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Virgin Galactic's First Commercial Spaceship Named "V.S.S. Enterprise"

Von: Steven L. (sdlitvin@earthlink.net) [Profil]
Datum: 08.12.2009 05:56
Message-ID: <06ydnXAQXeJNQYDWnZ2dnUVZ_s9i4p2d@earthlink.com>
Newsgroup: alt.startrek alt.tv.star-trek.tos
SpaceShipTwo Christened VSS Enterprise

* By Jason Paur Email Author
* December 7, 2009  |
* 11:11 pm

On a cold and windy night at the Mojave Air and Space Port, the VSS
Enterprise was unveiled to the public tonight. Attached to its mother
ship, the vehicle better known as SpaceShipTwo is expected to be the
first commercial spacecraft when it enters service with Virgin Galactic.

SpaceShipTwo was built by Scaled Composites under the guidance of
legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan. The carbon composite spacecraft
uses the same fuselage as its mother ship, VMS Eve. After a year of
rigorous testing VMS Eve completed flight testing earlier this fall.
Rutan didn’t specify when flight testing for SpaceShipTwo would begin,
though it is expected to start early next year.

Sub-orbital passenger flights could start as early as 2011 from Virgin
Galactic’s space port in New Mexico that is currently under
construction. Tickets for the early adopters are $200,000 for the three
day training program and the ride into space. Both Rutan and Virgin
Galactic founder, Sir Richard Branson have repeatedly said they expect
the prices to drop rapidly similar to many new technologies, including
the early days of air travel.

Once flight testing is complete, production will begin on a fleet space
craft like SpaceShipTwo in order to meet the expected demand for rides
into space. Rutan and Branson have partnered in a company simply known
as ‘The Spaceship Company.’ The joint venture will produce both the
WhiteKnightTwo mother ships and the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft. Rutan says
he expects that 40-50 spaceships will be needed in order to satisfy the
market. Branson’s Virgin Galactic has the exclusive use of the launch
system for the first 18 months of operation.

Rutan said tonight’s unveiling is the culmination of many years of
thinking, designing and working on making space travel more accessible
to more people outside the ranks of government space programs.
“All of us at Scaled are tremendously excited by the capabilities of
both the mothership and SS2. Today is the culmination of a dream that
began many decades ago, was stimulated by Paul Allen’s funding of our
X-Prize winning SS1 and then moved forward to commercial reality by Sir
Richard and Virgin’s visionary investment in a new future for space

Branson said seeing SpaceShipTwo for the first time is very exciting and
he is now looking forward to the next steps towards commercial space

“The unveil of SS2 takes the Virgin Galactic vision to the next level
and continues to provide tangible evidence that this ambitious project
is not only moving rapidly, but also making tremendous progress towards
our goal of safe commercial operation.”


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