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WhiteKnightTwoVirgin Galactic is moving full speed ahead to become the first company to provide commercial sub-orbital space flights for private citizens. The company hopes to launch its first public flight before 2009 but it is taking orders now at $200,000 per seat.
SpaceShipTwo will be launched from its mother ship, WhiteKnightTwo. The SpaceShip Company, which is a joint operation of Richard Branson's Virgin Group and Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites, selected Scaled Composites to design and build SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo.
In spaceAfter the mothership releases SpaceShipTwo at 50,000 feet, the craft will rocket to an altitude of 360,000 feet in about 90 seconds. There, its wings will "feather" or fold in preparation for re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere. The entire flight will take about two and a half hours.
This image of SpaceShipTwo was fitted over an actual photo from SpaceShipOne taken from space.