Richard Branson's Remarks at the Unveiling of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo
"If our new system could carry only people into space, that would be enough for me, because of the transforming effect it will have on the thousands who will travel with us. It is quite clear from every astronaut that I've ever spoken to -- including Brian Binnie and Mike Melvill -- that seeing the planet from out there, surrounded by the incredibly thin protective layer of atmosphere, helps one to wake up to the fragility of the small portion of the planet's mass that we inhabit, and to the importance of protecting the Earth."
Virgin Galactic Unveils Spaceship Designs
"Virgin Galactic today unveiled the design of its new, environmentally benign, space launch system based on the X Prize winning technology of SpaceShipOne, which successfully flew into space for the third time in October 2004 and won the $10m Ansari X Prize. The construction of the White Knight Two (WK2) mothership, or carrier aircraft, is now very close to completion at Scaled Composites in Mojave, CA and is expected to begin flight testing in the summer of 2008. It is the world's largest, all carbon composite aircraft; it has a unique high altitude lift capacity, capable of launching SpaceShipTwo and its eight astronauts into sub-orbital space flight."