SpaceShipTwo by Virgin Galactic

In California yesterday, space tourism company Virgin Galactic unveiled a craft designed to carry passengers on short flights into space.

Above photo is by Ned RocknRoll

Called SpaceShipTwo, the craft is expected to begin flights for passengers in 2011.

It will be able to carry two pilots and six passengers on two-and-a-half-hour sub-orbital flights.

More information in our previous story.

Photographs are by Mark Greenberg except where stated otherwise.

Here's some text from Virgin Galactic:


Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Roll Out

On Monday 7th December Virgin Galactic unveiled SpaceShipTwo to the world at Mojave Spaceport, California.

800 press, future astronauts and VIP guests gathered in the desert for a press conference and to view the roll out of the world's first commercial spaceline.

Sir Richard Branson and Burt Rutan led the press conference, special recognition went to the team at Scaled Deposites whose hard work and dedication have made this happen. Governors Bill Richardson and Arnold Schwarzenegger both contributed at the press conference, celebrating this huge milestone and also joining Holly, Richard's daughter in naming the spaceship, VSS Enterprise.

Above photo is by Ned RocknRoll

Despite gale force winds and stormy weather, guests gathered on the runway after the press conference to see SpaceShipTwo for the first time. The spaceship was carried down the runway by her mothership, VMS Eve, to a spectacular display of lights, music and snow which only helped increase the anticipation of her arrival and excitement and awe as she appeared before the crowds.