Monday, July 28, 2008

Into space. . . without NASA

Virgin Galactic shows off mothership aircraft

MOJAVE, Calif. - Virgin Galactic is giving the world a glimpse of its secret space tourism program. Sir Richard Branson's space company Monday trotted out the mothership aircraft that will launch a still-to-be-built spaceship out of the atmosphere. The mothership is a white, four-engine plane with room in the middle where the spacecraft will go.

The early morning rollout in California's Mojave desert came four years after SpaceShipOne became the first private manned rocket to reach space. Now the White Knight Two aircraft being shown today is due to undergo flight tests this fall.

Money talks. Richard Branson is nothing but a checkbook in all this.

What this article fails to communicate is that this "mother ship" and it's spaceship were created by Scaled Composites in Mojave, CA. Scaled composites is the premier manufacturer of leading edge airplanes. The genius behind Scaled Composites is Burt Rutan. Mr. Rutan will go down in history with the rest of the great aviation designers like the Wilbur and Orville Wright, Glenn Curtis, Kelly Johnson, Jack Northrup and Werner VonBraun. Rutan has stood out as the most brilliant and most significant single aeronautical designer of the past 30 years.

Congratulations to Burt and his team at Scaled Composites.

No comments: