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Virgin, Scaled unveil new SpaceShipTwo design
Posted: Thu, Jan 24, 2008, 6:56 AM ET (1156 GMT)
SpaceShipTwo design Jan 2008 (Virgin Galactic) Space tourism operator Virgin Galactic and vehicle developer Scaled Composites unveiled a new design for the SpaceShipTwo (SS2) suborbital spacecraft and its carrier aircraft, White Knight Two (WK2), on Wednesday. The new designs, announced in New York, feature several tweaks to the design of SpaceShipOne as well what had been shown in previous artist's concepts of SS2. The new SS2 design features a wing mounted on the bottom of the fuselage, rather than the top, and with a more elongated nose. WK2 is now powered by four jet engines, and features dual fuselages with SS2 slung between and below them. The companies did not commit to a specific timetable for flight tests or for beginning commercial service, other than that initial flights of WK2 were scheduled to begin in the summer of 2008. Virgin also said they are investigating using WK2 as a carrier aircraft for other rockets that could launch small satellites.
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