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.
This image of SpaceShipTwo was fitted over an actual photo from SpaceShipOne taken from space.
For this portion of the flight, the fasten your seat belt sign will definitely be off. Passengers can expect to experience about 15 minutes of weightlessness while in space.
After reaching the edge of space, SpaceShipTwo will bring its passengers back to Earth. Virgin Galactic says it will schedule approximately one flight per week during the beginning period.
Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipOne was the first privately built craft to reach outer space, and hangs in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum. It's in elite company--right between Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, the first plane to cross the Atlantic Ocean and Chuck Yeagar's Bell X1, the first aircraft to break the sound barrier.
On September 25, 2004, Sir Richard Branson announced a deal to create Virgin Galactic, a company to license the technology of SpaceShipOne to take passengers into sub-orbital flights. Among the backers are Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen and space engineer Burt Rutan
There is one way to book a free flight--with frequent flyer miles. Allen Watts plans to cash in 2 million miles accumulated through Virgin Atlantic's Frequent Flyer Club for a chance to ride in space.
Here's a size comparison of SpaceShipOne, which has made four successful suborbital flights, and SpaceShipTwo which is currently in development. SpaceShipTwo will hold six passengers and two pilots.