News

Back
Hurricane Provides Dramatic End to Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Event

11.12.09

Hurricane Provides Dramatic End to Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Event

Hurricane

At the start of a dramatic week of weather right across the US, hurricane force winds hit Mojave Air and Spaceport CA on the evening of Monday 7th December, tearing apart a specially created site which had been used throughout the day to house guests attending the first roll out of Virgin Galactic’s new spaceship…

Along with Sir Richard Branson and spaceship designer Burt Rutan, over 800 press, future astronauts and VIP guests including Governors Bill Richardson and Arnold Schwarzenegger, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie and Victoria Principal had gathered in the desert to witness the roll out of the world’s first commercial manned spaceship. Standing at the end of the runway, guests braved gale force winds and stormy weather, to see SpaceShipTwo for the first time. The spaceship was carried down the runway as snow fell, by her mothership, VMS Eve, to a spectacular display of lights and music.

With the spaceship officially named VSS Enterprise by Governors Schwarzenegger and Richardson, the celebrations began. Minutes later guests were stunned to hear that a mass evacuation had been called by local officials who had become aware of the approaching storm. Sir Richard Branson said: “It was absolutely incredible, the roll out of the spaceship had been fantastic and everybody was filled with terrific energy. We were all in the tents when the evacuation was called. 20 minutes after the last of the 800 guests had been coached away, the main 200ft tent literally took off”. Gusts were reported of up to 116MPH, and local residents commented that the Mojave area had not experienced such a combination of high winds, rain and freezing temperatures for over two decades. Both spaceship and mothership were unscathed thanks to the rapid action of the crew as were all guests thanks to an efficient evacuation to waiting buses.
Sir Richard Branson added: “We were fully expecting to be blown away by our beautiful new spaceship but got a little more than we bargained for!”

Latest News

07.07.14

VIRGIN GALACTIC ANNOUNCES LOCAL NEW MEXICO HOSPITALITY PARTNERS TO EXPAND FUTURE ASTRONAUT EXPERIENCE

World’s First Commercial Spaceline Partners with New Mexico Based Accommodation and Catering Specialists to Enhance Experience for Future Astronauts and Guests

More

15.04.14

VIRGIN GALACTIC ANNOUNCES GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP WITH LAND ROVER

Global reveal of Land Rover’s new Discovery Vision Concept car alongside Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo

More

23.01.14

VIRGIN GALACTIC ANNOUNCES SUCCESSFUL TEST FIRINGS OF NEW LIQUID ROCKET ENGINES FOR LAUNCHERONE

Company developing rocket engines designed and built in house for its affordable, responsive small satellite launch service

More

03.10.13

NBC ANNOUNCES EXCLUSIVE SERIES WITH SIR RICHARD BRANSON'S VIRGIN GALACTIC AND MARK BURNETT'S ONE THREE MEDIA

Burnett's groundbreaking adventure competition "Space Race" to give the winning everyday person a ticket to space

More

Thanks for visiting the Virgin Galactic website

For videos, gallery, a general overview and booking form for budding future astronauts along with all the latest news Tap here to continue to the mobile site For complete and detailed project and contact information for private astronauts, science research, small satellite launch services and press ftp Tap here to continue to the full site