In the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo, designed by Burt Rutan and Scaled Composites, commercial space flight will become routine – like catching a flight from London to New York. The spacecraft, built in California, has its first test flight in 2010. It is made of a carbon-composite material and uses a rocket powered by nitrous oxide that propels the craft at 4,000 kilometres per hour. In fact, this is the most important difference between the first SpaceShipTwo vehicle, named VSS Enterprise (which uses a single rocket and consumes less fuel), and the Space Shuttle (which used two rockets – and more fuel). Virgin Galactic is due to complete a test flight of SpaceShipTwo before the end of the 2012.
Image courtesy of Virgin Galactic.
Would you be willing to pay $200,000 for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to space for six minutes aboard SpaceShipTwo or do you think it’s a waste of money? Let us know in the comments below.