Virgin Galactic Unveils Commercial Spacecraft SpaceShipTwo

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Virgin Galactic is showing off its design for SpaceShipTwo, which a press release describes as “nearly 60% complete.” No big surprises here — it has the same basic profile and uses the same kind of launch vehicle as SpaceShipOne. I would’ve hoped they at least made some breakthroughs on the clever-ship-names front, but not yet, apparently. Maybe they could bring in Iain Banks as a consultant.

The site is getting hammered, but check out images of the spaceport, too. Not much hard info on that. The release just talks about its environmental sustainability. Which, you know, that’s cool and all, but where are the life support facilities for incoming aliens?

The site has a lengthy info-mercial featuring Richard Branson, Burt Rutan, and some distinguished sub-orbital pilots, plus some really bad renderings and a guy who looks suspiciously like Michael Palin. The whole thing is very Total Recall. When you go Rekall, you get nothing but first class memories!

60% complete, huh. They better hurry if they’re going to beat these guys.