Jessica Tabinor Aerospace and Defence
INDUSTRY NEWS | 2 MIN READ
The Virgin Galactic spaceplane, SpaceShipTwo has reached a new milestone by matting the fuselage and cabin of its next spaceship to the completed wing assembly.
Virgin Group is planning on sending groups into space every 32 hours by 2023. Within four years, it will eventually have the capacity to transport 1,565 people on a year-round basis.
The Virgin Galactic spaceplane, SpaceShipTwo has reached a new milestone by matting the fuselage and cabin of its next spaceship to the completed wing assembly. Along with this huge step forward, the two tail booms have been mated to the spaceship’s rear feather flap assembly making the main structures for the commercial spaceship almost complete.
The SpaceShipTwo is rumoured to have the potential to revolutionise air travel. Imagine flying at 3,500 miles per hour from New York City to Paris, partly through space!? According to Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, the company are planning on sending groups into space every 32 hours by 2023.
“Our passionate and talented team has made great progress on the next SpaceShipTwo.”
“Seeing VSS Unity adjacent to the assembly of the next vehicle as well as the cabin of our third spaceship makes it very clear that we are building a fleet of remarkable spaceplanes for commercial service.”
Fancy taking a ride on the SpaceShipTwo? Well, a ticket will cost you $250,000 but over the course of the 90-minute flight at an altitude of around 100 kilometres, it will offer you a few minutes of experiencing weightlessness and fantastic views of the curvature of the earth.
It is believed that initially SpaceShipTwo will be used alongside Virgin Galactic’s current spaceship, VSS Unity.
George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company added:
“It is exciting to imagine these two vehicles operating shoulder-to-shoulder from Spaceport America in New Mexico,”
“We have a strong block design which we believe we can replicate to build the remainder of the fleet, continuing our march toward commercial service.”
Over 600 people have already booked a place as a space tourist, including actor Ashton Kutcher, allowing Virgin Galactic to raise combined deposits of $80 million.
The next step for the spaceplane is the feather assembly, which is key to ensure the spaceship can safely re-enter Earth’s atmosphere.