The VSS Enterprise (Tail Number: N339SS) is the first of five commercial suborbital spacecraft being constructed for Virgin Galactic by Scaled Composites.It will also be the first ship of the Model 339 SpaceShipTwo class, based on upscaling the design of record-breaking SpaceShipOne. The VSS Enterprise's name is an acknowledgement of the USS Enterprise from the Star Trek television series. Entrepreneur Richard Branson, head of Virgin Galactic, offered William Shatner, the actor who portrayed Captain Kirk in the original Star Trek series, a free ride into space on the inaugural space launch of the VSS Enterprise, with a retail value of $200,000. However, Shatner turned it down, and said, "I do want to go up but I need guarantees I'll definitely come back."
Flight test program
Projections by Virgin Galactic in 2008 called for test flights to begin in late 2009 and commercial service to start in 2011. On Monday March 22, 2010, VSS Enterprise underwent a captive carry test flight, whereby the parent VMS Eve (the first WhiteKnightTwo) performed a short flight with... Read More