The Tech Herald

Virgin Galactic reveals the V. S. S. Enterprise

by Stevie Smith - Dec 9 2009, 20:22

'To boldly go where no man...' No, that doesn't work. Image: Virgin Galactic.

Extending the reach of his ambitious Virgin Galactic venture, businessman Richard Branson has this week whipped the covers off the eagerly anticipated SpaceShipTwo, which is expected to become the world’s first commercial spacecraft.

The unveiling ceremony was held at the futuristic New Mexico Spaceport, which will serve as a hub for Virgin Galactic’s fleet of spacecraft, and was attended by California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson.

Despite the vehicle looking somewhat unruly and being lumbered with a distinctly unimaginative name, Virgin Atlantic president Will Whitehorn has confirmed that SpaceShipTwo will in fact enter service as the V. S. S. Enterprise (Virgin Space Ship Enterprise).

“It was the name of the first space shuttle, and it has dominated science fiction as a kind of watchword for human spaceflight in the future,” outlined Whitehorn in a statement.

The new name, which was apparently chosen by Branson’s daughter Holly, is considered more befitting of the craft given the maritime history and tradition associated with ships bearing the same name.

When officially ready to carry commercial passengers, the Enterprise will be carried to an altitude of 50,000 feet slung centrally beneath the wing of its twin-fuselage EVE mothership, at which point it will propel its two pilots and six paying passengers on a tantalising sub-orbital journey.

Although the Enterprise (one of a planned five Virgin Galactic space vehicles) now faces many months of ground and flight tests to determine its safety levels, space tourists with suitably deep pockets are expecting to head for the stars some time during 2011.

Around the Web

Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus

From Autosaur.com

Formula E ‘FanBoost’ Voting Opens For Second Race Of Season

Voting for the FanBoost part of the next FIA Formula E race is now open — where fans can vot...

300 Miles From One Gallon And No, That’s Not A Typo

Imagine you’re in a bar and a guy walks up and asks if you’d be interested in buying a car t...

2015 Nissan Pathfinder Prices and Specs

Nissan has announced pricing and specs for the 2015 Nissan Pathfinder. The SUV, which is on ...

Miami ePrix Circuit Revealed

The FIA Formula E Championship has revealed the layout for the Miami ePrix circuit. Formula ...

Two DeLoreans And A Replica Jaguar C Type On Scottish Classic Car Run

The Kirkintilloch & District Classic Vehicle Club’s annual run to Glencoe in Scotland is...