Space Plane Unveiled

Virgin Atlantic offered a glimpse of what public space travel will look like when it premiered the carrier plane WhiteKnightTwo on Monday. The WhiteKnightTwo will ferry the ship that will leave Earth’s atmosphere — SpaceShipTwo.

The WhiteKnightTwo will carry the actual spaceship on its underbelly up to 50,000 feet. There, the WhiteKnightTwo launches the spaceship, which will return to Earth unaided. After release, the SpaceShipTwo will reach heights of 65 miles above Earth’s surface, while carrying civilian space tourists.

Trips aboard SpaceShipTwo, ferried by WhiteKnightTwo, will begin in 2009 and cost around $200,000.

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