One of The Pink Flamingo’s fondest dreams is of space travel. On Monday that dream became closer to reality. Virgin Galactic unveiled SpaceShipTwo, along with the assistance of Big Bill.
“...Branson hired aircraft designer Burt Rutan and his team at Scaled Composites to build the commercial spaceship fleet after a Rutan prototype named SpaceShipOne won the $10 million Ansari X Prize in 2004 for the first private piloted spaceflight. Commercial space flight has been a dream for decades, but the 2004 flight was the first proof that industry might be able to achieve it without the help of government, which historically has dominated space travel. A lethal 2007 explosion during a rocket engine test by Scaled Composites, however, illustrated the danger and risk to creating a safe and profitable venture.Branson, in the Reuters Television interview, said that the flights would be safer than NASA’s Space Shuttle. “I think because it’s so much younger, it’s just that much safer than what NASA has done using old technology which is 50, 60 years old,” he said. SpaceShipOne, which is on display at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, made three suborbital flights. A 10-month atmospheric test flight program is expected to begin on Tuesday and would be followed by extensive test flights into space before passenger travel in 2011 or 2012…”