Virgin Galactic Unveils New VSS Unity Ship
Posted on February 19, 2016
Virgin Galactic unveiled its new SpaceShip Two today, the VSS Unity. It was unveiled at a ceremony in Mojave, California. The new ship replaces a test craft that was destroyed in a crash in October 2014. One of the co-pilots, Michael Alsbury, was killed in the accident.The VSS Unity was designed to take paying space tourists into space. The vehicle was named by Professor Stephen Hawking who says, "I would be very proud to fly on this spaceship." USA Today reports that Hawking is one of the first scheduled to fly on Unity.
The VSS Unity is the first vehicle to be manufactured by The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic's wholly owned manufacturing arm. One of the company's Range Rovers escorted Unity in with Richard Branson standing up through the vehicle's sun roof.
Branson said in a statement, "Together, we can make space accessible in a way that has only been dreamt of before now, and by doing so can bring positive change to life on Earth. Our beautiful new spaceship, VSS Unity, is the embodiment of that goal also great testament to what can be achieved when true teamwork, great skill and deep pride are combined with a common purpose."
Actor Harrison Ford attended the ceremony and can be seen with Virgin Galactic chief pilot Dave Mackay in the photograph below.