Video of RocketMotorTwo Test for SpaceShipTwo

Video Caption: Footage from Virgin Galactic’s recent Hybrid Rocket Motor Test

Editor’s Note: I saw this test while I was driving into Mojave. Managed to pull off the highway and catch the ending of it. You’ll notice the video fades out prior to shutdown, and there’s a reason for that. The shutdown didn’t seem to go that well. The best I can describe it as is the engine seemed to burp. The flame went down, then shot up again briefly, before shutting down. That was followed by the venting of some white gas.

  • Enrique Moreno

    I think that the burp that you can detect at the end of the test was normal at low altitude, but will be not go to happen at high altitude. When you stop the engine by means of to close the oxidizer valve, the fuel grain remains hot enought to re-start ignition when the oxigen from air penetrates inside the combustion chamber. This lead a pulsed reaction of partial combustion at a frecuency related to internal final dimensions of combustion chamber and can be listen as a burp. You can see the same physical mechanism in this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF82pEIeuBc

    I think this is not a technical issue of importance about the engine.