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GALAXY quest?!....Virgin Galactic unveils their spaceship, IFO (identified flying object)....
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: December 07, 2009 11:26AM final we come....

Virgin Galactic unveils commercial spaceship

....A spacecraft designed to rocket wealthy tourists into space as early as 2011 was unveiled Monday in what backers of the venture hope will signal a new era in aviation history.

The long-awaited glimpse of SpaceShipTwo marks the first public appearance of a commercial passenger spacecraft. The project is bankrolled by Virgin Galactic founder, British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, who partnered with famed aviation designer Burt Rutan, the brains behind the venture.

"We want this program to be a whole new beginning in a commercial era of space travel," Branson said.

He is hopeful that they can begin the flights sometime in 2011, only after a series of rigorous safety tests. Branson said he, his family and Rutan would be the first people to make the trip to space aboard the craft.

SpaceShipTwo is based on Rutan's design of a stubby white prototype called SpaceShipOne. In 2004, SpaceShipOne captured the $10 million Ansari X Prize by becoming the first privately manned craft to reach space.

Since the historic feat, engineers from Rutan's Scaled Composites LLC have been laboring in a Mojave Desert hangar to commercialize the prototype in heavy secrecy. Some 300 clients have paid the $200,000 ticket or placed a deposit, according to the company.

"NASA spent billions upon billions of dollars on space travel and has only managed to send 480 people," Branson said. "We're literally hoping to send thousands of people into space over the next couple of years. We want to make sure that we build a spaceship that is 100 percent safe."

The last time there was this level of hoopla in the high desert was a little more than a year ago when Branson and Rutan trotted out to great fanfare the twin-fuselage mothership, White Knight Two, that will ferry SpaceShipTwo to launch altitude.

Despite the hype, hard work lies ahead before space journeys could become as routine as air travel.

Flight testing of White Knight Two has been ongoing for the past year. The first SpaceShipTwo test flights are expected to start next year, with full-fledged space launches to its maximum altitude by or in 2011....



I reject your reality and substitute my own!

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 12/07/2009 12:01PM by NewtonMP2100.
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Re: born again V***N!....Virgin Galactic unveils spaceship, IFO (identified flying object)....
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: December 07, 2009 11:48AM
Burt Rutan certainly doesn't let a pesky thing like design precedent stand in his way. His planes look like nothing designed before them. They are more a work of art than machines. His name is going to be remembered with the likes of the Wrights and Goddard.

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Re: GALAXY quest?!....Virgin Galactic unveils their spaceship, IFO (identified flying object)....
Posted by: Don Kiyoti
Date: December 07, 2009 12:32PM
Yes, Rutan is an incredibly talented aircraft designer. He has a spot in my personal "Hall of Airplane Fame" with the likes of John Northrop, Kelly Johnson, Geoffrey DeHavilland, and Glenn Odekirk.

Who is Glenn Odekirk, you ask?

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