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Meet Virgin Galactic's new spaceship, 18 months after fatal break-up

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richard branson
Sir Richard Branson in front of the 'mothership'

We’re just 18 months on from 2014’s fatal Virgin Galactic disaster, but the dream of passenger space-travel is still very much alive.

Sir Richard Branson is due to unveil the new Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo later today.

The billionaire announced his intentions on Good Morning Britain, confirming an imminent major reveal set to take place in California, USA.

The new SpaceShipTwo is designed as a passenger spacecraft, and will carry six passengers at a time. But the journeys are set to cost a hefty $250,000 per trip – that’s about £175,000.

The ship is due to be thoroughly tested however, before regular consumers are allowed to board a spaceflight.

“We will send people to space once pilots have tested the ship time and time and time again,” said Branson, speaking on TV this morning.

Virgin Galactic suffered a serious setback in 2014, when the VSS Enterprise broke up mid-flight and crashed in the Mojave Desert during a trial run on October 31.

vssThe VSS Enterprise, the spacecraft that broke up in 2014

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The catastrophic disaster resulted in the death of co-pilot Michael Alsbury, while pilot Peter Siebold was seriously injured.

“Obviously it was a horrendous day when it happened and I must admit we had moments where I questioned if we should carry on,” Branson revealed, speaking about the incident.

He continued: “Talking to engineers and astronauts and family members and the public, we got all the feedback and it was apparent there was no way we could stop.”

According to Virgin Galactic, over 700 people have already signed up to fly with the service.

Do you think the Virgin Galactic spaceflight is worth $250,000? Let us know in the comments.

peterspc

February 19, 2016, 4:39 pm

not all of virgin products have been successful and playing with your life needs a second look? and if it is successful others will enter the market also ?

dbt

February 19, 2016, 6:17 pm

I personally wouldn't trust old Branston pickle as his Virgin Media broadband like most UK broadband is SHIT ! on download speeds and dropouts too! so I'll go fly with the Pelicans or old rot box meany Ryan Air, might not get so HIGH, Just means I don't have to come DOWN so much; pretty good thing for an old ex hippie like me!

Paul Langton-Rogers

February 20, 2016, 5:38 pm

It's one of the dumbest ideas I've ever seen. And if these "space planes" are anything like as bad as his trains, internet/cable tv are in UK, I'd stay WELL CLEAR. Leave the space stuff to NASA the experts, it's not something private companies should be messing with, the death of one man already should have brought this silly project to an end.

Paul Langton-Rogers

February 20, 2016, 5:40 pm

I agree, Virgin has a history of taking good business and ruining them. The Virgin group has become too diversified and cannot run all the businesses they have already very well, so it seems sheer madness taking on a project of this scale with such a limited market for it. Waste of capital. He would do better focusing on improving his existing businesses.

peterspc

February 20, 2016, 7:48 pm

though of course the sixth man on the moon died recently here on earth ? and the English electric lightening aircraft made it up to the blue ?

Donald

February 20, 2016, 8:56 pm

It's time to give this ill fated project up before more people are killed.

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