HEADLINES Published February22, 2016 By Beatrice Asuncion

New Passenger SpaceCraft Unveiled by Virgin Galactic

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Richard Branson
(Photo : Kevork Djansezian - Getty Images)

It is definitely an exciting time for astronomers and space enthusiasts especially considering the massive developments in Space Travel technology that has been unveiled recently. Late last year Elon Musk's Space X successfully launched and landed a Falcon 9 rocket back on Earth following a mission to loft orbit 11 satellites for Orbcomm. The event marks the first time an orbital launched rocket made it back safely on the surface of the planet. Most tech insiders consider the achievement a historic feat for space voyage since reusing rockets would make space travel a more cost-efficient undertaking.

Since the success of SpaceX, other spaceflight companies have been knee deep in research in order to match or surpass Elon Musk's Falcon 9 launch. Recently, Virgin Galactic, a subsidiary of Virgin Group Ltd., announced a major development in their quest to send passengers to space.

Last Friday, Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, unveiled the company's second passenger spacecraft the SpaceShipTwo Unity in a ceremony held in Mojave, California. SpaceShipTwo is the first rocket developed by The Spaceship Company which is the manufacturing arm of Virgin Galactic.

"Our beautiful new spaceship, VSS Unity, is the embodiment of that goal also great testament to what can be achieved when true teamwork, great skill and deep pride are combined with a common purpose" gushed Branson during the event.

SpaceShipTwo Unity was developed following the altercation with SpaceShipTwo Enterprise. Almost a decade ago in July 2007, Todd Ivens, Eric Blackwell and Charles May were killed in Mojave following the detonation of a nitrous oxide tank. SpaceShipTwo Enterprise was eventually destroyed in a crash in October 2014.

The virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Unity would be undergoing the same ground and airborne testing as the Enterprise. Virgin Galactic however has yet to confirm when the officially launch date for their newest spacecraft would be. 

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