Virgin Galactic unveils new Spacecraft at New Mexico Spaceport.
Richard Branson’s Virgin Group, which plans to provide sub-orbital space missions and orbital human spaceflights, has unveiled its newest Spacecraft – SpaceShipTwo .
SpaceShipTwo uses Carbon Composite construction and design and will carry six passengers and two pilots.
The Spaceship is powered by a hybrid rocket motor. Just like any conventional flying machine, it requires aerodynamic forces to provide its stability and control whilst in the atmosphere. In space it follows a simple ballistic trajectory and uses small thrusters which allow the pilots to manoeuvre the vehicle and provide a changing view for the passenger astronauts.
The 2.5 hour flights will offer five minutes of weightlessness and cost $200,000 (£127,000)
Virgin Galactic has established its headquarters and operates its spaceflights from Spaceport America; the world’s first purpose built commercial spaceport, in New Mexico.
The first human spaceflight has been scheduled for 2013 and already over 500 tickets have been sold.
Boeing’s Dreamliner completes first commercial flight
Boeings Dreamliner has finally had its maiden commercial voyage, three years later than planned.
The All Niooin Airlines (ANA) flight carried its first passengers from Tokyo to Hong Kong.
Boeing says the twin-aisle, mid-size plane features the industy’s largest windows, with higher cabin humidity and cleaner air – all of which combine to allow passengers to arrive at their destinations more refreshed.
Because of the materials used in construction – carbon fibre rather than aluminium – as well as new engines and aerodynamics, Boeing says the Dreamliner is about 20% more fuel efficient than similarly sized models flying today.
£1bn upgrade for British army’s Warrior vehicles
A £1bn upgrade of the British army’s Warrior armoured vehicles has been announced by the government.
The move was revealed by Prime Minister David Cameron and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond.
It is hoped the move will extend the service life of the military vehicles through to 2040 and beyond.
Mr Hammond said “Not only is this fantastic news for the Army, it also represents a great boost to British industry – sustaining jobs, skills and capability within the UK’s armoured vehicle sector.”
The vehicles will be fitted with a new turret and 40mm cannon, which will allow them to fire more accurately while moving. There will also be a new armour mounting system, allowing more flexibility with different types of armour.
The head of Army, Chief of General Staff, said:”This announcement of an upgrade to one of the Army’s most important fighting vehicles is extremely welcome. Warrior will continue to be at the heart of our combat capability for at least another 25 years with state of the art firepower and electronics. Wherever the Army deploys, our infantry will depend on its superior protection, mobility and lethality. This will be a battle winner.”