On December 7, 2009, in a star-studded ceremony at the Mojave Spaceport in Mojave, California, Virgin Galactic’s new commercial suborbital spacecraft, SpaceShipTwo (manufactured by Scaled Composites) was unveiled to the public for the first time. SpaceShipTwo, christened the “Enterprise”, is now ready to undergo the series of rigorous test flights and certification procedures which are necessary before it can proceed to operational status.
According to Gary Barnhard, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the National Space Society (NSS), “The rollout of Space Ship Two, VSS-Enterprise is the dawn of commercial passenger space flight. It blazes the path forward to tomorrow. It is jumpstarting the future of personal space flight.”
Mark Hopkins, Senior Vice President of the NSS, says, “This milestone greatly increases the significance of NSS’s Space Ambassador Program, in which the participant who best communicates the benefits of space to local communities will receive a flight assignment aboard SpaceshipTwo.”
Space Ambassador Program Director Lee Jones states, “This is no longer just a dream. It’s real. This is a truly remarkable and historic event for us all.”
Added Rick Zucker, NSS Vice President of Public Affairs, “NSS congratulates Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites. The December 7th rollout of SpaceShipTwo marks the beginning of a new era in spaceflight activity, in which the final frontier will be opened up to private citizens for the very first time.”