Exclusive interview with William Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic
Friday 18, June 2010
Meettheboss.tv has an exclusive interview with William Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic that will be going live today at 13:00 BST. He talks candidly about the brand, the design of the aircraft and Virgin's plans for future commercial (A to B) space travel.
Virgin Galactic's goal is to end the exclusivity attached to manned space travel, which means designing a vehicle which can fly almost anyone to space and back safely, without the need for special expertise or exhaustive, time consuming training.
A unique business requires a very special home and Virgin Galactic will have just that at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Back in 2005, Virgin Galactic and the State of New Mexico announced that they had reached an historic agreement which would see the building of a state funded $200m spaceport on a 27 square mile area of land in the southern part of the New Mexico "the Land of Enchantment".
Virgin Galactic will establish its headquarters and operate its space flights from Spaceport America, the world's first purpose built commercial spaceport which is now under construction. Spaceport America will provide cutting edge facilities and a wonderful location for fledgling astronauts to realize their dreams.
Virgin Galactic has been making it possible for aspiring astronauts to pay a deposit to reserve a place on SpaceShipTwo since 2005 and several hundred people from around the globe have now booked their place in space. In doing so, not only have they become pioneers in a new and important industry but have become insiders in one of the most amazing and inspiring projects anywhere in the world.
The journey starts from the moment a deposit is paid with membership of perhaps the world's most exclusive club with privileged access to all aspects of the project as it progresses. From Astronaut Forums with Sir Richard Branson on his Caribbean island home or his South African game reserve to opportunities to tour Scaled Composites, upon making such arrangements and relevant authorization, to see for real the new vehicles under development.
The spaceship can be thought of as an air launched glider with a rocket motor and a couple of extra systems for spaceflight. Just like any conventional flying machine, it requires aerodynamic forces to provide its stability and control which, clearly, it only has whilst in the atmosphere. In space it follows a purely ballistic trajectory, but here it can use small thrusters known as the reaction control system (RCS) which allow the pilots to maneuver the vehicle in space and provide a changing view for the passenger astronauts.
SpaceShipTwo uses all the same basic technology, carbon composite construction and design as SpaceShipOne. However it is around twice as large as that vehicle and will carry six passengers and two pilots. It is 60ft long with a 90" diameter cabin which is similar in size to a Falcon 900 executive jet albeit with no floor dissecting the cabin allowing maximum room for the astronauts to float in zero gravity. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows: WINDOW SIZE one side window and one overhead, so that, if you don't want to float free in space, and you'd rather just remain in your seat, you still get a great chance to see the view. No more squabbling over who has the best seat! The ViewYour views of earth will be maximised by large windows.
(Interview brought to you by meettheboss.tv)
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