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Space and Virgin Galactic: New SpaceShipTwo Revealed

Feb 20, 2016 07:30 AM EST
Virgin Galactic's new SpaceShipTwo
Virgin Galactic is introducing its new SpaceShipTwo, which replaces the craft that crashed in 2014. It is designed to go to an altitude of 62 miles.
(Photo : Virgin Galactic Twitter)

Virgin Galactic is set to unveil a spaceship at Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

The craft will be called SpaceShipTwo and will accommodate six passengers and two pilots. It is intended to provide five-minute trips into the sub-orbit, moving to altitudes of approximately 62 miles. Passengers will likely be researchers, commercial customers and thrill seekers.

"To have three or four people who are fairly entrepreneurial competing with each other means we'll be able to open up space at a fraction of the price that governments have been able to do so in the past," Branson said to Reuters during a tour of Virgin Galactic's LauncherOne manufacturing and rocket design location in Long Beach, California.

Branson was referring to his competition in the space race, which include Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Paul Allen.

Branzon's company will also construct its own space launchers, which include the passenger vehicle being debuted and LauncherOne rockets that are intended to set forth small satellites as early as in 2017, company officials said, according to a Yahoo News article.

This spaceship, which replaces the ship that crashed in 2014 during a test flight, is designed to include a pin that will not allow pilots from unhinging the tail section too early, said the Yahoo News article. The National Transportation Safety Board had ruled that the co-pilot had released the locks too early, which caused the accident.

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-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales


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