"Virgin Galactic's new spaceship VSS" the world's first commercial spaceline
The world's first commercial spaceline
Virgin Galactic's founder, Sir Richard Branson, had initially suggested that he hoped to see a maiden flight by the end of 2009, but this date has been delayed on a number of occasions, most recently by the October 2014 in-flight loss of SpaceShipTwo VSS Enterprise.
Virgin Galactic is comprised of hundreds of dedicated and passionate professionals — including rocket scientists, engineers, and designers from around the world — united in creating something new and lasting: the world’s first commercial spaceline. A spaceline for Earth.
"Together, we can make space accessible in a way that has only been dreamt of before now, and by doing so can bring positive change to life on Earth. Our beautiful new spaceship, with its stunning silver and white livery, is the embodiment of that goal and will provide us with an unprecedented body of experience which will in turn lay the foundations for Virgin Galactic’s future. Her creation is also great testament to what can be achieved, when true teamwork, great skill and deep pride are combined with a common purpose.
As for what’s next? VSS Unity will join our fleet with the WhiteKnightTwo VMS Eve for human spaceflight and the 747-400 Cosmic Girl for the LauncherOne small satellite launch service. The Spaceship Company has already started work on the next SpaceShipTwo. Watch this space." Richard Branson.
“I would be very proud to fly on this spaceship.” Professor Hawking’s inspiring words on VSS Unity @virgingalactic https://t.co/1awwanW8cE— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) February 20, 2016
"If you are expecting SpaceShipTwo to blast off and head straight to space on the day we unveil her, let us disillusion you now: this will be a ground-based celebration," the company wrote in a blog post yesterday. "Indeed, our new vehicle will remain on the ground for a while after her unveiling, as we run her through full-vehicle tests of her electrical systems and all of her moving parts. We already know these things work individually, but one can’t simply assume they will all work together—that must be tested and verified. We’ll do so quickly, but we won’t cut corners."
MORE ABOUT VIRGIN GALACTICS
We're proud to introduce our new #SpaceShipTwo Unity to the world. Videos and more at https://t.co/OPYk8exWdV pic.twitter.com/uIsAnBKRyj— Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) February 20, 2016
Richard Branson has big plans for Virgin Galactic: Internet from space, anyone? https://t.co/pq7RJeqPMt pic.twitter.com/5R465Yy93G— Mashable (@mashable) February 20, 2016
Witness the spectacle of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo unveiling https://t.co/rGr7XiNFYl pic.twitter.com/oLiUUcyzSy— The Verge (@verge) February 20, 2016
Virgin Galactic's new spaceship, Unity, shows space tourism efforts are back on track https://t.co/vFpwOcyBjO— Fast Company (@FastCompany) February 22, 2016
Branson has even bigger plans for Virgin Galactic in the future.
"Why shouldn't we go on to maybe creating a ... one astronaut two people orbital vehicle?" Branson said during a press briefing. "We will start to do that." Branson
He also suggested that Virgin Galactic may have a role to play when the International Space Station is retired in 2024."Since the Space Station has only got a few years to run, why shouldn't we be involved in helping replace the Space Station and see what we can do on that?" Branson added.
And as if that weren't enough, the billionaire also believes that Virgin Galactic may do something in the future to bring wireless Internet to more people around the world.
"That could transform peoples' lives," Branson said.
XCOR Aerospace is also developing a new suborbital space plane, and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin is currently testing its New Shepard space system to fly people to space and back in a capsule.
Elon Musk's SpaceX and Boeing are both planning to start flying astronauts to the Space Station under a contract with NASA. Those flights should begin sometime in 2017 if everything sticks to schedule.
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