Also Sprach SpaceShipTwo?

by | Oct 15, 2009 | Personal spaceflight, Space tourism, Virgin Galactic | 1 comment

Inflatable domes, laser lights, a sunset and documentary film makers could all be features of Virgin Galactic’s Monday 7 December roll-out of its SpaceShipTwo at Scaled Composites’ Mojave air and spaceport hangars in California – above SS2 is filmed by Hyperbola on 28 July 2008 at Scaled’s facility

Here at the International Astronautical Congress in Daejeon, Korea, Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn spoke during the ‘Civilian access to space’ plenary session. He was accompanied to the event by his commercial director Stephen Attenborough

For the 28 July 2008 roll-out of SS2’s mothership WhiteKnight Two, media and customers were flown separately from LAX to Mojave by Virgin America, for essentially two unveiling-cum-roll-out events. However, Hyperbola understands that for the 7 December event, buses will likely take both media and customers to Mojave from hotels in northern Los Angeles

The roll-out may take place early in the evening to avail of good lighting at near-dusk conditions and make the unveiling as dramatic as possible – good for the evening news bulletins, I would imagine. Hyperbola suggested the use of Richard Strauss’ ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ from the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey as a soundtrack

The documentary film makers will be there because Virgin Galactic envisages creating a series of programmes to be sold for broadcast that chart the company’s development, who its customers are, their experience after paying for deposits and tickets and the design, construction and test of SS2 and WK2

Whitehorn has dismissed suggestions that Scaled is continuing to work on WK2’s spoilers after a spoiler issue almost prevented the mothership’s demo flight at Oshkosh air show. He said that he would have heard about further work if such was ongoing

And he put to rest another mystery regarding the lenght of WK2’s wings. He said that detachable wing tips were fitted to the mothership to ensure ease of storage in Scaled’s different sized hangars on the Mojave airport flightline

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