Posts Tagged ‘Space Travel’




Land Rover, the British brand synonymous with adventure, has revealed a long-term global partnership with Richard Branson’s pioneering commercial spaceline, Virgin Galactic.

Demonstrating their shared vision of pioneering spirit, technological innovation and sense of adventure, the ground breaking partnership was announced against the backdrop of SpaceShipTwo, the world’s first commercial passenger carrying spacecraft, together with Land Rover’s new Discovery Vision Concept vehicle. The announcement illustrates the commitment that both brands share to iconic design and engineering excellence and a desire to push the boundaries of travel for the next generation.

The partnership will see Land Rover vehicles become part of daily life for the Virgin Galactic team and for all ‘Future Astronauts’, the space experience will now begin with Land Rover as
they arrive in New Mexico for training, and continue to the moment they drive from the space terminal building to the waiting spaceship. Land Rover will base a fleet of vehicles at the
Virgin Galactic test centre in the Mojave Desert, California and at its astounding operational New Mexico base, Spaceport America.

The exciting announcement was revealed in dramatic fashion on board USS Intrepid, a former aircraft carrier and now a museum dedicated to the exploration of sea, air and space and anchored on the Hudson River. Land Rover’s first act as exclusive partner was to bring a unique full-size replica of SpaceShipTwo VSS Enterprise to New York, where it joined the remarkable British Airways Concorde and its namesake Space Shuttle Enterprise upon the Intrepid. Like the Space Shuttle, SpaceShipTwo is the first of a revolutionary fleet of reusable human spacecraft. Having the vehicles in one place for the first time provided a powerful symbol of human ingenuity and the adventurous spirit of exploration and discovery.

Revealed alongside SpaceShipTwo was Land Rover’s Discovery Vision Concept, a vision of Land Rover’s future family of Discovery vehicles. The concept car previews dynamic new design language and an array of world first technologies. Building on Land Rover’s renowned all-terrain capability, the Discovery Vision Concept represents the ultimate SUV of
the future.

The vehicle uses augmented reality technology to display a ‘see-through’ view of the terrain ahead, making the front of the car ‘virtually’ invisible from inside the cabin. Gesture Control
allows you to open the doors, operate the indicators or turn on the headlamps simply by moving your hand, while Laser Referencing projects visible markings, symbols and imagery onto the ground to aid low speed or tricky manoeuvres.

More than 200 VIP guests witnessed the two game-changing vehicles, which were revealed against a stunning Manhattan background and an awe-inspiring projection mapping sequence.

Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Galactic said “We couldn’t be more delighted to have Land Rover join us on our incredible journey. It is hard to think of a brand which is more
synonymous with exploration and adventure. The safety and engineering excellence of Land Rover’s vehicles, which have been the stuff of legend for more than 65 years, are attributes
which also lie at the heart of Virgin Galactic. We look forward to crossing the final frontier together and to a long and fruitful partnership.”

Phil Popham, Group Marketing Director of Jaguar Land Rover said “This is a marriage of two of Britain’s most iconic brands which celebrate shared values, a pioneering spirit and a true sense of adventure. Not only do we both share the same long-term vision to enable mankind to explore, but we also want to develop this partnership to inspire others. From our tens of thousands of employees and customers to schools and colleges, motivating more young people to pursue careers in engineering, science, technology and math – and explore new ways of travelling for future generations.
and Rover’s heart beats ‘above and beyond’ – we are pioneers on land and Virgin Galactic is the pioneer of space. It’s a very special match of brands with a shared vision.”

Both brands run significant and highly regarded community relations and STEM education programmes, which encourage young people to aspire to a future in science, technology,
engineering and mathematics and together see the huge potential to develop this partnership to inspire others and motivate more young people to pursue careers in these vitally important fields.

Courtesy of Land Rover, SpaceShipTwo, will remain on display at Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum for the public to view between from 15th to the 22nd April. It will sit alongside
other game changing artefacts including the first ever space shuttle Enterprise, the prototype NASA orbiter that paved the way for the space shuttle programme and the record-breaking
and revolutionary supersonic passenger airliner, the Concorde.

The Discovery Vision Concept will be on display at the New York Auto Show, which opens on Wednesday 16th April.

Here’s a short and entertaining video about the partnership:

What I learned from Wiley Post…who???

Wiley Post

I became interested in a guy recently—not romantically, of course! I am hopelessly in love with Michael, my husband! Anyway, I read about the guy and discovered I perhaps made an unwise choice to admire him. Here’s a synopsis of what I learned about him: he was an indfferent student who left school after the 7th grade; he was paroled from a reformatory after serving 14 months of a 10 year sentence for car jacking; he was unable to raise money for his business, a flight school, because of his rural background and limited education.

Who is the guy?  Doesn’t he sound like a loser? As the stereotypical Jewish mom would ask, “So, where did he go to school? Is he a doctor? A lawyer? Jewish? Well, Mom, the answer to the above questions is none of the above. Imagine if I had accidentally mentioned he was an ex-con!

