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Virgin Galactic readies for Space tourism

A graphical representation of SpaceShipTwo. Image Credit: Virgin Galactic.

NEW YORK (BNS): Virgin Galactic will unveil on Monday its new space vehicle, "SpaceShipTwo (SS2)", which may soon carry tourists to the space for 200,000 dollars.

Virgin Galactic is a US space tourism company which is headed Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group. The company, in future, plans to provide sub-orbital spaceflights on a commercial basis.

SpaceShipTwo is 60ft long with a 90" diameter. It can carry six passengers and two pilots. The spacecraft is powered by hybrid rocket technology and launches horizontally from an aircraft at around 50,000 ft. It is the brainchild of Burt Rutan, an aerospace engineer.

The ceremony will be held at the Mojave Spaceport in California. The spacecraft will begin test flights next year and may start commercial flying in 2011 or 2012.

More than 300 people worldwide had already booked tickets for the space flight and many more have online applied for it.

Currently, in this new space tourism venture Virgin Galactic has competitors like EADS Astrium, Rocketplane Limited, the Benson Space Company and Space Adventures.

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