Mothership (VMS) Eve
As the era of clean, safe, and affordable
access to space dawns, the pioneers at Virgin Galactic and Scaled
Composites have again chosen EAA AirVenture Oshkosh as the stage for
unveiling their innovations. After successfully completing its initial
flight test program, space launch vehicle Virgin Mothership (VMS) Eve
will make its world public debut on July 27 at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh
The space launch vehicle will arrive as
part of the opening-day air show. AirVenture attendees will have
opportunities for up-close viewing of the vehicle on the ground each day
until its departure flight as part of the Saturday, Aug. 1 air show.
Event organizers and Virgin Galactic officials are hopeful to arrange
additional showcase flights during the week.
"This will be a major highlight of
our event. Since the appearance of the X-Prize-winning WhiteKnight and
SpaceShipOne at AirVenture four years ago, our members have eagerly
awaited the next advancements from the Virgin Galactic and Scaled
Composites innovators," said EAA president and AirVenture chairman
"Burt Rutan, the chief designer of
Virgin Galactic's launch vehicle and spacecraft, truly embodies the EAA
spirit. His accomplishments show how far our passion for building and
flying aircraft can go. Over the decades, this EAA member has created
some of the world's most inventive designs, including the vehicles that
will take private-citizen astronauts into space. We're all eager to
welcome Burt and his team back to Oshkosh," Poberezny said.
"Likewise, the EAA community is
eager to applaud Virgin Galactic for employing corporate muscle and
mettle to bring ambitious dreams within reach," he added.
Will Whitehorn, President of Virgin
Galactic commented: "Our new launch vehicle, VMS Eve, is both
visually remarkable and represents ground-breaking aerospace technology.
It has a unique heavy lift, high altitude capability and an open
architecture driven design that provides for maximum versatility in the
weight, mass, and volume of its payload potential. VMS Eve is capable of
lifting SpaceShipTwo, an unmanned satellite launch or space science
vehicle and also being capable of use as an astronaut training vehicle.
Its carbon composite construction also gives unprecedented fuel
efficiency and the strength to perform high g maneuvers and parabolic
flight," he said.
"Together with Scaled Composites, we
are delighted to be showcasing this incredible vehicle and demonstrating
its capabilities in public for the very first time. It is particularly
appropriate that we are doing this at the 2009 AirVenture event in
conjunction with the EAA, which has done so much over the years to
support and promote aerospace innovation," Whitehorn added.
According to Whitehorn, Virgin Galactic
plans to conduct test flights of VMS Eve carrying SpaceShipTwo during
the second half of 2009.
Dwarfing its namesake predecessor,
WhiteKnightTwo is the world's largest all carbon composite flying
vehicle. The 140-foot wingspan is the longest single carbon composite
aviation component ever manufactured. The launch vehicle's mission will
include ferrying SpaceShipTwo and thousands of private astronauts,
science packages, and payload on the first stage of the Virgin Galactic
sub-orbital space experience.