Virgin Galactic unveils SpaceShipTwo, the world's first commercial manned spaceship, in Mojave, Calif.
Virgin Galactic on Monday unveiled the world's first commercial manned spaceship in Mojave, Calif.
This spacecraft, which will be capable of carrying up to six passenger astronauts and up to two pilot astronauts on a sub-orbital flight, draws on the engineering developed during the successful flights of SpaceShipOne in 2004, which won the $10 million Ansari X-Prize for completion of the world's first manned private space flight.
Once cleared of all U.S regulatory requirements, SpaceShipTwo will be attached to its mothership, WhiteKnightTwo, and will fly commercial space tourism flights from Spaceport America in New Mexico with planned commercial launches beginning by 2011.
SpaceShipOne will be powered by a unique hybrid rocket motor that is currently being developed.