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Complete SpaceShipTwo Shown To Public Today

Sir Richard Branson with SpaceShipTwo Model - Photo Credit: Virgin Galactic


Virgin Galactic, a commercial company, is set to unveil SpaceShipTwo, the first spaceplane for private space travel, Monday December 7, 2009. You and your family can take a ride for the low price of $200,000 per passenger.

Yes, I said $200,000.

Okay, so that’s not really a low price but a 2.5 hour spaceflight that will allow a normal everyday person to experience six minutes of zero-gravity, may just be worth it.

Specifically, the way it works, travelers will be taken up in the ship on a carrier craft and then released for vertical take off. Rocket engines will then ignite, sending the crew 65 miles above Earth. The first test flights of the ship are scheduled for next year but passenger travel won’t commence until 2011 or 2012.
Modeled after aerospace engineer Burt Rutan’s prototype named SpaceShipOne, the ship already has some high flying fans ready for an ‘out of this world’ experience. Deposits have already been put down by 300 people, totaling a whooping $40 million.

Virgin Galactic has said it has put safety to the utmost importance and this attribute is outlined in the designs of its spacecrafts.

Jeff Greason, co-founder and chief executive of XCOR Aerospace, which offers tickets for a similar ride on its Lynx spacecraft, said, “we in the industry bear the burden of being as safe as we can reasonably achieve so that the industry is not unfairly tagged with a reputation of recklessness.” --Sylvia Maye



Space Ship Two Construction - Photo Credit: Virgin Galactic

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