The first of a fleet of aircraft capable of flying to space were unveiled this week by Virgin Galactic. Look for the first commercial spaceflights by 2011. R.C.J.
The first of a fleet of aircraft capable of flying to space were unveiled this week by Virgin Galactic. Besides suborbital commercial flights, the fleet will also fly space-science missions and launch small satellites. Space Ship Two was christened in the Mojave desert this week by the governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico where the world's first commercial space port is located. The first Virgin Galactic commercial passenger vehicle was dubbed the "VSS Enterprise" after the flagship of the popular Star Trek franchise. The Virgin Galactic fleet, which is being built by The Spaceship Company (TSC, Mojave, Calif.) will eventually consist of five Space Ships and two White Knight jet-powered carrier aircraft made by Scaled Composites, which will carry the Space Ship Two vehicle to 52,000 feet where its rocket fires to take it the rest of the way to space.
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