Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
  Space Travel News  

Subscribe to our free daily newsletters

Virgin Galactic To Join NASA Submissions For Orbital Spaceflights

by Staff Writers
London, UK (SPX) Dec 17, 2010
Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic has announced that it will be supporting Sierra Nevada Space Systems' (SNC) and Orbital Sciences Corporation's (OSC) work on commercial space vehicles.

For the first time, it will give not only professional scientists and other crew astronauts but also fare-paying passengers the chance to experience safe orbital space flight at lower costs.

VG has long stated its ambition to use the success and experience gained through its groundbreaking SpaceShipTwo sub-orbital space program to develop new markets and products with the aim of transforming the safety, cost and environmental impact of access to space.

With this in mind, it has watched the growth of the commercial manned orbital field closely. The second phase of NASA's Commercial Crew Development Program (CCDEV2), designed to stimulate development of privately-operated crew vehicles to low Earth orbit, presents an opportunity for VG to start to map a path towards a commercial orbital service for fare-paying passengers by encouraging reusable technologies and designs which can offer important advantages to safety, cost and passenger experience.

Both SNC and OSC are pursuing vehicle designs under CCDEV2 featuring reusable lifting-wing bodies and runway landings, which VG believes could revolutionize orbital space flight in much the same way that SpaceShipTwo has revolutionized sub-orbital space flight.

As a contributor to SNC's and OSC's submissions to NASA, VG is proposing to market seats on these vehicles to the public and to its existing customer base, which now numbers more than 400 people who have made deposits of over $54 million. VG will also investigate providing its mothership, WhiteKnightTwo, to SNC and OSC during their test flight programs.

Commenting on the announcement, Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic said:

"Virgin Galactic has shown in the past few years how private sector investment and innovation can lead to a rapid transformation of stagnant technologies. We are now very close to making the dream of sub-orbital space a reality for thousands of people at a cost and level of safety unimaginable even in the recent past.

"We know that many of those same people, including myself, would also love to take an orbital space trip in the future, so we are putting our weight behind new technologies that could deliver that safely whilst driving down the enormous current costs of manned orbital flight by millions of dollars.

"The announcement is an important step along the way to achieving our ultimate and long term goal of leading an industry which opens up the huge potential of space to everyone, whether it be for the experience itself, for science research, for fast and efficient transportation around the globe or for delivering payloads to space safely, cleanly and cheaply. We very much look forward to working with SNC, OSC and other partners in the future to bring this ambition to fruition."

Mark N. Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President and head of Sierra Nevada Space Systems added, "We are thrilled to have Virgin Galactic as part of our effort to make commercial orbital transportation a reality. The knowledge gained by Virgin in the development and promotion of the history making SpaceShipTwo suborbital system will add considerably to our program. "We are proud to be the prime rocket motor provider to SpaceShipTwo and to have Virgin Galactic joining a growing group of world-class space companies who form our Dream Chaser team. Their participation will truly enhance our efforts."

Mr. Frank Culbertson, Orbital Science's Senior Vice President and former NASA astronaut stated: Virgin Galactic is clearly breaking new ground in the commercial space market, and we are now very excited to have them on our team.

This partnership for marketing and supporting our innovative and affordable design carries a great deal of promise for achieving the kind of growth in commercial spaceflight that will help to make this a sustainable market in the future."

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Virgin Galactic
Space Tourism, Space Transport and Space Exploration News

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

KLM Announces Suborbital Flight Relationship With Space Experience Curacao
Mojave CA (SPX) Nov 19, 2010
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has announced to the Netherlands press that they were embarking upon a new relationship with Space Experience Curacao (SXC). KLM will be supporting future suborbital flights through purchases, inclusion in their frequent flyer program, inclusion in future KLM vacation packages to Curacao, and other yet-to-be-named support. The flights will be made on the XCOR Lynx ... read more

ISRO Puts Off GSLV Launch

Arianespace To Launch ESA's First Sentinel Satellite

ISRO Set To Launch Heaviest Satellite For Telecom And TV

The Flight Of The Dragon

Wind And Water Have Shaped Schiaparelli On Mars

The Three Ages Of Mars

Odyssey Orbiter Nears Martian Longevity Record

Drilling For The Future Of Science

Red Moon: Lunar eclipse will make it a memorable solstice

NASA's LRO Creating Unprecedented Topographic Map Of Moon

Total Lunar Eclipse: 'Up All Night' With NASA

Robotic Excavations Could Help Get Helium 3 From Moon To Earth

Kuiper Belt Of Many Colors

Reaching The Mid-Mission Milestone On The Way To Pluto

New Horizons Student Dust Counter Instrument Breaks Distance Record

Nitrogen Methane Dominate Icy Surface Of Eris

Qatar-Led International Team Finds Its First Alien World

Planetary Family Portrait Reveals Another Exoplanet

New Pictures Show Fourth Planet In Giant Version Of Our Solar System

Carbon-Rich Planet: A Girl's Best Friend

Fuel error cost Russia three navigation satellites: official

Brazil launches rocket into suborbit

New JPL Workers Shed Training Wheels For Rocket Launch

Fueling error blamed in loss of satellites

China Builds Theme Park In Spaceport

Tiangong Space Station Plans Progessing

China-Made Satellite Keeps Remote Areas In Venezuela Connected

Optis Software To Optimize Chinese Satellite Design

Research Points To Better Understanding Of Carbon In Comets

MegaPhase RF Cables Enable Conclusion Of Seven-Year Deep Space Program

Study: Earth's precious metals from space

Dawn On A Smooth And Steady Course

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement