Virgin Galactic

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Virgin Galactic Rolls Out New Space Tourism Craft

A deadly accident destroyed its predecessor

(Newser) - Virgin Galactic rolled out a new version of its SpaceShipTwo space tourism rocket Friday as it prepares to return to flight testing for the first time since a 2014 accident destroyed the original craft , killing a pilot and setting back the nascent industry. A Land Rover with Virgin Galactic founder... More »

52 Weeks of Parental Leave Now Exists. Paid

For a very select group of employees at one of Richard Branson's subsidiaries

(Newser) - Richard Branson has come up with a parental leave policy that Michelle Duggar could have retired on probably sometime in the last century: 52 weeks of leave at 100% pay, reports TheStreet . "If you take care of your employees, they will take care of your business," says Branson... More »

NTSB: Pilot Thrown From Exploding Spaceship

Peter Siebold didn't know co-pilot had activated feather braking system

(Newser) - The surviving pilot of the Virgin Galactic spaceship that tore apart over the Mojave Desert was thrown clear of the disintegrating craft and did not know his co-pilot had prematurely unlocked the re-entry braking system, federal investigators said today. In its update on the still-evolving investigation, the National Transportation Safety... More »

Branson: I'll Still Be on Virgin's First Spaceflight

Dangers involved are 'worth it'

(Newser) - The crash of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo on Friday has unsurprisingly failed to deter Richard Branson: He'll still be on his company's first flight to space, he tells CNN. "There is no way I would ask others to go on a Virgin Galactic flight if I didn'... More »

NTSB Eyes Pilot Error in Spaceship Crash

System to slow descent was deployed too early

(Newser) - In its first investigation of a manned space launch , the National Transportation Safety Board says pilot error may have caused the deadly crash of SpaceShipTwo on Friday. The agency's acting chairman told reporters last night that a lever on the doomed spacecraft was moved to the unlock position sooner... More »

Virgin Galactic Spacecraft Was Testing New Fuel

NTSB begins investigation as Richard Branson arrives in Mojave

(Newser) - The National Transportation Safety Board has taken the lead in trying to figure out what doomed Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo yesterday , and the Los Angeles Times notes that it's a milestone of sorts in the new world of commercial space travel. This marks the first time the NTSB has... More »

Space Tourism Ship Crashes in Test Flight; 1 Pilot Dead

Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo goes down

(Newser) - A spacecraft intended to carry tourists into space someday crashed this afternoon in California's Mojave desert, with one pilot dead and another injured, reports AP . "Our first concern is the status of the pilots," says a Virgin Galactic statement following the loss of its SpaceShipTwo craft. NBC... More »

Winklevoss Twins Going to Space, Via Bitcoins

They use their go-to currency to book on Virgin Galactic

(Newser) - Virgin Galactic has signed up two more high-profile passengers to space: the Winklevoss twins of Facebook fame. In a blog post , Tyler wrote that he and Cameron had paid for their tickets using their favorite currency—bitcoins.
  • Tyler's take: "It is in this vein that Cameron and
... More »

Now You Can Pay for Your Ticket to Space With Bitcoins

Virgin Galactic latest to accept digital currency

(Newser) - Good news, future space travelers. Now, you can pay for your flight to outer space with money from cyberspace. Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson announced Friday the company will accept bitcoins as an alternative to traditional currency—adding he has already had one customer use it to pay. Branson... More »

Lady Gaga's Going to Space

Just another artist returning to her roots

(Newser) - Well, we all knew this was going to happen someday: Lady Gaga is going to space with Virgin Galactic, a source tells Us . She'll reportedly be the first musician to sing there, in early 2015. "She has to do a month of vocal training because of the atmosphere,... More »

Justin Bieber Is Going to Space

Sadly, he is not staying there

(Newser) - Justin Bieber and manager Scooter Braun are going to space as part of Virgin Galactic's space tourism program, Sir Richard Branson has announced. Tragically, Branson did not indicate that Bieber would be left in space once he arrived. Bieber will join such other celebrity "astronauts" as Ashton Kutcher... More »

Virgin Galactic Gets Another Step Closer to Space Tourism

SpaceShipTwo makes first rocket-powered test flight

(Newser) - We're one step closer to space tourism, as Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo made history today: The private spaceship, designed for future commercial flights, successfully completed its first rocket-powered test flight, reports. The WhiteKnightTwo mothership carried the spaceship into the air, released it at 46,000 feet, and... More »

Ashton Kutcher Buys Ticket to Space

He's Virgin Galactic's 500th customer, and yes, they have to bring him back

(Newser) - Ashton Kutcher has become the latest celebrity to shell out $200,000 for a ticket off the planet. The actor has been confirmed as the 500th customer to buy a ticket to space on Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo, MSNBC reports. Other customers reportedly include Tom Hanks, Katy Perry, Brad Pitt,... More »

Space Tourism Blasts Off

Virgin Galactic to start the business up in earnest

(Newser) - The year is still nascent, but 2012 may go down in history as the year space tourism finally took flight. This year Virgin Galactic will finally begin launching its much-ballyhooed jaunts into space, the New York Times reports, opening up the heavens to the non-billionaire set. Granted, you’ll still... More »

Virgin Spaceship Veers Out of Control

Test flight turns dramatic for SpaceShipTwo as Spaceport opens

(Newser) - SpaceShipTwo's most recent test flight turned into a more extensive test than the private spacecraft's makers had bargained for. A malfunction sent the Virgin Galactic spacecraft briefly hurtling out of control—but then its three-person crew stabilized it for a safe landing, MSNBC reports. The glitch allowed Virgin... More »

NASA-Backed 'Space Taxi' to Fly Next Year

Dream Chaser's first test flight scheduled for summer 2012

(Newser) - With the space shuttles retired, NASA currently has to rely on the Russians to ferry astronauts and cargo to and from the International Space Station. But it hopes to be able to hail a taxi soon. Dream Chaser, one of four "space taxis" being developed by private industry with... More »

First 'Spaceport' Coming to New Mexico

But project is late and getting expensive

(Newser) - Now that the shuttle's blasted off for the last time, attention is turning to the private space industry, and NPR has found an interesting piece of that puzzle: America’s first spaceport. The structure, under construction in a New Mexico desert, aims to be something like an airport for... More »

Space Tourism May Warm Planet

Rockets send soot into stratosphere

(Newser) - Space tourism may sound, well, out-of-this-world, but there is a good chance it will pollute this world, possibly contributing to global warming. As firms like Boeing prepare to launch space tourism businesses , a new study warns that the soot emitted by commercial rockets may get stuck in the stratosphere, notes... More »

Virgin Galactic Spacecraft Makes First Solo Flight

Private spacecraft on course to take paying passengers to space

(Newser) - The world's first manned commercial spacecraft has reached a major milestone. Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo was released from the mothership and completed its first solo glide flight over the Mojave Desert yesterday, Wired reports. The craft, which is undergoing rigorous testing ahead of plans to carry paying customers to space and... More »

Space Plane Takes First Test Flight

Mothership and spaceship flew for 3 hours in 'captive carry' test

(Newser) - Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo took to the skies for the first time yesterday over the Mojave Desert, an important step toward passenger flights in space in 2011. “This is a momentous day,” says Burt Rutan, who built the craft and its mothership for Richard Branson’s company. The... More »

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