Virgin Galactic – Can you hear me Major Tom?

It seems we won’t have to wait too far to be shot up into space, or I suppose the better word would be flown. Virgin Galactic, a branch of the Virgin Group owned by Sir Richard Charles Nicholas Branson, plans to start flying people into space by 2015 for a measly 200,000$. Ok, so maybe it’s not THAT measly, but considering it’s going to be one of the first commercial airlines (or spacelines?) to fly you into space, it’s not that ridiculous.

The vehicle they’ve developed, titled the Virgin Galactic Spaceship Two, is a very science fiction looking aircraft designed to be hauled by the WhiteKnightII, another aircraft shaped strangely like a WWII bomber.

The Galactic II
The WhiteKnightII seen dropping the Galactic II.

The total cost will run 200,000$ with a 20,000$ deposit. The actual flight plan consists of a 3.5 hour flight total, with about 6 minutes of weightlessness.  NASA in February of 2007 also signed a memorandum of understanding, showing a possible collaboration between the two companies.

It seems the 2015 date is still on schedule as Virgin has successfully flown the Galactic II on it’s first solo flight as of last night. It was still carried 45,000ft. into the air by the White Knight II, but last night was the first successful flight where it was released from it’s carrier. It flew for a solid 11 minutes unaided by the White Knight II before landing.
Makes me wonder though if Virgin Records will have any say in some music on the flight. It’d add a little bit of charm I think, so long as you’re not playing Bowie’s Space Oddity… something about playing a song about a crashing spacecraft on a spacecraft that doesn’t sit well with superstition.
…maybe that’s just me.
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About Jerrett
I'm just a guy addicted to the poetry of reality. For everything I know, there are 10 things I don't, and that gives me strength.

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