Virgin Galactic just revealed their first SpaceShip III, the VSS Imagine. It will begin ground testing, with glide flights planned for this summer from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Imagine features a new livery design, finished entirely with a mirror-like material that reflects the surrounding environment, making it appear as if it’s constantly changing color as it travels from earth to space. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
Virgin Orbit, a California-based satellite launch company, announced that its LauncherOne rocket has successfully reached space during its second launch demonstration today. This also confirms that it has successfully deployed 10 payloads for NASA’s Launch Services Program (LSP). Unlike other launch systems, Virgin Orbit uses a technique called air launch, in which a rocket is launched from under the wing of a jet aircraft, rather than from a traditional launch pad on the ground. Read more for two videos and additional information.
Virgin Galactic officially unveils the spacesuits its pilots will wear as they fly private astronauts on their journeys. It was designed in collaboration with Under Armour, and the Virgin Galactic Pilot Corps will wear the gear on future flights, which includes the first human spaceflight from New Mexico set to take place this month with the flight window opening on December 11. The design team started with a non-pressurized spacesuit design that aesthetically conveyed the pilots’ role in Virgin Galactic’s mission as well as practically supporting their unique task of flying regularly at over three times the speed of sound into space. Read more for a video, additional pictures and information.
The Virgin Galactic Mach 3 aircraft has just been revealed, and it could be the future of supersonic air travel. This delta-wing aircraft, with capacity for 9 to 19 people, would fly at an altitude above 60,000 feet, while incorporating custom cabin layouts to address customer needs, including Business or First Class seating arrangements. It would pave the way toward use of state-of-the-art sustainable aviation fuel. Read more f or additional pictures and information.
In the near future, Virgin Galactic will begin transporting passengers to the edge of space in its SpaceShipTwo vehicles, with the first being VSS Unity. Will it be a first class experience? Well, the company revealed the interior, designed in collaboration with London design agency, Seymourpowell, complete with individually sized seats that were created using the highest-grade aluminum and carbon-fiber manufacturing techniques. Read more for a video and additional information.
Virgin Galactic announced today the successful completion of its first SpaceShipTwo test flight from Spaceport America, marking the inaugural solo flight of VSS Unity in New Mexico, an important flight test milestone in preparation for commercial service. It took off with VSS Unity attached to the carrier aircraft, VMS Eve, and the vehicles climbed to an altitude of 50,000-feet before Unity was released, at which point VSS Unity flew freely for the first time in New Mexico airspace.
Under Armour has revealed the spacesuits that Virgin Galactic astronauts will wear on flights to the edge of space, and each one will be individually hand-tailored to each passenger and will include their national flag as well as a name badge. Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft can carry as up to six passengers, along with the two pilots, to the edge of space after being dropped from a jet-powered aircraft at around 40,000 feet. Read more for a video and additional information.
Yes, the Virgin Galactic WhiteKnightTwo has successfully completed its first maiden voyage above the Mojave headquarters. Continue reading to watch video of the landing and takeoff.
If you’ll recall, we were expecting the craft to take flight in September, though we can’t say that a three month delay is all that unforgivable given the nature of the task.
The whole thing is expected to cost a pretty reasonable $31 million, which the company will quickly recoup, no doubt. The SpaceShipTwo and its carrier craft, White Knight Two, will be completed in 2008 as well, so the company is well on its way to offering cheaper space flights