Virgin Galactic has stated that if it’s current planned craft, SpaceShipTwo, is successful, they’ll try to build an orbital vehicle, SpaceShipThree.
Orbital vehicle SpaceShipThree (SS3) will be developed by space tourism company Virgin Galactic and Mojave-based SpaceShipTwo (SS2)-developer Scaled Composites, if the planned SS2 suborbital service is successful, says Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn.
SpaceShipThree is planned for Scaled’s tier 2 manned space programme, while the nine-person SpaceShipTwo is part of the current tier 1b programme.
The suborbital three-crew SpaceShipOne (SS1), which won the $10 million Ansari X Prize last October, was developed within Scaled Composites’ tier 1 programme.
Hopefully, for my retirement, my grandkids will buy me a week’s vacation at SpaceStationFive, or MoonBaseTwentyThreeAndAHalf, or whatever they will be calling it.
In a related note, Burt Rutan is The Man, and I should grow mutton chops in his honor.