Who says America isn't a manufacturing economy anymore? The country has already dedicated her first commercial spaceport, and yesterday construction kicked off on her first commercial spaceship factory. The nearly 70,000 square foot facility, home of the The Spaceship Company, will build Virgin Galactic's fleet of White Knights and SpaceShips, the carrier craft and rocket planes (respectively) that are expected to be ferrying passengers to the edge of space sometime late next year.
The Spaceship Company (TSC) is a joint venture owned by British billionaire Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic and Scaled Composites, the aerospace firm founded by legendary engineer Burt Rutan the visionary behind Virgin Galactic's fleet. TSC is being constructed at the Mojave Air and Space Port and will hopefully be completed by September.
The facility is expected to turn out three White Knight carrier aircraft and five of the smaller SpaceShip rocket planes. TSC has already begun hiring engineers and technicians and will employ as many as 170 people once production begins. How's that for creating jobs in innovative new industries?
If only their factories and ships were environmentally friendly and didn't destroy our atmosphere.
except when that time does come around we won't care about ruining the atmosphere, we'll be busy colonizing mars.
SpaceX has the first one people!
Virgin galactic is a joke compared to SpaceX
+1 to Moon born
SpaceX way better. At least they plan to get into LEO, and eventually further than that.
I like the name. Imagine The Computer Company or The Car Company.
Both Scaled Composites and SpaceX diverse our admiration and support. Though different markets both try to commercialize space. We you ever want to go to space we need more companies like these.
NASA does great things but its mission is not to make it possible for the regular guys like you and me to go and have some fun in space if we want to.
@moon born and soroshi. who cares? do you own stock in spacex or something. it has to start somewhere. I am just glad someone is trying it. if virgin is successful then other people will try to capitalize and do better. Hense a space race. that's what we want right? do you want to see all the white knights explode? that will set the current space race ten or twenty years back.
@inaka_rob In my not so humble opinion you get to leo or you got nothing out of it. Virgin aint even close, it takes 70x more energy to get to orbit than to do what they do. Spaceship two is just a big worthless toy rocket. Once SpaceX really gets going you'll be able to spend days or weeks in space, with virgin you spend minutes.
From what I see there is a market for suborbital flights. Not everybody has $20 mil. to go orbital. The suborbital flights cost $200,000 so there will be a lot more people able to afford that.
Another advantage is that the big pain that caries the spaceshiptwo can also launch small satellites with less fuel than if you had to launch it from a regular launch pad. So it's not all just for fun, there is some potential for some "serious" projects too.
It has to start from somewhere. Remember the beginning of the aviation? Would you take one of those plains to go somewhere? No. But because of those humble beginnings we got the commercial aviation we benefit from today.
This is the beginning of a new tomorrow. Even if todays small start-up companies fail, this sort of beginning marks the start of the future. Sure, it'll start out with sub-orbital thrill rides, but as viinci said, you have to start somewhere. It'll only be a matter of time before commercial companies start to make true spaceflights into orbit... or beyond.
Oh please let it be the battlecruiser from starcraft!
i definitely agree! haha
However i think the spaceport should be renamed to Mos Eisley
For those on here saying that Burt Rutan and Richard Branson's concept of a cost efficient space visit for the masses is nothing comparative to the efforts of Elon Musk and SpaceX are seriously missing the point. What TSC is about is much larger in scope than just a taxi ride to space. It's all about an exploration of technologies that will allow smaller start-ups that don't have the up front funding to hire NASA to teach them how to pull off billion dollar craft/launches. By the time that Branson is ready to advance up the tier to a permanent presence in orbit, he will have spent fractions of a cent to the dollar comparatively to SpaceX. What they are doing is living within quantifiable means with little gambled. Taking a slower, but much more sure road to space. Think for a sec just how much SpaceX has spent relative to Scaled Composites just to get to the point of 2 successful launches. The significance of TSC can't be overstated.
Dump writing, gloriouse manufacting country......go home Clay and study economic science a bit. Those are long long term projects but very long term, a luxury the US cant afford the way it is. China or even Brazil is more realistic but we do need something to dream, dont we. The billionaires dollars are already shrinked a half its value and more than 40 m US citizen living on food stamps!