Some More Thoughts on SpaceShipTwo’s Flight

Credit: Ken Brown
Credit: Ken Brown

A couple of brief notes on Monday’s SpaceShipTwo flight.

There was a public and press viewing site set up along the Mojave Air and Space Port’s flight line that a provided a great view of the flights of WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo. The airport did a good job in situating the viewing area and guiding visitors there so they could get a view of the test flight.

From what I have been hearing, things ran smoothly for both visitors and employees of companies who work at the spaceport. Flight test operations in Mojave require a great deal of support from General Manager Stu Witt and his staff. The test flight on Monday — which brought the public, press and VIPs to the airport — put an even greater burden on the staff. They performed well.

My only real criticism is that I wish the arrangements for the public and press had been better communicated in advance. The announcements were not very clear and left room for misinterpretation.

I’m partly to blame for some of the miscommunication. I took what I read and heard and then drew entirely wrong conclusions about how the press and public would be accommodated. Instead of taking the time to clarify the story as I should have, I ran with it and ended up causing more confusion. That wasn’t fair to the public or the airport.

I apologize for that. I will do better in the future.