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Space Ship II, White Knight II - projects, flights, info

TomS

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Hey folks, could we maybe keep this confined to the actual Virgin Galactic topic?
 

overscan

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Yes, lets leave off the political sniping please.
 

Flyaway

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Flyaway

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Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company have announced new milestones in the assembly of the primary structures for the second SpaceShipTwo in its current fleet. A sister to VSS Unity, the yet-unnamed vehicle is set to launch customers into suborbital space in the 2020s. VSS Unity is being prepared for that first customer flight, although the start date for commercial operation is yet to be revealed.

The company announced Tuesday that it has successfully mated the fuselage and cabin to the completed wing assembly. Also, the two tail booms have been mated to the spaceship’s rear feather flap assembly.
The part fabrication of the wing, fuselage, cabin, nose and feather flap primary structures is also now complete.
These are two major milestones in the primary structure integration flow, allowing the vehicle to continue to press towards outfitting operations.
 

FighterJock

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Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company have announced new milestones in the assembly of the primary structures for the second SpaceShipTwo in its current fleet. A sister to VSS Unity, the yet-unnamed vehicle is set to launch customers into suborbital space in the 2020s. VSS Unity is being prepared for that first customer flight, although the start date for commercial operation is yet to be revealed.

The company announced Tuesday that it has successfully mated the fuselage and cabin to the completed wing assembly. Also, the two tail booms have been mated to the spaceship’s rear feather flap assembly.
The part fabrication of the wing, fuselage, cabin, nose and feather flap primary structures is also now complete.
These are two major milestones in the primary structure integration flow, allowing the vehicle to continue to press towards outfitting operations.
Good news Flyaway. Going into Space is on my to do list, but I will probably wait until the price comes down before my dream is turned into reality.
 

Flyaway

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ROYAL AIR FORCE PILOT SECONDED TO VIRGIN ORBIT

OCTOBER 3, 2019


The Announcement Comes As a Follow-On to the ARTEMIS Program, a Small Satellite Launch Demonstrator Spanning U.K. and U.S. Entities

Long Beach, California — 2 October 2019 —Royal Air Force (RAF) and Virgin Orbit announced the next step in an exciting new space partnership with the selection of an RAF test pilot to be seconded to the small satellite launch program, pending U.S. and U.K. regulatory approvals.

The announcement was made in Long Beach, California, aboard the iconic RMS Queen Mary ship — a fitting venue given the ship’s history as Winston Churchill’s floating headquarters for parts of World War 2 and a symbol of the U.S./U.K. special relationship. The British Consulate in Los Angeles hosted the event, where Air Vice-Marshal Simon “Rocky” Rochelle and Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart announced that Flight Lieutenant Mathew “Stanny” Stannard had been selected.

Stanny is currently a pilot with one of the RAF’s test and evaluation squadrons and will join the pioneering Virgin Orbit program to enable learning across a range of areas. Virgin Orbit has developed a new small satellite launch vehicle called LauncherOne, which is released from a modified Boeing 747-400 called Cosmic Girl.

The Royal Air Force’s Red Arrows display team flew over the ship as part of the event, which is one of the last stops on their North American tour.

Earlier in the day, the Red Arrows joined up in flight with Virgin Orbit’s customized 747-400 carrier aircraft, Cosmic Girl, for a special mixed-formation flypast above the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

Air Vice-Marshal Rochelle, the RAF Air Capability Chief of Staff, said, “It’s great news that the RAF can now confirm the secondment of Flight Lieutenant Stannard to the Virgin Orbit team. This move comes through our close collaboration and formal partnership with Virgin Orbit within Team ARTEMIS. Having one of our Test Pilots working at the heart of such a cutting-edge program is a significant step in the RAF’s space journey. It also reinforces the close relationship we have with industry and with the U.S., we expect this to further enable U.K. satellite launch capabilities.”

The secondment is expected to last three years. Flt. Lt. Stannard said, “I am delighted to have been chosen for this role and I’m looking forward to working with the Virgin Orbit team. There are significant opportunities for the RAF in the space domain so to be at the forefront of this area, working in direct partnership with Virgin Orbit is a real privilege.”

