic and Its Plans to Launch Operations – Creating a Mass Market for Personal Spaceflight – Development of Commercial Spaceships – Safe and Service Oriented Operation – Purpose Built Spaceport• Progress Update• Program Management – Approach Used – Main Challenges and Opportunities – Some Lessons Learned to Date
    • Overview
    • SpaceShipOneOctober 4th, 2004SpaceShipOnerockets into history
    • SpaceShipOne
    • Virgin Galactic
    • Virgin Galactic
    • Virgin GalacticAt the heart of Virgin …• The businesses are shaped around their customers and staff• Each business aims to deliver products and services that are: - high in quality - good value for money - user friendly - enjoyable / fun• Nothing is impossible
    • Virgin GalacticSpace ... as seenby Brian Binniefrom SpaceShipOne
    • Mass MarketAssessing the Market• Futron Corporation’s 2002 study plus other studies used to size market for suborbital flight• Virgin survey confirmed most desired features of flight and willingness to pay at various levels• Web site established at early stage• Tiered structure created to accommodate varying willingness to commit deposit• Commercial launch target set
    • Mass MarketThe Virgin Galactic Mission• Improve safety to at least the level achieved by early commercial aviation• Make the dream an affordable reality for many thousands• Achieve commercial viability through product and service development and differentiation
    • Commercial SpaceshipsOperational requirements• Significantly safer than previous space flight - the “North Star”• Six passengers and two pilots in an aircraft-type environment• Spaceship mission apogee set, with weight budget• Lift capability of mother ship set• Turnaround criteria set for mother ship and spaceship to enable commercial operation
    • Safe & Service OrientedCustomer Experience Requirements• Flight experience lasting approx. 2½ hours, including black sky, view of earth and five minutes of weightlessness• Essential features: - unrestricted views - leaving seat to experience weightlessness - enough personal space to enjoy experience• Wide range of people able to fly• Effect of G forces to be minimized
    • Safe & Service OrientedSafety in Engineering• Two-stage horizontal launch - ground launch of mother ship plus spaceship - air launch of spaceship• Unique wing feathering technology for care free and low heat re-entry• Light, resilient composite construction• Rocket propellants benign and controllable• Simple design / operation
    • Purpose Built Spaceport
    • Purpose Built SpaceportHQ / Operating Base• New Mexico competed to attract Virgin Galactic to base its HQ and operating base in the State• New Mexico Legislature approved a $225m plan to construct Spaceport America near Las Cruces• Virgin Galactic is involved as “Anchor Tenant” in the development of the Spaceport
    • Progress Update
    • Progress UpdateCommercial• Sales in line with targets• Wide geographic coverage within client group• Worldwide network of ASAs established• US ASAs from the Virtuoso network• Training and ongoing support provided to ASAs• Unveil event - January 08• Media rights being tendered
    • Progress Update
    • Progress UpdateSpaceShipTwo and White Knight 2• Tried and tested technology with upgrades• Both craft scaled up for commercial duty• White Knight 2 has twin-boom construction and is powered by four P&W engines• Each cabin designed to: - carry six passengers and two pilots - maximise the ability to view space and the earth through larger windows - provide freedom to float in cabin during zero G - maximise the room available to float - SS2 - G effects to be minimized via reclined re-entry position (forces estimated at Gz 3.5 / Gx 6.0 max.)
