With suborbital tourist flights scheduled to begin by the end of the year, Virgin Galactic has unveiled the company’s first suborbital Spaceship III spacecraft , VSS Imagine , which will begin ground testing, with glide flights scheduled for this summer.
The introduction of the Spaceship III class of vehicles is a major milestone in Virgin Galactic’s multi-year effort that aims to fly 400 manned flights per year .
These suborbital space planes have space for six crew members who will be able to view Earth from outer space through 17 windows throughout the cockpit.
The innovative livery design, finished entirely with a mirror-like material , "reflects the surrounding environment, constantly changing color and appearance as it travels from earth to sky and into space." The livery of an aircraft is a set of comprehensive badges that include color, graphic and typographic identifiers that operators (airlines, governments, air forces and occasionally private and corporate owners) apply to their aircraft.
It has already received approximately 600 customer registrations (at $ 250,000 a ticket), and the company’s president, Richard Branson, is scheduled to fly on its first commercial flight. This third generation of spacecraft will lay the foundation for the design and manufacture of the vehicles of the future.