Virgin Galactic to unveil commercial spaceship

News release the revealing of the new Virgin Galactic ‘Spaceship’ today at Mojave.

Ain’t that the White Knight II?

N348MS WK2 White Knight II

with N339SS SS2 Space Ship 2 in the center.

Oh. What’s the difference?

Virgin Galactic White Knight 2 - YouTube)

Just not the same with out the ‘space ship’.

Virgin Galactic Animation White Knight 2 & Space Ship 2 - YouTube)

and with SS2.

SS2 is the world’s first commercial spacecraft.

Does that require a “Way Far up-there” endorsement?

From CNN:

Another aircraft will carry the 60-foot-long SpaceShipTwo to 60,000 feet above the Earth, where “they will drop away and they will then go to 2,000 miles per hour in 10 seconds, where they get propelled into space,” Branson said

And then the paying passengers will instantly be vaporized, miles over our heads.

Would I take a flight? Absolutely. Would I be on that very first flight? Not a chance in hell. … index.html

Remember the Columbia?

The 300 people who have given Branson’s Virgin Galactic $20,000 deposits toward the $200,000 space-ride tickets were invited see SpaceShipTwo in its Mojave, California, hangar.

Anyone wanna go in halves with me on a ticket? :stuck_out_tongue:

SS2 would not get high enough to feel the heat that a Space Shuttle would feel on re-entry. SpaceShipTwo will probably only get as high as the old X-15s did. The Space Shuttle’s altitude is about 200-400 miles, while SpaceShipTwo is going to be about 65 miles


Still, you’re talking around 350k’. In my opinion, it’s a relatively untested idea and there’s a reason that we haven’t seen anyone else commit to taking paying passengers to that altitude - the risk. Like I said, I’d definitely do it if I had the chance, but I wouldn’t be a guinea pig on that first flight. Do you think Richard Branson is going to be on the first expedition? If he trusts it enough to go along, then maybe I would. Other than that, no way.

The shuttle is reentering with 100x the specific energy (10x the velocity) compared to SS2.