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September 20, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Bringing commercial spaceflight a step closer to reality, a privately funded aerospace firm has built a production plant where it will assemble the world's first fleet of passenger-ready spaceships. The 68,000-square-foot facility next to a runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port about 100 miles north of Los Angeles is one of the first aircraft assembly plants to be built in the region in decades. It'll be home to Spaceship Co. — a joint venture of Mojave-based Scaled Composites and British billionaire Richard Branson's space tourism company, Virgin Galactic.
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BUSINESS
September 20, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Bringing commercial spaceflight a step closer to reality, a privately funded aerospace firm has built a production plant where it will assemble the world's first fleet of passenger-ready spaceships. The 68,000-square-foot facility next to a runway at the Mojave Air and Space Port about 100 miles north of Los Angeles is one of the first aircraft assembly plants to be built in the region in decades. It'll be home to Spaceship Co. — a joint venture of Mojave-based Scaled Composites and British billionaire Richard Branson's space tourism company, Virgin Galactic.
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BUSINESS
July 29, 2005 | From Associated Press
Space entrepreneurs Burt Rutan and Richard Branson announced plans Thursday to form a new aerospace production company to build a fleet of commercial suborbital spaceships and equipment. Called Spaceship Co., the enterprise will be jointly owned by Britain-based Virgin Group Ltd.
BUSINESS
October 18, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
Las Cruces, N.M., officially joined the list of the nation's major space centers Monday when a newly completed terminal and hangar facility was turned over to British billionaire Richard Branson and his commercial space tourism venture, Virgin Galactic. The company aims to launch paying customers beyond Earth's confines from the new $209-million futuristic-looking facility, named Spaceport America. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez joined Branson and a crowd of more than 800 others during the dedication ceremonies, the company said.
BUSINESS
November 9, 2010 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
A production facility that would build the world's first fleet of commercial spaceships is set to begin construction Tuesday at the Mojave Air and Space Port. The 68,000-square-foot facility, one of the first aircraft assembly plants to be built in the region in decades, will be home to the Spaceship Co., or TSC ? a joint venture owned by Mojave-based Scaled Composites and British billionaire Richard Branson's space tourism company Virgin Galactic. TSC hopes to complete the complex by September.
BUSINESS
October 15, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
NASA engineers, technologists and scientific researchers are planning to hitch a ride into space aboard a spaceship owned by Virgin Galactic, British billionaire Richard Branson's private space venture. The company, which aspires to be the world's first commercial carrier in space, said it has confirmed an order from NASA for one charter suborbital spaceflight so the space agency can conduct experiments. NASA's order includes options for two additional charter flights, Virgin Galactic said.
BUSINESS
October 26, 2011 | By W.J. Hennigan, Los Angeles Times
After combing through a long list of astronauts, fighter pilots, and space geeks, British billionaire Richard Branson named a new astronaut pilot to join his start-up space venture that aims to lift paying passengers into space. Branson's company Virgin Galactic announced Wednesday that former U.S. Air Force test pilot Keith Colmer will join chief pilot David Mackay to begin flight training and testing of the company's revolutionary aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo. Colmer was selected from more than 500 applicants, which included about 10 current and former astronauts, Virgin Galactic Chief Executive George T. Whitesides said in a recent interview at the company's office in Pasadena.
BUSINESS
January 10, 2014 | By W.J. Hennigan
MOJAVE, Calif. -- Virgin Galactic, British billionaire Richard Branson's commercial space venture, reached its highest altitude yet Friday in a supersonic rocket plane that's set to carry paying customers into sub-orbit later this year. The company's SpaceShipTwo blasted through the sound barrier and sped to Mach 1.4, climbing to 71,000 feet in its first powered test flight of the year. The flight, the program's third rocket-powered test flight, is the latest milestone in Virgin Galactic's goal to take dozens of people into space multiple times each day. The test flight took place shortly after sunrise Friday beginning on the desert runway at Mojave Air and Space Port, about 100 miles northeast of Los Angeles.
BUSINESS
April 29, 2013 | By W.J. Hennigan and Adolfo Flores
British billionaire Richard Branson's commercial space venture Virgin Galactic got one step closer to carrying tourists into space when a test pilot cracked the sound barrier over the Mojave Desert. For the first time, the company's SpaceShipTwo engaged its rocket motor and sped to Mach 1.2 and reached 56,000 feet in altitude. The flight is the latest -- and largest -- milestone in Virgin Galactic's testing of technology it hopes to use to carry scores of paying customers into space several times a day. “The first powered flight of Virgin Spaceship Enterprise was without any doubt our single most important flight test to date,” said Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, in a statement.
BUSINESS
October 11, 2012 | W.J. Hennigan
Inside one of the bustling ramshackle hangars at the Mojave Air & Space Port, 23-year-old Kyle Nyberg is tightening dozens of stainless-steel nuts that make up the innards of the rocket sitting before him. As the searing desert heat creeps in through an open door, beads of sweat form on Nyberg's brow. Dirt coats his baseball cap and his black gym shoes threaded with neon green laces. Some of his fingers are wrapped with ragged bandages. But the young aeronautical engineer is smiling.
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