Flightglobal.com is reporting that NASA and Virgin Galactic have signed a memorandum of understanding to work on commercial spaceflight and hypersonic airline travel.
In principle, Virgin Galactic and NASA’s Ames research group would work together to develop hybrid rocket motors and the study of vehicles that travel faster than Mach 5. Dan Coughlin from NASA’s Marshall Flight Center will work with Virgin Galactic. With these kinds of speeds, Virgin could offer customers trips across the world that would only take a couple of hours.
Until now, Virgin Galactic has been working with Scaled Composites to develop a larger version of SpaceShipOne, the vehicle that won the X-prize in October, 2004. Adventurous space tourists will pay about $200,000 USD to fly on SpaceShipTwo to an altitude of 100km and enjoy 6 minutes of weightlessness.
There just aren’t a lot of details right now. I’ll see what else I can dig up.
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Original Source: Flightglobal article