Virgin Galactic completes SpaceShipTwo with blessing of Stephen Hawking (CA)

MOJAVE, Calif. — Virgin Galactic, the privately-funded space company owned by Virgin Group and Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investments PJS, has unveiled its newly completed SpaceShipTwo. The rollout ceremony was attended by Sir Richard Branson and his family, Virgin Galactic’s Future Astronauts, and partners. Professor Stephen Hawking named the new vehicle Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Unity via a recorded speech and said, “I would be very proud to fly on this spaceship.”

The ceremony featured four generations of Sir Richard’s family, from his mother Eve, Richard himself, his son Sam, to his grandchild Eva Deia who celebrated her first birthday by “launching” the spaceship in the traditional way but with milk in place of bubbly. The ceremony also included a video congratulations from Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai emphasizing the importance of space to science and technical education. Photos and speech transcripts can be found here: http://www.image.net/virgingalactic

The new SpaceShipTwo is the first vehicle to be manufactured by The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic’s wholly owned manufacturing arm, and is the second vehicle of its design ever
constructed. VSS Unity was unveiled in FAITH (Final Assembly Integration Test Hangar), the Mojave- based home of manufacturing and testing for Virgin Galactic’s human space flight program. VSS Unity featured a new silver and white livery and was guided into position by one of the company’s support Range Rovers, provided by its exclusive automotive partner Land Rover.

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Video courtesy of Virgin Galactic

Source: Virgin Galactic

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