Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship Ready for its Unveiling

December 7, 2009

(ChattahBox)– Virgin chief Richard Branson has his sights set on the next great frontier and he is leading the way on commercial human spaceflight. His first unveiling of the Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo is planned for Monday in California’s Mojave Desert. The SpaceShipTwo will be the first ever rocket designed for commercial travel beyond the earth’s atmosphere. When Branson’s spaceship is ready for flight, paying customers will have to shell out $200,000 for the experience.

The SpaceShipTwo was designed by Burt Rutan, who also designed SpaceShipOne in 2004, which successfully completed three flights into suborbital space. Rutan won $10 million for his spaceship, which was built for the Ansari X Prize competition. Branson then tapped Rutan to design his future fleet of commercial spaceships.

The SpaceShipTwo will start test flights next year and if all goes well, paying flights will begin in 2011 or 2012.

Paying customers with $200.000 to spare would experience a 2.5 hour ride that will soar 65 miles into space, with a fun microgravity environment lasting about six minutes. While in suborbital space, the passengers will be treated to a breathtaking view of the curvature of the Earth.

So far, 300 customers have placed deposits totalling $40 million, to secure their place in line to be among the first commercial passengers to make a space flight.

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