Virgin Galactic debuts design of future Mach 3 high-speed aircraft, signs deal with Rolls-Royce

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Virgin Galactic is making strides toward its goal of creating high-speed commercial aircraft that operates a little closer to Earth than its existing passenger spacecraft. The company revealed the initial design of the commercial passenger airplane it’s creating that’s designed to fly at speeds in excess of Mach 3 — faster than the average cruising speed of around Mach 2 that the original Concorde achieved.

This concept design comes alongside a new partnership for Virgin Galactic, by way of a memorandum of understanding that the company signed with Rolls-Royce, one of the world’s leading aircraft engine makers. Rolls-Royce is also responsible for the engine of the Concorde, one of the only supersonic commercial aircraft ever used for passenger travel.

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Virgin Galactic offers peek inside new space plane for tourists

Inside of VSS Unity unveiled, showing the cabin in which six passengers will be able to float in zero gravity on the edge of space

Virgin Galactic has revealed the interior of its centrepiece space plane, showing off a cabin with new custom seats and a “space mirror” in a virtual tour of what its passengers can expect to experience on flights to the edge of space.

For $250,000 a ticket, passengers who have signed up for the suborbital flight aboard the air-launched plane VSS Unity will strap into six tailored seats and be able to peer out of the cabin’s 12 circular windows as they ascend 97km (60 miles) above Earth. The plane has five other windows.

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4 futuristic transport methods that will change how we travel around the world

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Since the invention of air travel, the world has felt like a smaller place – it’s now possible for pretty much anyone to fly around the globe, learning about different countries and cultures. It’s pretty amazing.

But some companies aren’t satisfied with this – they want to make the world seem even smaller, with faster, more efficient and more comfortable methods of transport.

Ever dreamed of exploring the Australian Outback but been put off by the long flight? A Virgin Galactic flight from London to Sydney might take two hours within the next decade.

Here are four methods of futuristic transportation that are going to change how we travel around the world.

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The race to get tourists to suborbital space is heating up

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SPACE: FINAL FRONTIER or ultimate tourist destination? Possibly both—provided you have the cash.

Already, you can buy tickets for (as-yet-unscheduled) flights aboard SpaceShipTwo, the crew vehicle developed by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. And at a NewSpace conference in Seattle last month, Blue Origin—helmed by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos—announced that it has plans to sell tickets to wannabe space tourists as early as next year.

Both companies have solid plans to cash in on human space travel (and then, of course, there’s SpaceX, which will focus first on shuttling astronauts to and from the space station). Branson has said that Virgin Galactic is in a race with itself, not other companies, to achieve safe human space flight. But with Blue Origin aiming to start selling tickets next year, both companies could be competing for business sooner rather than later.

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Space entrepreneurship is about to become huge despite setbacks with Antares and Virgin Galactic

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Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo

October was a tough month for space enthusiasts and the world’s private space industry. The explosion of the Antares rocket, which was headed to the International Space Station, was followed just a few days later by the crash of Virgin Galactic’s and Scaled Composites’ SpaceShipTwo space plane.

 

 

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SpaceShipTwo – Virgin Galatic’s Commercial Spaceship Unveiled

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SpaceShipTwo being carried up to a high altitude by WhiteKinightTwo

A spacecraft designed to rocket wealthy tourists into space as early as 2011 was unveiled Monday in what backers of the venture hope will signal a new era in aviation history. The long-awaited glimpse of SpaceShipTwo marks the first public appearance of a commercial passenger spacecraft. The project is bankrolled by Virgin Galactic founder, British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, who partnered with famed aviation designer Burt Rutan, the brains behind the venture.

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