Saturday, October 07, 2006

 
SpaceShipTwo & SpaceShipThree

In an interview published in the November 2006 issue of Popular Mechanics, Burt Rutan revealed more about his approach towards spaceships: "I think the public will be surprised at how large [SpaceShipTwo] is. . . If you're going to send somebody to a resort hotel in orbit, it's okay to cramp him into something small with a little window. . . But with suborbital spaceflight, your destination has to be your transfer van."

Given the details that are emerging about SpaceShipTwo and the statement made by Rutan, I would predict that SpaceShipThree will take the idea of an reconfigurable shape further and that tier three will be a capsule-like vehicle with wings that retract in such a way that a capsule-type reentry is possible, with a horizontal landing.

Virgin Galactic has already stated that if SpaceShipTwo succeeds, development of a commercial orbital vehicle would follow.

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