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Brave New World: First Commercial Spaceliner Launches

October 11, 2010 By: Melanie Gretchen

VSS EnterpriseThe dawn of a new era began yesterday when the first commercial manned spaceship, VSS Enterprise, completed its first piloted free flight in Mojave, California. Developed by U.S. space tourism company Virgin Galactic, the ship was released from its WhiteKnightTwo mothership, VMS Eve, at 45,000 feet before landing 11 minutes later at Mojave Air and Space Sport.

Starting next Monday, October 18, National Geographic Channel (NGC) will release a four-part series detailing the process and background of the flight. Exclusive footage will feature Virgin Group founder Richard Branson and aeronaturical engineer Burt Tatan, winner of the Ansari X Prize with SpaceShipOne and WhiteKnight One.

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