Virgin Galactic confirms it’s going orbital

Virgin Galactic today confirmed what was first reported earlier in the week: It’s teaming up as a supporting player for Sierra Nevada as well as Orbital Sciences on two separate bids to provide orbital transport services for NASA. In today’s statement, Virgin noted that both of those companies were proposing the development of reusable lifting-wing bodies that would make runway landings at the end of their spaceflights. The company said such designs “could revolutionize orbital spaceflight in much the same way that SpaceShipTwo has revolutionized suborbital spaceflight.” As previously reported, Virgin would market seats on the vehicles to the public, and could also offer its White Knight Two carrier airplane for use by Sierra Nevada and Orbital during their test flight programs.


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