NASA to charter Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two
- Oct 14, 2011
Virgin Galactic has signed a deal with NASA to undertake research missions on SpaceShipTwo.
NASA will be chartering Virgin Galactic spacecraft flights, providing opportunities for engineers, technologists and scientific researchers to conduct cutting-edge experiments in suborbital space. The contract, worth up to $4.5 million, calls for NASA to charter one full flight and two optional further flights from Virgin Galactic - the world's first commercial spaceline.
'We are excited to be working with NASA to provide the research community with this opportunity to carry out experiments in space,” said George Whitesides, President and CEO of Virgin Galactic. 'An enormous range of disciplines can benefit from access to space, but historically, such research opportunities have been rare and expensive. At Virgin Galactic, we are fully dedicated to revolutionizing access to space, both for tourist astronauts and, through programs like this, for researchers.'
The NASA flights mark an important milestone for Virgin Galactic and will dramatically increase the access researchers have to space. Virgin Galactic has already collected more than $58 million in deposits from 455 future tourist astronauts as a space tourism company and these research missions could signify a future mission segment and business opportunity.