VSS Enterprise Prepares to Go Where No Commercial Enterprise Has Gone Before
In brief: Virgin Galactic's new sub-orbital space shuttle, dubbed the VSS Enterprise, is unveiled at the new Virgin Galactic Spaceport America.
Vehicle in the news
Make/Model: VSS Enterprise (SpaceShip Two)
Manufacturer: Virgin Galactic
Although no one is reported to have said "Make it so" before the unveiling commenced, it's possible that someone muttered "Warp Systems, engage" when the doors were opened to reveal the new SpaceShip Two and its mothership, the VMS Eve.
Christened the VSS Enterprise at the unveiling ceremony, the new sub-orbital space shuttle looks like a cross between a commercial airliner and a stealth fighter jet.
Virgin Galactic is the latest project of Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin travel group, including Virgin Airlines.
Expected to take flight carrying commercial passengers into the outer reaches of the atmosphere in 2011, the Enterprise already has 300 passengers as early-adoption signers-on. At $200,000 each.
The still under construction spaceport for the Eve and Enterprise is located in the Mojave Desert in Arizona. The new air and space port will be completed sometime next year.
The VMS (Virgin Mother Ship), Eve, underwent flight testing earlier this year and the VSS (Virgin Space Ship), Enterprise, is expected to undergo its flight testing early next year.
More shuttled and mother ships may be in the offing in the years to come as Virgin positions itself to be the first serious competitor in the commercial space flight industry. Prices per ticket are expected to fall as the program proceeds and costs are lowered.
And so ...
It's suspected that it will only be a matter of time before we will be required to defend ourselves against Klingon and Borg invasions. Luckily, the Enterprise will be there to save the day.
Photo credits: Virgin Galactic
This site follows the emergence, application and development of transportation innovation. Reference to manufacturers, makes and models, and other automotive-related businesses are provided for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement by FutureCars.com.
In order to view the content on this page, you will need the latest version of Adobe’s Flash Player. Click here to download it.