“As an American company with British ownership guided by Sir Richard Branson, a truly legendary British entrepreneur, it is perhaps within our DNA to help the United Kingdom and the United States collaborate in space,” said Virgin Orbit CEO Dan Hart. “As part of Team ARTEMIS, we’ve been working with the RAF and the U.S. Air Force to demonstrate the utility of small satellites and responsive, resilient space launch and operations. We are thrilled to welcome Flt. Lt. Matthew Stannard to our team of hugely talented pilots where I know his presence will move us further, faster and to new heights.”

British Consul General for Los Angeles Michael Howells commented: “Not only is this partnership a great demonstration of how the U.K. and U.S. continue to cooperate on security and defense, but it is also a perfect example of how Southern California and the U.K. remain hubs of innovation for the future of spaceflight. Virgin Orbit are already a key partner for our commercial spaceport in the U.K., and we are excited for the U.K. to continue as a global leader in small satellite technology and launch capability.”

The former U.K. Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt announced the Ministry of Defence’s (MOD) ambitious space program in July, committing £30 million ($36.9 million) to fast-track the launch of a small satellite demonstrator within a year. The small satellite demonstrator, also known as Program ARTEMIS, is being delivered by a new transatlantic team of U.K. and U.S. defense personnel and industry partners including Virgin Orbit. This activity will sit alongside a host of other programs that will demonstrate the U.K.’s developing role in space.

Virgin Orbit has just commenced its first proper launch campaign, transporting its orbital test rocket to the Mojave Air and Space Port in September to conduct a final series of check-outs and engineering demonstrations. In the coming weeks, the company will move swiftly through these exercises, leading up to a captive carry flight prior to LauncherOne’s maiden flight to low Earth orbit.

MEDIA INQUIRES:

Virgin Orbit: Kendall Russell, Kendall.Russell@virginorbit.com

Ministry of Defence: News Desk, 0207 218 7907

 

Flyaway

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OCTOBER 8, 2019

Boeing To Invest In Human Spaceflight Pioneer Virgin Galactic

– Boeing and Virgin Galactic enter strategic partnership to transform commercial space travel and mobility – Latest investment by Boeing HorizonX Ventures organization

Boeing will invest $20 million in Virgin Galactic, a vertically integrated human spaceflight company. The companies will work together to broaden commercial space access and transform global travel technologies.

“Boeing’s strategic investment facilitates our effort to drive the commercialization of space and broaden consumer access to safe, efficient, and environmentally responsible new forms of transportation,” said Brian Schettler, senior managing director of Boeing HorizonX Ventures. “Our work with Virgin Galactic and others will help unlock the future of space travel and high-speed mobility.”

To date, Virgin Galactic has invested more than $1 billion of capital to build reusable, human spaceflight systems designed to enable significantly more people to experience and utilize space. In July, the company announced its intent to become a publicly-listed entity via a business combination with Social Capital Hedosophia Holdings Corp. The Boeing investment will be in return for new shares in Virgin Galactic and is therefore contingent on the closing of that transaction, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2019, and any such investment will be in the post-business combination company.

This investment brings together two companies with extensive experience in the space industry. Virgin Galactic is a pioneer of commercial human space flight and is the first and only company to have put humans into space in a vehicle built for commercial service, having built and flown a Mach 3 passenger vehicle. Through its manufacturing and development capabilities, Virgin Galactic can design, build, test, and operate a fleet of advanced aerospace vehicles. Boeing has unparalleled experience transporting people to orbit and building and operating large structures in that challenging environment. A part of every U.S. manned space program, Boeing serves as NASA’s prime private contractor for the International Space Station (“ISS”) and is preparing the new, reusable Starliner space capsule for launch to the ISS.

“This is the beginning of an important collaboration for the future of air and space travel, which are the natural next steps for our human spaceflight programme,” said Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic. “Virgin Galactic and Boeing share a vision of opening access to the world and space, to more people in safe and environmentally responsible ways.”

“The unique expertise of our companies stretches from points all around the world to the deepest reaches of space,” said Boeing Defense, Space & Security President and CEO Leanne Caret. “Together we will change how people travel on Earth, and among the stars, for generations to come.”

George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic, noted, “We are excited to partner with Boeing to develop something that can truly change how people move around the planet and connect with one another. As a Virgin company, our focus will be on a safe and unparalleled customer experience, with environmental responsibility to the fore.”

Additional information on specific projects to be pursued will be shared in the future.

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