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Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson and Scaled Composites president Burt Rutan launched their latest effort in personal space travel and showed off the designs and models for SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo, a space launch system. The unveiling--of the models at least--happened at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. See Larry Dignan's blog for details.
Here's a model of WhiteKnightTwo, the launch craft for SpaceShipTwo. The plane is designed to be used multiple times--twice a day down the line.
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.
Here's the model of SpaceShipTwo shown at the press conference. Branson and company thought the "feathered wings," designed to allow the craft to enter the atmosphere at less than perfect setups was a key feature.
The SpaceShipTwo cabin has multiple windows for the pleasure of space tourists.
A look at SpaceShipTwo under construction.
Another construction shot.
Once SpaceShipTwo is done it will ideally look like this.
The flight profile for SpaceShipTwo.
Virgin Galactic's "Galactic Girl" will be carried on the spaceline's crafts. The logo is modeled after Branson's mother in her younger days.