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The heat of competition: During a press tour of its Mojave facilities this week Virgin Galactic’s CEO revealed that the company expects to begin flying its replacement to SpaceShipTwo by April.
George Whitesides, the company’s chief executive, said construction of the second spaceship is already 65 per cent complete. Like its doomed predecessor, Enterprise, the new spaceship’s name is a tribute to both Nasa and Star Trek. It will be called SS Voyager, the Sunday Times reports.
Whitesides also said that LauncherOne, designed to put very small payloads into orbit, is 18 months away from its first flight.
I hope this predictions are true, but coming from Virgin Galactic I think I can be forgiven if I am very skeptical. Nonetheless, in referring to the new ship I will make it a policy to call it Voyager from here on out to distinguish it from the first ship.