    • Progress UpdateBuild and Testing of WK2 / SS2• Scaled Composites has designed and is building prototype SpaceShipTwo launch system• Ground testing in progress, incl. simulator for flight handling• Flight testing program due to start in July 08• The Spaceship Company has been established to build subsequent WK2 / SS2 launch systems
    • Progress Update
    • Progress Update
    • Progress Update
    • Progress Update
    • Progress Update
    • Progress UpdateCustomer Experience• Mission / flight – personal flight plan, flight simulation, protocols• Training to protect against sensory overload – supersonic flight, zero G / High G, view, weightlessness• Emergency training• Spacesuit / flight suit training• Team building / buddy system• Ground experience – spaceport, hotel / resort, friends and family
    • Progress UpdateSafety in Operations (1)• Two pilots in each vehicle (WK2 and SS2) - design consideration for Scaled, e.g. human factors - basis for operations planning• Operational experience - brought in at early stage - astronaut pilots now being sourced• Safety at Spaceport is important criteria throughout its development• Proof of safety - safety Target > x100 - design reviews in progress
    • Progress UpdateSafety in Operations (2)• Medical program / requirements - medical forum involves leading authorities - general good health required - specific medical checks and examinations - centrifuge training - pre-flight / post-flight• FAA approval - AST confirmed as approving authority - discussions positive to date - approval process being mapped out• Comprehensive training programs - crew - passengers
    • Progress UpdateSafety and Customer Experience
    • Progress UpdateInformed Consent• Program Information• Psychological preparation• Physiological teaching• Safety training
    • Progress UpdateFlight Schedule• Flight test program to start in July 08 at Mojave, CA - to prove safety, performance and operational plans• Commercial operations to start at Spaceport America, NM - 2010 onwards• Cumulative build-up of flight frequency
    • Progress Update
    • Progress Update
    • Progress Update
    • Progress Update
    • VG Program Management Challenges & OpportunitiesLessons Learned
    • VG Program ManagementSummary of VG’s PM approach• Concise, written objectives and execution plan• Close relationships established, especially to manage key risks & with key suppliers• Communication channels established and ‘no surprises’ culture fostered• Transition to operation considered from an early stage, and end users involved throughout• Simple PM tools and reporting mechanisms• Successes celebrated and post implementation reviews held to identify/apply lessons learned
    • VG Program ManagementPlanning and Control• Integrated program of projects• Realistic, risk assessed plan (logic & milestones)• Critical path understood and key interfaces defined• Risks actively managed - mitigations and contingency plans used where viable• Supplier specifications output focussed• Progress tracked against baseline (earned value) and outcome forecasts checked monthly
    • VG Program ManagementResourcing and Financial• Group resources leveraged to avoid large overheads• Robust change control process• Supplier selection process developed• Full life cycle of projects and their operational impacts considered wherever possible• Management of budget, contingency and tolerances• Thorough acceptance processes incl. End Users
    • Challenges & OpportunitiesMain Challenges (1)Technical• Scaling up of WK/SS1 designs to meet commercial requirements incl. further increase in level of safety• Construction and testing of prototype WK2 & SS2Legal / Regulatory• Proof of Safety / Approvals for WK2/SS2 & operation• ITAR / Emerging legislationEcological• Environmental• Hazard prevention
    • Challenges & OpportunitiesMain Challenges (2)Political• National / International - PSF fostered to harmonise views of fledgling industry• Regional - HQ / Operating baseEconomic• Building commercial spaceships• Funding & managing development of VG to launch• CompetitionSocial• Market robustness• Experience / product meets customer expectations
    • Challenges & OpportunitiesChallenge - Market robustness• Early adopters are the ambassadors but are relatively small in number• Bridge to the mass market for space tourism via appeal of product and service – out of this world experience in flight – complementary ground experience – brilliant basics with magic touches – all stages of the customer journey considered• Competitors are working on other solutions
    • Challenges & OpportunitiesChallenge - Environmental• Reusable vehicles• Air launch means short rocket burn• Minimal toxic emissions and CO2 emissions forecast in line with expectations• Spaceport America being designed to achieve LEED Gold accreditation• Virgin group initiatives
    • Challenges & OpportunitiesOpportunities include ...• Uses of the SpaceShipTwo and White Knight 2 – Space access, not just space tourism – Science research – Training – Payload• Flights from other operating bases• Point to point travel – Trans continental
    • Lessons Learned
    • Lessons LearnedSome Lessons Learned to Date• Commercial - the market is there - client retention is well worth the effort• Operations - start early - lessons from Centrifuge training will establish health and fitness policy• Remembering that we are involved in a program - focus on interfaces and dependencies - expect the unexpected - one size doesn’t fit all - different skills needed for various project stages
    • Closing Thought “For years I have dreamt of seeing thebeauty of our planet from space and fully appreciating for the first time that it is part of something so much bigger” Richard Branson, Entrepreneur and Astronaut-in-waiting