Virgin Galactic models SpaceShipTwo

Virgin Galactic models SpaceShipTwo

Summary: Virgin Galactic showed off models of WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo.

TOPICS: Emerging Tech

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  • A model of the Pratt & Whitney engine that will power WhiteKnightTwo.

  • An animation of what WhiteKnightTwo will look like in flight.

  • WhiteKnightTwo will carry SpaceShipTwo so it can launch into space.

Topic: Emerging Tech

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  • Spaceship Two

    I think this is great. I am a big fan of Burt Rutan and all of his projects. I cannot wait until SpaceShip Two is complete. I am the academic coordinator for the Aircraft Manufacturing Technology program at a technical school in Charleston, SC. I have been involved with composites for many years and am now trying to incorporate al aspects of composites into my classes. I refer to Burt Rutans projects often. This is one of the greatest steps toward space travel and hope to fly on a SpaceShipTwo space craft in the future.
  • RE: Flight profile (Virgin Galactic models SpaceShipTwo)

    Go Boys, GO!

    I'm still hoping to make it to space in my lifetime, and you guys are my best hope.
  • RE: Flight profile (Virgin Galactic models SpaceShipTwo)

    I think it's absolutely amazing!!! Too Bad most of us will never be
    able to afford it... : (
  • RE: Flight profile (Virgin Galactic models SpaceShipTwo)

    Sad that you know the name of the money man but fail to name the other man in the picture, the man who is the real brains and risk taker of the outfit! HIS NAME IS BURT RATTAN!!!
    • Correction

      Sir, I would direct you to:

      That is the only way I have ever seen it spelled. I would caution you not to shout unless you were absolutely correct in your facts.
      • Typos are better than ignoring

        His name was left out of the article, that is the point, not that i hit the T twice, duh!
        • T twice and "a" instead of "u"

          R U T A N

          And yes, they left him out. But hey, money men always get all the credit :/

          Not that Rutan is the only engineer involved in the project either.
  • RE: Flight profile (Virgin Galactic models SpaceShipTwo)

    I think it's far PAST time private enterprise got involved in space travel -- particularly the way the American government has dragged its feet and taken draconian measures in its approach to the space program ever since the end of the Apollo missions.

    Roughly 30 years ago, a physicist (I can't recall who, offhand, but he had good credentials) wrote an article in Omni magazine about how virtually LIMITLESS, FREE (after initial costs and maintenance) electricity could be generated via an orbiting space station with its entire exterior composed of nothing but solar cells, exposed to unfiltered sunlight 24/7.

    He said a large enough station, rotating at the proper speed, could generate its own partial gravity in work areas via the rotation, grow all its own food, be a completely private and profitable project and collect millions of megawatts of electricity to beam back to earth using lasers or masers or some similar technology (again, it's been A LONG TIME since I read the article, and I hawked the idea to everyone I met for years, but the details are a bit fuzzy at this point)...

    Only VERY RECENTLY has this SAME CONCEPT (or something similar) been mentioned in the news as a possible "green source" of electricity for the planet... I guess the power elites had to wait until they were dragged kicking and screaming away from their Weapons of Mass Pollution (and most are STILL kicking and screaming)!

    If more private enterprise had been allowed to get involved in this process much sooner, the benefits for all of us could have been realized by now... While I very much DISAGREE with the Bush Administration about government NOT being the one to do some things (like help the poor). One thing they definitely SHOULD have been opening to the private sector a long time ago is the space industry -- not just making the rockets and satellites, but doing the actual job and getting up there and MAKING IT WORK!

    A lot of billionaires are little more than greedy oligarchs, but I think Richard Branson deserves his title of "Sir," because he continues to be an adventurer, innovator and a true inspiration for mankind, even if he DOES appear to have a bit of "billionaire ego."
    Jeff Hayes
    • Private enterprise

      This is excellent news, especially after their tragic accident with the engines last year. Unlike Jeff I'm more happy that it's private rather than government. Government has enough to deal with! As more companies get involved we can expect much cheaper and varied space travel than a single government agency can manage.

      We should maybe start thinking about who is going to govern those who live in space, and how...
      • You need to Re-Read me, ZDNet -- We AGREE...

        My whole "semi-rant" was that NASA largely PREVENTED private enterprise from doing the actual "grunt work" part of space exploration for most of the past 50 years... For a LONG TIME, the government and Air Force treated NASA as a sort of national security issue, and while they were more than happy to let GOVERNMENT-OWNED-AND-OPERATED ROCKETS send private communications satellites and so forth into space, the impression I got all during the 70s and 80s, at least, was that allowing private companies to actually develop and launch THEIR OWN space-capable vehicles was verboten, considered something of a "national security issue," perhaps because of the Cold War?

