Joel Johnson and I were at a preview of Wired's Next Fest, and saw a little nose cone hiding behind a veil. We climbed back, and discovered an abandoned space ship. A Virgin Galactic SpaceShipOne replica sitting on a trailer, actually. It was so cute, Joel decided to climb up and give it a hug.
This morning, Sir Richard Branson will unveil the first mock ups ever seen of SpaceShipTwo's interior cabin. The layout: two pilots and 6 very rich space tourists/astronauts. Mockups? We've got em here.
The cabin was designed by Seymour Powell, known for Baby-G Shock watches by Casio. The design of the six passenger seats is meant to recline completely to minimize G forces on the body, appropriately enough. And eject them into the room during weightlessness in orbit. The room looks...padded, like the rooms in an insane asylum. While they're floating, passengers can check out the view of earth and space through 15 oversized windows. And there's word of passengers being able to conduct scientific experiments through intrumentation and handheld wireless pods (whatever that means.) Take off will occur at Virgin Galactic's New Mexico HQ, with discussions of bases in the UK, Sweden, and Australia.
Flights will take 2.5 hours, reaching over 110km above Earth's surface, and each astronaut gets 3 days of flight prep included with their $200,000 payment. That price'll drop over time. Not soon enough for broke bloggers like Joel and I.