Please consider donating to Behind the Black, by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, as outlined in the tip jar to the right. Your support will allow me to continue covering science and culture as I have for the past twenty years, independent and free from any outside influence.
The heat of competition: Virgin Galactic today released hanger photos of the almost finished second SpaceShipTwo.
Even as the investigation into the fatal breakup of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket plane continues in Mojave, California, the next SpaceShipTwo is more than halfway complete in a Mojave hangar — and is expected to start going through tests on the ground and in the air next year.
Virgin Galactic’s manufacturing subsidiary, The Spaceship Company, has been working on the plane for two and a half years. It’s variously known as SpaceShipTwo Tail No. 2 or N202VG, and it’s part of Virgin Galactic plan to have a fleet of five SpaceShipTwo rocket planes and two WhiteKnightTwo carrier planes.
This story is a great example of the public relations genius of Richard Branson. Even with the pieces of SpaceShipTwo still being picked up on the ground he finds a way to sell his company positively to the world. They not only intend to continue their effort, they have the ship to prove it!