Private spaceflight based on open architecture 'like Linux'.
January 23, 2008 11:41 AM   Subscribe

SpaceShipTwo (SS2) [the suborbital craft] and WhiteKnightTwo [its launch system], created by Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites, have been revealed. More images. Virgin Galactic president Will Whitehorn says the WhiteKnightTwo will have an "open architecture like Linux to allow other people to develop new vehicles and revolutionize new industrial uses of space". He continues that, if people come to Virgin with plans geared towards the use of WhiteKnightTwo, they will work with them.
posted by blatant gizmo (21 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I think this is incredibly awesome, but I'm still sad that Grumman bought out Scaled.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:50 AM on January 23, 2008

Oh, wow backseatpilot; I hadn't realized that. Sad, indeed.
posted by blatant gizmo at 12:01 PM on January 23, 2008

/me downloads spaceship, recompiles kernel with patch to exceed c, colonizes Alpha Centauri

posted by DU at 12:05 PM on January 23, 2008

Drooled a little bit on my keyboard when I saw those renderings I have to admit. Rutan is a god.
posted by Skorgu at 12:11 PM on January 23, 2008

posted by furtive at 12:14 PM on January 23, 2008 [2 favorites]

Any advances in space, private or public, give me a Saturn-sized chubby, but can I be the first (on MeFi, at least) to say that White Knight II is pretty damn ugly. It’s like a corporate jet from some wacky Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen movie.
posted by bondcliff at 12:15 PM on January 23, 2008

The quicker we can get the idle rich into space the better.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 12:18 PM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

I personally want to see them open a spaceport somewhere in SE asia, and start running 90 minute hops from NM to SE Asia. Turn a 24 hour trip to Japan or Australia into two five hour flights and a 90 minute hop over the pacific.
posted by OldReliable at 12:30 PM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Looks like the mutant offspring of a U-2 spyplane and Blinky the fish.
posted by ryanrs at 12:36 PM on January 23, 2008

Scanning error: "Virgin Galactic president Will Wheaton..."
posted by agentofselection at 12:38 PM on January 23, 2008

They need to create the Nobel Prize for Awesome and give it to Rutan already.
posted by PenDevil at 1:27 PM on January 23, 2008 [2 favorites]

I love the concept of open architecture space craft. What I don't love is the idea of trying to explain what is in my back yard to the authorities:

Look, I know that it looks a lot like an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile, and I know that it is giving off 'disturbing' radioactive readings, but I swear, it's just an experiential open-source project. It's not dangerous at all. Well, unless those chips I bought are faulty, or that fuel cell ruptures, or the guidance goes astray, because if any of those things happen, it could be bad... but otherwise it's perfectly safe.

*hides doomsday plans under dog's bed*

posted by quin at 1:32 PM on January 23, 2008

I misspelled Rutan's name. ><>I lose.
posted by blatant gizmo at 1:56 PM on January 23, 2008

Countdown has begun!
posted by humannaire at 3:44 PM on January 23, 2008

I love the "Galactic Girl" art they're going to put on the ships.
posted by jjwiseman at 4:03 PM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

posted by steef at 4:28 PM on January 23, 2008

Clicking on that Galactic Girl image sends you to the huge 7016x4961 wallpaper image. Thanks jjwiseman!
posted by junesix at 4:33 PM on January 23, 2008

The logo is modeled after Branson's mother in her younger days.

The man has issues.
posted by DU at 4:40 PM on January 23, 2008 [1 favorite]

Why is the combined WK2-SS2 model aimed at the ground in every photo in that zdnet article?
posted by finite at 7:19 PM on January 23, 2008

Thanks jjwiseman!

I think we got to blame ZDNet here.
posted by smackfu at 8:49 PM on January 23, 2008

Oooooh, sign me up!
posted by vytae at 7:44 PM on January 25, 2008

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