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Virgin Galactic plane just got a step closer to taking you to space

In a notable milestone, Richard Branson's space company just fused the big bits of another spaceplane.

Virgin Galactic announces major milestone in manufacture of next spaceship
Virgin Galactic announced a major milestone in the manufacturing process for its next spaceship on Sept. 17.
Virgin Galactic

There's something awe-inspiring about seeing a space vehicle before it's finished. An actual spaceflight might be its most glorious moment, but a lot of raw energy and work goes into getting it there. 

Space tourism company Virgin Galactic shared a look at a major assembly milestone for its next SpaceShipTwo on Tuesday. 

Virgin Galactic is assembling the spaceplane at its manufacturing facility in Mojave, California. The company has now mated the fuselage and cabin and attached the two tail booms to the rear of the spaceship. It actually looks like a recognizable spaceplane.


The new SpaceShipTwo is coming together on the right.

Virgin Galactic

The spaceship under construction will eventually join the existing VSS Unity as part of founder Richard Branson's fleet of space tourism vehicles. Unity skimmed space during a momentous test flight in December 2018. Virgin Galactic has a third spaceplane underway as well. 

VSS Unity tests have been moving forward after a series of setbacks that included a fatal crash during a flight in 2014. Virgin Galactic is inching toward offering commercial space tourism flights based out of its spaceport in New Mexico

Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides suggested the company could start tourism operations by the spring of 2020. Getting a second spaceplane into service would help Virgin Galactic reach its goals, but delays aren't unusual when it comes to achieving space milestones. 

We can still take a moment to step back and appreciate the assembly process for the next SpaceShipTwo.