The Farnborough Airshow has a reputation of being one of the most important airshows in the transportation calendar, and this year’s event, on the 11th July, proved just that as Sir Richard Branson and his company Virgin Galactic exhibited a replica of SpaceShipTwo. A glimpse for the UK of the worlds first commercial spaceship.
Seymourpowell attended this year’s airshow and was invited into the press conference as Branson unveiled LauncherOne – a new air-launched rocket, which will deliver small satellites into orbit. Both LauncherOne and SpaceshipTwo will be dropped at 50,000 feet from the same mothership, which Branson named ‘Eve’ after his own mother. The programs efficient launch strategy is set to revolutionise the way we get to space and would be a major and more affordable change in the satellite industry.
Offering the exclusive gathering at Farnborough a preview of his space travel dream, Branson revealed that the rockets on SpaceShipTwo – the aircraft carrying six passengers – are now qualified for powered flight and confirmed that he and his children would be the first passengers into space, possibly as soon as the end of 2013.
Among the delegates were pilots, astronauts, technicians and a large number of the fee paying passengers, as well as Virgin Galactic’s new satellite customers who have each paid a deposit to be the first to use the launcherOne programme. One by one their commitment and consequent investment in the mission were applauded for their part in turning the dream into a reality.
To date, more than 520 passengers each paying $200,000 have their sights set on a successful commercial flight on SpaceShipTwo within the next three years.
Seymourpowell worked on the initial concept interior of SpaceshipOne, as well as the animation to showcase this interior and the anticipated passenger experience.
Branson finished the press conference with one of the most powerful strap lines we’ve heard in a while… ‘Space is Virgin Territory’.
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