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Virgin Galactic unveils new SpaceShip III


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VSS_Imagine_004.0.jpeg VSS Imagine | Virgin Galactic

Richard Branson’s space tourism firm Virgin Galactic is unveiling a new space plane dubbed VSS Imagine on Tuesday, the first SpaceShip III addition to the company’s growing fleet of suborbital vehicles. It’s a shiny, chrome-colored ship designed for quicker reuse than SpaceShipTwo, the current centerpiece of the company’s effort to kickstart its space tourism business in 2022.

“Imagine will be the first of our SpaceShip III’s to come join the fleet,” Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier tells The Verge. “It will be followed up by Inspire, which we’re pivoting our manufacturing now.”

Functionally, SpaceShip III is the same as the company’s SpaceShipTwo, dubbed VSS Unity. But SpaceShip III is designed in a “modular fashion” that will...

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