The first SpaceShipTwo vehicle made
its public debut on December 7th, 2009 at the Mojave
Air & Spaceport. Designed and built by Burt
Rutan and his team at Scaled
Composites and sponsored by
Virgin Galactic, the SS2 was christened Enterprise.
It was mated with WhiteKnightTwo Eve, which debuted
about a year ago.
The two will soon begin a series of
flight tests that will last 18 to 24 months. At
the end of the test program, the vehicle will begin
flying six passengers and two pilots to over 110
kilometers, crossing the official boundary to space
Several hundred journalists, ticketed
SS2 passengers, dignitaries, and others came for
the unveiling. The rollout of WK2 with SS2 went
fine but unexpectedly severe winter weather with
extremely high winds cut short the big party that
was planned after the vehicle's debut. No one was
injured and the vehicles were sheltered with no
Thousands of press articles worldwide
were written about the rollout event, though most
of these were simply repeats of wire service reports.
I present here a sampling of links to articles,
pictures, videos, and blog postings about the event
and its significance.