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By Evan Ackerman
We saw renderings of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip2 and its mothership, White Knight 2, back in January. This week, the finish craft were both officially unveiled at the future location of the as yet unfinished Spaceport America in New Mexico, and Virgin Galactic says they’ll be heading to space several times a day as early as 2011.
Each spaceflight will last about 2.5 hours round trip. White Knight 2 carries SpaceShip2 up to an altitude of 52,000 feet, at which point SS2 separates and fires its rocket to accelerate at mach 3 to an altitude of about 70 miles. 5 minutes of glorious views and weightlessness ensues, after which the passengers hopefully survive the crushing g-forces (maxing out at 6 gs for 20 seconds) and glide back to a safe landing. The cost of all this? $200,000.
Oh, and here’s a little nugget of awesome for you: the first two spacecraft are reportedly named Enterprise and Voyager.
[ Virgin Galactic ]
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