Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic continued their quest to turn space into a tourist destination on Monday with the roll out of the new WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) carrier aircraft that will ferry SpaceShipTwo and “thousands of private astronauts, science packages and payload on the first stage of the Virgin Galactic sub-orbital space experience”.
WK2 is the world’s largest all carbon composite aircraft, and at 140 ft., the wing spar is also the longest single carbon composite aviation component ever manufactured.
Powered by four Pratt and Whitney PW308A engines, WK2 will support up to four daily space flights, and reach a maximum altitude of over 50,000 ft (limited only by the atmosphere).
It might only be for the rich and famous right now, but soon, Virgin Galactic hopes that you’ll hop aboard SpaceShipTwo, and WhiteKnightTwo will whisk you away into the blackness of space for a quick lap around the Earth.
[Via: Josh Spear]