Virgin Galactic introduced the newest addition to its fleet of vehicles today as part of a technical update on its LauncherOne small satellite launch service. The 747- 400 commercial jet aircraft, previously operated by Virgin Atlantic under the nickname ‘Cosmic Girl,’ will provide a dedicated launch platform for the LauncherOne orbital vehicle.
Sir Richard Branson and his two children will be among the first passengers to travel to space on Virgin Galactic next year. The Virgin boss revealed that his son Sam and daughter Holly would accompany him on a 60 mile journey into space on the SpaceShipTwo (SS2) aircraft.
Virgin Galactic has revealed that its passenger-carrying suborbital space vehicle, SpaceShipTwo, successfully completed its first glide flight test on following a recent integration period for rocket motor systems and maintenance.
Last month the developer of the Virgin Galactic-operated SpaceShipTwo suborbital space tourism vehicle was granted regulatory approval to begin rocket-powered flight testing in the United States, bringing space travel a step closer to a reality. Breaking Travel News catches up with George Whitesides, president and chief executive of Virgin Galactic, to find out what this means for space tourism.
Virgin Galactic and Aabar Investments have announced the appointment of Steve Landeene to the role of chief advisor, Spaceport Abu Dhabi. Between 2007 and 2010, Landeene was executive director of Spaceport America in New Mexico and oversaw the development of Virgin Galactic’s operational hub and the world’s first purpose built commercial spaceport.
Entrepreneur Richard Branson has inaugurated the $200 million, Norman Foster designed Spaceport America as Virgin Galactic inches closer to the stars. Some 800 guests were on hand to witness a fly-past from WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo as part of a spectacular opening ceremony.
Richard Branson’s commercial space venture Virgin Galactic has taken a key step closer to taking tourists into space. Test pilots have flown the spacecraft softly back the Earth’s atmosphere from space. The achievement is fundamental to reducing wear and tear on the rocket, so it can reach achieve the goal of making several flights per day.
Space tourism for the masses has taken another step closer to reality with the opening of the world’s first commercial spaceport in New Mexico, USA.
Enterprise – the suborbital spacecraft developed by Virgin Galactic – has successfully completed its first manned free flight. The craft was released from its mothership at an altitude of 45,000 ft before successfully gliding to land at Mojave Air & Spaceport.
Russian space group Energiya in partnership with America’s Orbital Technologies have won the tender to build the world’s first space hotel, complete with a menu devised by celebrity chefs. The CSS hotel will house up to seven space tourists, and also double up as an emergency refuge for astronauts.
Entrepreneur Richard Branson has revealed Virgin Galactic is just 18 months away from offering commercial space travel. With Boeing also preparing to enter the space-tourism market, Branson also outlined plans to go one step further, revealing ambitions of building hotels in space.