Thursday, August 24, 2006
Virgin Galactic is a company established by Richard Branson's Virgin Group to undertake the challenge of developing space tourism for everybody.
Virgin Galactic will own and operate privately built spaceships, modelled on the history-making SpaceShipOne craft. These spaceships will allow affordable sub-orbital space tourism for the first time in our history.
Due to the unique technology developed by Burt Rutan, this space craft design has overcome the difficult issues of re-entry into the earth's atmosphere faced by so many designers trying to create efficient, re-usable space vehicles.
We believe that it is in mankind's interest to develop our knowledge and understanding as well as access to space. Every customer of Virgin Galactic will be helping the development of a new generation of space craft.
Designs for the Virgin Galactic craft are progressing on a weekly basis at Rutan's base in Mojave, California and by early 2005 the final design for the maiden Virgin Galactic ship, the VSS (Virgin SpaceShip) Enterprise, should be signed-off.
What will follow will be a concerted Research and Development programme to earn the craft their qualification to carry some of the world's first scheduled space tourists. Safety is paramount. It is planned to have multiple levels of redundancy on key systems in order to achieve a very robust system in every phase of flight.
Virgin's experience in aviation, adventure, luxury travel and cutting-edge design will be vital in contributing to the design of the spaceship, the smooth operation of the spaceline and creating an unforgettable experience unlike any other available to mankind.
"We've always had a dream of developing a space tourism business and Paul Allen's vision, combined with Burt Rutan's technological brilliance, have brought that dream a step closer to reality. The deal with Mojave Aerospace Ventures is just the start of what we believe will be a new era in the history of mankind, one day making the affordable exploration of space by human beings a real possibility."