Virgin Galactic's next spaceship

View of Earth from VSS Unity
Image by Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic
Richard Branson's signature
Published on 7 August 2019

Having flown to space twice, Virgin Galactic are continuing to move closer to commercial space travel with VSS Unity. But we won’t just have one spaceship, we want to have a fleet.

That’s why the brilliant team at Virgin Galactic’s sister company, The Spaceship Company, are hard at work building our next spaceships. They have now completed the wing of the next spaceship in our fleet. 

VSS Unity
Image by Virgin Galactic

In this video, you can see the teams bond the internal structures together to complete what they call the ‘egg crate.’.

As Virgin Galactic explained on Instagram: “Once the egg crate is completed, the next step is to bond the internal structure to the upper wing skins. With the wing structure open, the team has maximum access to begin the installation of essential systems. These include components such as landing gear, reaction control system (RCS), elevon flight controls and the pneumatic tubing that powers the feathering system which provides SpaceShipTwo with its unique re-entry configuration. Along with these systems, the team also installed the avionics wiring harnesses.”

You can see the team integrating both structures and systems before finally bonding the lower skins and completing the main wing structure in the video above, and see the completed wing structure in the clip below. The next step will now be to join it to the completed fuselage, which will see it begin to resemble the unmistakable SpaceShipTwo.

It’s been a busy, exciting time for Virgin Galactic and The Spaceship Company. As well as taking a huge step to becoming the first publicly traded, human spaceflight company, we recently marked the Moon Landings anniversary with some special events at Kennedy Space Center. I was presented with this beautiful sculpture, ‘On the Shoulders of Giants’, which is made from the same weathered steel that adorns the exterior of Spaceport America. I look forward to seeing it, and WhiteKnightTwo, in New Mexico soon.