Virgin Galactic has unveiled the first Spaceship III in its growing fleet, VSS Imagine, and it looks slick.
The alluring new spaceship, VSS Imagine, showcases innovation in design and astronaut experience, and demonstrates progress toward efficient production, as Virgin Galactic works to scale the business for the long-term.
Richard Branson, Founder, Virgin, commented: “Virgin Galactic spaceships are built specifically to deliver a new, transforming perspective to the thousands of people who will soon be able to experience the wonder of space for themselves.
“As a SpaceShip III class of vehicle, Imagine is not just beautiful to look at, but represents Virgin Galactic’s growing fleet of spaceships.
“All great achievements, creations and changes start with an idea. Our hope is for all those who travel to space to return with fresh perspectives and new ideas that will bring positive change to our planet.’’
As VSS Imagine begins ground testing, manufacturing will progress on VSS Inspire, the second SpaceShip III vehicle within the Virgin Galactic fleet.
To infinity, and beyond
Virgin Galactic says that the breakthrough livery design, finished entirely with a mirror-like material, reflects the surrounding environment, constantly changing color and appearance as it travels from earth to sky to space.
Along with providing thermal protection, the dynamic material is naturally appealing to the human eye, reflecting our inherent human fascination with space and the transformative experience of spaceflight.
This third generation of spaceship will lay the foundation for the design and manufacture of future vehicles.
Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic said “VSS Imagine and Inspire are stunning ships that will take our future astronauts on an incredible voyage to space, and their names reflect the aspirational nature of human spaceflight. Congratulations to our dedicated team who worked so brilliantly to achieve this milestone.”
VSS Imagine is unveiled ahead of VSS Unity’s next test flight, which is planned for May 2021.
VSS Imagine will commence ground testing, with glide flights planned for this summer from Spaceport America in New Mexico.
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