UPDATED 7:44 AM PT – Wednesday, March 31, 2021
On Tuesday, Virgin Galactic unveiled its new spaceship called VSS Imagine, which is the first of the company’s latest generation of commercial craft.
Company founder Richard Branson said the new ship will bring a new and transforming perspective for future space travelers.
“The unveiling of our new beautiful spaceship marks the expansion of the fleet,” he stated. “With this being the first spaceship of the Virgin Galactic Spaceship III class of vehicle.”
The VSS Imagine is finished entirely with a reflective mirror-like material, which provides thermal protection and is designed for research experiments that can be conducted in sub-orbital space while also carrying passengers.
“Our hope for all those who travel on this spaceship is that it will offer new horizons, fresh perspectives and spark ideas that will bring positive change to our beautiful planet,” Branson continued. “That’s why we are calling our new spaceship VSS Imagine.”
The spaceship will begin the process of ground testing soon with a test flight from Virgin’s Spaceport America in New Mexico tentatively set for this summer.