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SpaceShipTwo Christened Virgin Spaceship Enterprise

Virgin Spaceship Enterprise - Photo Credit: Virgin Galactic


SpaceShipTwo, the first spaceship for commercial space flight, was christened Virgin Spaceship Enterprise by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson at the Mojave Air and Spaceport Dec. 7.

There is a long tradition of using the word Enterprise in the naming of some military and space vehicles. Since our first trek into space decades ago, the name represents the acknowledgement of the role future exploration, industrialization and human habitation of space will play in our society.

The unveiling began at night fall where patrons sported designer space jackets supplied by PUMA to protect them from the dessert cold. The celebration culminated with a viewing of the night sky using a special telescope that was supplied by Ron Dantowitz of the Clay Center Observatory in Brookline, Massachusetts.

This new venture is also supposed to be a big boom for job creation within the space industry. Over a thousand jobs are estimated to open in Virgin Galactic and with suppliers in California and New Mexico. According to virgingalactic.com, recent research has indicated that 12,500 jobs have already been created due to the emergence of new commercial space companies. Approximately 600 people are now working on activities relating to this project and that number is said to double during the peak of construction.

Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson said he, his family and aerospace engineer Burt Rutan would be the first people to travel aboard the spacecraft, after numerous safety tests, of course. Branson is hopeful that they will be sending thousands of people into space in the next few years.

“We want this program to be a whole new beginning in the commercial era of space,” said Branson. --Sylvia Maye

Sources: www.virgingalactic.com

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