Jun 19, 2009

Virgin Galactic

Sir Richard Branson completed a successful test on May 28, 2009 of its hybrid nitrous oxide motor. The motor is the largest of its kind in the world and offers safety features including a kill switch allowing the spaceship to glide back to Earth and perform a conventional runway touch down.

The Virgin Galactic model dubbed SpaceShipTwo is an extraordinary design for a space tourism spacecraft. It will launch after reaching the upper atmosphere and detaching from the mother ship called Eve. The hybrid motor does not contain harmful toxins as solid rockets used by the space shuttle and the upper atmosphere launch provides cost savings for fuel.

It has a capacity to carry six space tourists and two pilots into suborbital space at speeds up to 2500 mph and soar about 65-miles above the Earth. The expected ticket price is $200,000 per passenger and currently there are 300 space tourists on the waiting list. Testing of the shuttle will begin later this year.