The guy is Wiley Post. ( . In 1931 Post set a record of being the first person to fly a fixed-wing plane around the world in 8 days and 15 hours and 51 minutes. I saw how long it took him and was startled until I realized his flight occurred only 82 years ago! Wow! How quickly we forget how far we’ve come in less than a 100 years! I bet Willard Scott has wished a happy 100th birthday to several people who could vividly recall life before consumer air travel! All the exclamation points I’m using indicate how amazed I am at the speed of inventions, of technology, of the changes that have occurred since the introduction of the computer, the Internet, social media, and mobile phones that have more information stored in them than the computers used to send men into space!

VG test flight

Speaking of Space, you may recall that I am an Accredited Space Agent, able to help you reserve a seat aboard Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic’s sub-orbital space flights (How could you forget? I feel like I’m constantly talking about it J ). Today I was on a conference call with other ASAs (don’t you love my space-talk acronyms?) and we were briefed on the progress of the test flights, the finish details of Spaceport America, located in New Mexico, and the special event in September that will be held for the future astronauts (over 615 people have reserved flights on Virgin Galactic’s spaceship, including one of my clients). People have asked me when the flight tests will end and the consumer space flights begin. I feel like if I give an exact date, some of the doubters would find me more credible. Yet, today I had the opportunity to experience the reverse skepticism—it took Wiley Post how long to fly around the world?

I hear the talking heads on TV preface a date in the first 10 years of this millennium with the preface of “back in 2010” or “back when Pinterest first started”. Many people don’t even know what Pinterest is! How about those prehistoric days in 2007 when American Idol first premiered? Maybe this blog post makes me sound like a grumpy old lady (definitely not grumpyJ) and yet I am thrilled to be part of the next frontier in consumer travel, flights into Space. So, doubters of technology like 3-D printers, Google Glass, or Virgin Galactic, remember, the Wright Brothers and Wiley post had their skeptics, too. Now, we can’t imagine life without airplanes.

Life really does move a warp speed, doesn’t it?

Did you see history being made on April 29, 2013?

Virgin Galactic, Sir Richard Branson’s space travel company, had a momentous day on April 29, 2013! The test pilots completed the first rocket-propelled test flight—ever! Consumer space travel is becoming a reality. In case you missed the event, here’s a video of the flight and a video of Branson’s thoughts on the successful event. And, if this ignites a flame within you to experience a flight into Space, contact me, *protected email*,  today and we’ll reserve a seat for you aboard Virgin Galactic!

Virgin Galactic sets date for first blast off!

Virgin Galactic made big news today from Farnborough Air Show outside London. With his mother and his daughter in the audience, Sir Richard Branson shared some exciting developments at Virgin Galactic. Read about it here and watch the newest video released by Virgin Galactic. This is your opportunity to meet some of the VG Team, up close and personal. I’ve met several of them and look forward to spending 3 days with them in October at Spaceport America in New Mexico.


Virgin Galactic Big News: FAA Launch Permit Gives Green Light for Powered Flight

SpaceShipTwo Set to Go for Heavy-Weight Glide Tests with Supersonic Flight Targeted for Year End

MOJAVE, Calif. – (May 29, 2012) Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial spaceline, announced
today that its vehicle developer, Scaled Composites (Scaled), has been granted an experimental
launch permit from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its suborbital spacecraft,
SpaceshipTwo, and the carrier aircraft, WhiteKnightTwo.

“This important milestone enables our team to progress to the rocket-powered phase of test flight,
bringing us a major step closer to bringing our customers to space,” said George Whitesides,
president and CEO of Virgin Galactic. “We thank the FAA for their timely issuance of this permit,
and for their responsible oversight of the test program.”

Already, SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo have made significant progress in their flight test
program. With 80 test flights completed, WhiteKnightTwo is substantially through its test plan,
while the more recently constructed SpaceShipTwo has safely completed sixteen free flights,
including three that tested the vehicle’s unique “feathering” re-entry system. Additionally, ten
test firings of the full scale SpaceShipTwo rocket motor, including full duration burns, have been
safely and successfully completed.

With this permit now in hand, Scaled is now authorized to press onward towards rocket- powered test
flights. In preparation for those powered flights, SpaceShipTwo will soon return to flight, testing
the aerodynamic performance of the spacecraft with the full weight of the rocket motor system on
board. Integration of key rocket motor components, already begun during a now-concluding period of
downtime for routine maintenance, will continue into the autumn. Scaled expects to begin rocket
powered, supersonic flights under the just-issued experimental permit toward the end of the year.

“The Spaceship program is making steady progress, and we are all looking forward to lighting the
vehicle’s rocket engine in flight for the first time,” said Doug Shane, president of Scaled.

Although a handful of experimental launch permits have been granted to other rockets, SpaceShipTwo
is the first rocket-powered vehicle that carries humans on board to receive such a permit.
SpaceShipOne, the manned spaceship successfully flown to space in 2004 and the basis for the design
of SpaceShipTwo, flew before the Experimental Permit regulatory regime was established.

The FAA’s Office of Commercial Space Transportation issues permits after it has determined
that the vehicle operator has taken the appropriate steps to protect the public during testing.
Permitees must submit detailed plans for vehicle design and operation in order to ensure that all
possible scenarios have been addressed.