Space travel: Virgin Galactic unveils SpaceShipTwo

img Virgin SpaceShip 2 small Today Richard Branson’s space travel company Virgin Galactic has unveiled the design of its new space launch system.

Together with the new SpaceShipTwo the carrier aircraft called White Knight Two (WK2) was presented. Virgin Galactic says that WK2 is very close to completion and is expected to begin flight testing in the summer of 2008.

The carrier aircraft WK2 will get SpaceShipTwo up into the sky to about 60,000 feet (18,288 meters) where the two vessel then separate and SpaceShipTwo rockets into outer space.

For an expected ticket price of USD 200,000 six passengers and two crew members will then get about 4 1/2 minutes of zero-gravity time 68 miles (110 km) above us mere mortals before gliding back to Earth.

So when your inner voice now loudly shouts – that’s me too going there – and you run over to your bank and want to shell out the amount from your account (meaning from the monies corrupt traders, high risk speculation by your bank or overinflated bonus and option payments to their employees have left in there) – wait a minute…

Like with their (Virgin) intercontinental flights from Europe to the US at popular dates there is already a waiting list.

Virgin Galactic has announced that the group of future astronauts has by now grown to far more than 200 individuals plus they have gathered about 85,000 registrations of interest to fly. And within their Astronaut orientation already 80 of SpaceShipTwo’s first passengers have gone through medical assessment. Extra: The training program also includes a G-Force acclimatization where participants are spun to 3.5GZ (head to toe) and 6GX (front to back) to simulate the actual flight profile of SpaceShipTwo during the space flight.

image courtesy of Virgin Galactic

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