New SpaceShipTwo Almost Completed After the Crash of Virgin Galactic’s First One

So... SpaceShipTwoTwo?

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Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital spaceplane crashed during its fourth powered flight test last year, but they’re still in the space tourism game, and a second SpaceShipTwo is nearing completion.

SpaceShipTwo hasn’t yet gone to suborbital space, but Virgin Galactic will be able to resume its test flights to eventually get it there when the new model is completed. SpaceShipTwo program manager Jonathan Richie said in a video about the ship’s construction,

Now, we’re at a point where you look at it, and it looks like a spaceship. We’ve got all the big, major pieces together. It’s kind of like closing the box when you’re satisfied with everything inside, and we’re at that point. We’ve built the structure, we’ve packed it full of systems components and now we’re ready to tie the bow around it.

The process of creating the new new SpaceShipTwo has been in progress since January 2012, but it may still be a while before it picks up where the last one left off in test flights. Space.com points out that they’ll still have to wait for the National Transportation Safety Board to finish their investigation of the original’s crash before Virgin Galactic is cleared to move forward with more tests.

So you’ve got a bit longer to wait before snagging a ticket to suborbital space, potential space tourists, but you could probably use some extra time to save up to afford it anyway.

(image via Virgin Galactic)

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Dan Van Winkle
Dan Van Winkle (he) is an editor and manager who has been working in digital media since 2013, first at now-defunct Geekosystem (RIP), and then at The Mary Sue starting in 2014, specializing in gaming, science, and technology. Outside of his professional experience, he has been active in video game modding and development as a hobby for many years. He lives in North Carolina with Lisa Brown (his wife) and Liz Lemon (their dog), both of whom are the best, and you will regret challenging him at Smash Bros.