Virgin Galactic eyes passenger connectivity for space flights

Virgin Galactic.jpg

I can see it now. The tweets. The FaceBook updates. The miles high boasts. “I’m tweeting from space!!” Why? Because Virgin Galactic is looking to offer in-flight connectivity to passengers on its suborbital space tourism flights (they obviously won’t need any seat-back entertainment for that ride).

RWG has learned that Sir Richard Branson is studying his connectivity options for SpaceShipTwo.

But what might he choose?

If you’re going up and back to space, the aircraft would effectively serve as the satellite. In other words, it won’t need to talk to a satellite, but rather a great big ground dish (a steerable antenna) that’s talking to the aircraft.

Says a source: “Theactual band used is X-band, which is in the gigahertz range. One of the bigthings of Ham Radio is you get a dish and bounce signals off spacecraft, orbounce them off the moon, so it’s moon bounce communications.”

Errr, anybody got a spare $102,000 laying around?

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10 Responses to Virgin Galactic eyes passenger connectivity for space flights

  1. glen towler August 18, 2011 at 2:46 am #

    I was going ask you same thing about the $102,000 . Wonder if it will be in service longer than Concord ?

  2. jetcal1 August 18, 2011 at 9:01 am #

    Only a 102K?
    You can’t even certify a lav. occupied light for that.
    However, I’m sure the regulators will correct this oversight soon.

  3. Mary Kirby August 18, 2011 at 9:37 am #

    Who even needs lavs? Gerard Depardieu has set a new standard – bottles!

  4. jetcal1 August 18, 2011 at 12:20 pm #

    You realize the domestics may now remove the lavs for more seats and start a $25.00 bottle charge. They will of course, serve more free beverages and salty snacks.

    This concept could easily exceeed baggage fee revenues. :)

  5. Max Flight August 18, 2011 at 5:48 pm #

    When I take my flight into space, I’m going to spend all my time looking out the porthole, not at some keyboard, that’s for sure!

  6. Mary Kirby August 18, 2011 at 8:28 pm #

    I like how you say “when”….

  7. Jeff August 18, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    It was my impression that X-band is reserved for government satellite/deep space communications , so I’m curious how it could be used by a commercial venture.

    Also, if you can get a Virgin Galactic ticket for $102,000, you’ve wrangled yourself quite a bargain! The going price is $200,000.

  8. Mark August 19, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    Mary,
    Please let Sir Richard know to not use Honeywell Phase 3 display’s in his Spaceship.

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