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[i]Unlike its predecessor, SpaceShipOne, this space ship has a belly mounted speed brake that can be used to control the glide ratio of the descent portion of the flight. SpaceShipOne had a lift to drag ratio (L/D) of 7:1 during the descent. The only way that could be changed was by lowering the gear, which was done just before touchdown as there was no way to retract the gear once it was down. With the speed brake, pilots of SpaceShipTwo will be able to adjust the glide during the descent to account for changing winds and other variables Siebold says.
"It gives a tremendous amount of flexibility where you can change the L/D in real time during the descent and not only use the turn radius of the approach."[/i]
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