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Old 12-07-2009, 03:43 PM   #1
Dantheman62
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Default Virgin Galactic to unveil commercial spaceship

By ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer Alicia Chang, Ap Science Writer – Mon Dec 7, 4:57 am ET

LOS ANGELES – After five years of secret construction, the cloak is coming off a privately funded spacecraft designed to fly well-heeled tourists into space.

The long-awaited glimpse of SpaceShipTwo, slated for rollout Monday in the Mojave Desert, could not come sooner for the scores of wannabe astronauts who have forked over part of their disposable income for the chance to float in zero gravity.

"We've all been patiently waiting to see exactly what the vehicle is going to look like," said Peter Cheney, a 63-year-old potential space tourist from Seattle who was among the first to sign up for suborbital space rides marketed by Virgin Galactic. "It would be nice to see it in the flesh."

Virgin Galactic spokeswoman Jackie McQuillan promised a "theatrical unveil" followed by a cocktail party for paying passengers and other VIPs.
SpaceShipTwo's debut 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.

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 hangar to commercialize the prototype in heavy secrecy.

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.

For the rest of the article...
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091207/..._space_tourism

AP – This undated file photo provided by Virgin Galactic shows placement of the center beam during SpaceShipTwo's …
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Old 12-07-2009, 04:50 PM   #2
GaiaLove
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Default Re: Virgin Galactic to unveil commercial spaceship

This stuff get me all excited, I have dreamt of going to space since i was practically a baby. I would jump at the chance at a flight on this baby.

Quote:
Originally Posted by VG
White Knight Two will carry SpaceShipTwo slung beneath its belly to an altitude of about 15 km before SpaceShipTwo fires its engine to reach space. White Knight Two boasts two passenger cabins, while the original White Knight - used during SpaceShipOne's X Prize-winning flights in 2004 - had only one (Illustration: Virgin Galactic)
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Old 12-07-2009, 07:10 PM   #3
Dantheman62
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Default Re: Virgin Galactic to unveil commercial spaceship

A scale model of the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo in 2008 at the America Museum of Natural History in New York. British billionaire Sir Richard Branson will unveil a craft on Monday that could soon carry tourists on an out-of-this-world trip into space -- for a mere 200,000 dollars.




An interior view of SpaceShipTwo's cabin is shown under construction at the Scaled Composites facility in Mojave, California in this 2009 publicity photograph. Scaled Composites is building the ship for Virgin Galactic which is set to unveil SpaceShipTwo, December 7, 2009 at the Mojave Spaceport in Mojave, California. The six-passenger vehicle will undergo test flights in 2010 and start commercial flights between 2011 and 2012.






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Old 12-07-2009, 09:00 PM   #4
morguana
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Default Re: Virgin Galactic to unveil commercial spaceship

wow, i would love to have a go, now the question is would i sell my mum or not?
to physicaly go into space would be fantastic,
and in comfort
bou x
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:36 AM   #5
micjer
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Default Re: Virgin Galactic to unveil commercial spaceship

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBo8t0B5NhM
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