Exciting times ahead for commercial space travel as Virgin Galactic reveal the latest incarnation of their SpaceShipTwo design, the first to be manufactured by The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic’s dedicated manufacturing arm.
Although construction of the Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Unity began in 2012 extra scrutiny was given to its creation following the fatal 2014 accident that led to the destruction of predecessor VSS Enterprise and the death of test pilot Michael Alsbury. Each component has undergone rigorous testing before assembly and the whole craft will now be subjected to a series of on the ground and in the air tests before it reaches the echelons of space. As for The Spaceship Company they have turned their attention towards building the next SpaceShipTwo.
Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson said, Together, we can make space accessible in a way that has only been dreamt of before now, and by doing so can bring positive change to life on Earth. Our beautiful new spaceship, VSS Unity, is the embodiment of that goal and will provide us with an unprecedented body of experience which will in turn lay the foundations for Virgin Galacticâs future. Her creation is also great testament to what can be achieved when true teamwork, great skill and deep pride are combined with a common purpose.
Virgin Galactic CEO George T. Whitesides said, We seek to open space to people from all walks of life, and todayâs milestone is big step toward that goal. Outer space is the province of all humanity, and we think it is about time that all of humanity has a chance to explore it: not just pilots but also painters, not just engineers but also everyday explorers.
The Spaceship Company President Doug Shane said, Building a talented team for our assembly facility in Mojave is perhaps what I take the most pride in. As we developed and manufactured SpaceShipTwo, we also developed the end-to-end capability for vehicle design through delivery for this and future aerospace projects. We look forward to fulfilling our aim as The Spaceship Company with vehicles of the future for Virgin Galactic and the rest of the industry.