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U.S ok's Virgin Galactic spaceship plans

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posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 11:37 AM

A go-ahead was given last week by the U.S. Department of State’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls (DDTC) that clears the way for exchanges of technical information between Scaled Composites of Mojave, California and Virgin Galactic of the United Kingdom to build passenger-carrying suborbital spaceliners.

Among its duties, DDTC administers and enforces International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR).

“Putting it in ITAR terms…this is one small step for ITAR, one big leap for Virgin Galactic,” said Will Whitehorn, President of Virgin Galactic—the space tourism endeavor that is a subsidiary of British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.

“It allows us to activate all the parts of the project,” Whitehorn told in an exclusive phone interview, such as use of technology—SpaceShipOne’s reentry concept and hybrid rocket motor design, for example—that can be licensed through Paul Allen’s Mojave Aerospace Ventures.

Whitehorn said that the DDTC has approved a request for a Technical Assistance Agreement (TAA) between Scaled Composites LLC, Virgin Galactic LLC, and Virgin Management Ltd. This does not require the issuing of a license as such.

The request itself for the TAA was made by Scaled Composites on behalf of the three companies, Whitehorn said.

Because Scaled Composites is the deemed exporter of ‘technical’ information to Virgin—being a non-U.S. group—the request to enter into a Technical Assistance Agreement with Virgin had to be formally submitted to the DDTC by Scaled,” said Jonathan Peachey, Virgin’s Vice President of Finance and Business Development.

DDTC’s approval to the request by Scaled Composites allows all three parties to enter into a TAA under which the exchange of technical information will take place, Peachey told

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I'm glad they approved the plans. Now civilians can go into space for the price of a house, instead of the price of a mansion.

posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 01:18 PM
Hat's off to the Scaled Composites bunch... Clarence Johnson would be proud. That 5 axis mill will pay for itself now. Bravo!
Does anyone think they'll see "ice crystals" ala O'Berg or phenom 2 and 3 ala Stubbs? Will the "ice crystals" - "spherical phenom" have an interest in such a non-threatening sub orbital launch?

posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 01:21 PM
Whatever, I'd mortgage my house to go on the trip lol. More likely scenario though is i'd probably mortgage my house to pay for rocket flight school so I can get paid to do it

posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 03:08 PM
only need a $20k downpayment to fly.. tho you need to end up paying $200k total.

How much for just a ride in White Knight?

posted on Aug, 17 2005 @ 06:28 PM
thats good news...I was hoping it would get the 'go', because if it didn't it would be a big blow to public space flight.

Has anybody being able to find any pictures or rendering of SpaceShip Two?

posted on Aug, 18 2005 @ 11:42 AM
I wonder if my term-life policy covers me if I were to become a crater on the floor of the mojave desert in a Virgin Galactic ship? I'll bet there's a clause somewhere.......... If my policy doesn't cover it will Mutual of Omaha have a policy available at a counter in the lobby of the spaceport? No matter, I can't come up with the 20k deposit never mind the whole 200k.

All kidding aside, this is awesome. As soon as private industry really gets up and running in the space tourism business you can bet the technology will advance very rapidly and the costs will come way down. It's like living one or two chapters before a science fiction novel starts. We are right there, right at the verge of all those neat things from the movies and the books, it's very exiting.

posted on Aug, 21 2005 @ 07:24 AM
wow, i might get to do what my dad could never do - see earth from space (near enough anyway)

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