        So my whole point is that we should have had PRIVATE ENTERPRISE working on this sort of project A LONG TIME AGO... It's a WHOLE LOT BETTER than private enterprises favorite NEW high-profit industry -- especially for the Military-Industrial complex -- a slow-burning, unending "war on terror" almost TOTALLY outsourced to private companies like Haliburton and Blackwater with no-bid contracts at HIGH profit rates and paid by American tax dollars while projects to help the poor or pay for medical care for everyone are cut or non-existent.

        Everyone read Naomi Klein's 2007 book "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism" for a REAL eye-opening experience on just what is REALLY going on with global capitalism and the so-called "free market." The level of lies we're being told and how much of our money is being blown to enrich a few big corporations is mind-blowing! A bit off-topic, I know, BUT, my point is, private enterprise doing space travel is finally something RIGHT for a change.
        Jeff Hayes
        • CAN you STOP writing LIKE this PLEASE

          It's really annoying...
    • History repeats

      Much of the original exploration of the new world was government funded. Then the stock companies (e.g. The Charter of the Virginia Company of London) came in and actually settled the New World. I see much the same thing going on now.

      As for green power, had we followed France's example, we would be putting 2.2 Billion pound less of carbon in the air, and be under Kyoto standards. I think it would have been a great program.

      Of course, they used nuclear power. . .
    • Absolute bunk

      Has the writer ever used sunlight (or the power company for that matter) to generate RF (or light) and beam it even ten meters? The loss of sunlight to the atmosphere, clouds and nightfall are small in comparison, yet we can't make solar competitive on the ground after fifty years of silicon cell development.
      Someone always has a conspiracy theory that greedy companies are holding back a utopian technology, when actually, as Microsoft thoroughly demonstrates, they actually always try to get it to the marketplace, but keep a controlling grip on it.
    • NASA is NOT for forwarding...

      space travel. Look at the "space shuttle" fiasco. OVERpriced, under-performing, terrifyingly expensive to operate, etc. Apollo was ALMOST to the point of being assembly-line, until the democrats torpedoed the entire program. The Saturn 5 is STILL the most powerful machine in human history. It's sad that the last of the engineers who designed its massive F1 engines are retired or dead. The functioning/tuning of those massive engines was just as much art as it was science, and modern engineers and their computer models are at a loss, being unable to duplicate them.
      NASA has done everything possible over the years to prevent the privatization of space, and to keep average humans (us) from ever going up there.
  • Carbon Fooprint !!!

    At the same time as Virgin Atlantic are introducing BioFuel sourced aviation fuel to help in the effort against global warming, they are doing Virgin Galactic for personal space travel for the insanely rich.

    The hypocrisy of this beggars belief

    Personal Space travel should be outlawed by International Treaty as bad for the planet!

    What next, 10 million man hours of effort, 1 trillion tonnes of oil so some rich moron can have 1 hour messing about on the moon!
    • How ignorant

      People like Richard Branson the hope of the future. People such are yourself are the true problem.

      As one of the previos commentators pointed out, if we had followed Frances example with nuclear power, we'd be in an enormously better place - environmentally, politically, financially. But nooooo. Nuclear power is baaaaad.

      It's ignorant people such are yourself, who are apparently incapapble of understanding science and its benefits, that are mucking up the environment.

      Stop being part of the problem and go back to school to learn a few things. Then maybe you'll better appreciate the significance of what's going on here.
  • Carbon Footprint

    Maybe whilst the oligarch insanely rich space tourists are up in near space, they can view for themselves the Amazon Rainforest destruction which according to the BBC has surged ahead again.
  • The fall of Icarus

    I was a fan of Burt Rutan in his days of ultralight and human powered flight. Unfortunately he has sold his soul to the billionaire rich (who got rich in the first place by not caring much about the planet). On the other matter of composites - they will not last very long as solar panels outside the earth's atmosphere without constant maintenance. Claims about unlimited free electricity are pure science fantasy.
  • RE: Flight profile (Virgin Galactic models SpaceShipTwo)

    They look awfully small - do you have to go down a rabbit hole and quaff the contents of a bottle labeled "Drink Me" before boarding? Will you be launched by the neighbor's kid's slingshot? Someone wake me up when they actually build something; I find models of the Enterprise in its various incarnations much more exciting.
  • France and its carbon footprint

    Have you been to France recently? I was in Paris just before Christmas and the air was gruesome. Swiping your finger on almost any surface in Paris would blacken it. The amount of particulate residue from their automobiles makes San Francisco and LA seem pristine comparitively.

    The question I have is how many lives could have been saved by investing those billions in some other endeavor as opposed to reducing their carbon footprint?