September 20, 2011
Virgin Galactic Opens FAITH Assembly Facility
Virgin Galactic opened its Final Assembly, Integration and Test Hanger (FAITH) at Mojave Air and Space Port on Monday.
The $8 million hanger supports the final stages of production for the company's WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo.
“Today marks another important step along the road to opening space for everyone," Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson said at the grand opening. "We´re extremely proud of the new FAITH building, which is the world´s first facility dedicated to producing private, commercial manned space vehicles. From this hangar, the talented team at The Spaceship Company will be at the forefront of making space access safe, reliable and affordable.”
FAITH is a 68,000-square-foot facility that will be used for the final assembly, integration and testing of The Spaceship Company (TSC) vehicles.
“We take great pride in the opening of FAITH as an accomplishment for our company, our current and future customers and our industry,” The Spaceship Company Vice President, Operations Enrico Palermo said at the event. “Within this new facility, we will produce the highest quality commercial spaceflight systems.”
Virgin Galactic is a commercial space program aimed at taking consumers into space. A consumer will be able to hitch a ride to space on a Virgin Galactic spacecraft for $200,000.
The company completed its first feathered flight on May 4, 2011. During this flight, SpaceShipTwo was released from WhiteKnightTwo at 51,000 feet altitude. SpaceShipTwo then demonstrated its unique re-entry system and glided back down to the Mojave Air and Spaceport.
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