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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

SpaceShipThree and SpaceShipFour Envisioned

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo should making test flights in less than 18-months on text flights from the Mojave Spaceport but plans are being laid for SpaceShipThree (SS3) and SpaceShipFour (SS4) according to an article in Flight International.

The report noted, "Virgin Galactic has begun studying a SpaceShipFour (SS4) that could serve as a satellite launcher. By 2014 a version of WK2, with its 13,300kg (30,000lb) payload capability, could air launch the two-stage SS4 vehicle. SpaceShipThree would be an orbital version of SS2."

The report also noted that Virgin Galactic President Will Whitehorn told British government officials that NASA has earmarked $9-million for NASA astronaut training flights on SS2 in the first six months of commercial operation as early as 2009. The Space Law Probe has more on the Virgin Galactic-NASA MOU.

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