Sir Richard Branson - founder of Virgin Galactic, and Burt Rutan, designer of SpaceShip 2 (SS2) revealed that ship to the public today.
This is a big milestone for Virgin Galactic's mission to be the first civilian commercial space line.
SS2 draws a great deal from its history from SpaceShip1(SS1) that had its first successful flight in 2004. SS1 won the famous Ansari X-Prize for completing the world's first manned private space flight. SS2 can carry 6 passengers and 2 pilot astronauts into sub-orbital flight.
The unvealing took place at the Mojave Air and Spaceport.
The flight profile will have SS2 attached to the White Knight 2 carrier craft nickname EVE after Sir Branson's mother. The WK2 will carry the SS2 up to 50,000 feet before it is dropped and fires off her rocket motors.
What I found special about this article is the news of what they intend to name this first spaceliner... Governors Schwarzenegger of California, and Governor Richardson of New Mexico, christened the SS2 as the Virgin Space Ship (VSS) ENTERPRISE. This is in line with the tradition of using the word Enterprise in the naming of Royal Navy, US Navy, NASA spacecraft - and of course of a certain science fiction tv series.
Ref. Commercial space watch, December 7, 2009. (http://www.comspacewatch.com/news/viewpr.rss.html?pid=29757).
photo of Sir Branson and Burt Rutan December 7, 2009 (http://www.virgin.com/travel/inside-virgin-travel/virgin-galactic-unveils-spaceshiptwo-1/)