Monday, December 7, 2009
Virgin Galactic Unveiling Spaceship
Sir Richard Branson and Burt Rutan's spacecraft firm, Virgin Galactic, said today that it is unveiling its first manned, commercial spacecraft today in Mojave, the SpaceShipTwo (SS2). The firm--the offspring of SpaceshipOne, the first private spacecraft to reach space--said it will unveil the SpaceShipTwo after dark today at the Mojave Air and Spaceport. Virgin Galactic is a joint venture of the Virgin Group and Mojave-based Scaled Composites, the design firm run by aerospace designer Burt Rutan. According to Virgin Galactic, the combination of SpaceShipTwo and mothership VMS Eve (WhiteKnightTwo) will be part of a service it hopes to start, launching daily space tourism flights from New Mexico--once it meets regulatory requirements. SpaceshipOne was the first private vehicle in space, and won the $10M Ansari X-Prize in 2004.