Burt Rutan (whom I would very much like to be as cool as when I grow up) has started work on SpaceShipTwo, the prototype for the ships that Virgin Galactic hopes to fly paying customers in. The BBC has the story:
SpaceShipTwo will not look anything like its predecessor. For one thing, Rutan must fix a stability problem caused by SpaceShipOne’s high upswept wings.
For another, Rutan and Branson plan a ship of luxury, with service and amenities that at least match Virgin Atlantic’s upper-class travel service. And that, as any airline flier knows, starts with leg room.
Rutan said SpaceShipTwo would have about the same diameter crew cabin as a Gulfstream V business jet, which measures slightly more than 6ft in height and 7ft in width (1.9m by 2.2m).
The best part of all, Rutan added, was that 15 years from now, “every kid who dreams, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to fly in space?’ will know that in your lifetime, you are going to go to orbit.
“You will know that, not just dream that. That is the neatest thing about the whole programme.”
Maybe I should just shoot for being half as cool as Burt Rutan.