Editor's note: Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo interior unveiling event has ended. You can see our full story on the interior here.
Virgin Galactic, a space tourism company that aims to launch passengers on suborbital flights, will lift the veil on what that experience will be like today (July 28) and you can watch it live online.
In a live webcast at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT), Virgin Galactic will unveil the cabin design for its SpaceShipTwo space planes, revealing what passengers paying $250,000 a ticket will see and feel when they buy a rocket ride. You can watch the live webcast here and on the Space.com website, or directly from Virgin Galactic's YouTube page here.
"The live-streamed unveiling will feature a virtual walkthrough of the cabin, curated by the multi-disciplinary team which has striven to ensure that every detail of its design works to provide an unparalleled and safe consumer experience," Virgin Galactic representatives said in an announcement.
Founded in 2004 by British billionaire Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic aims to launch paying passengers on trips to suborbital space. To do that, the company will use SpaceShipTwo, a space plane that can carry eight people (six passengers and two pilots), and a carrier plane called WhiteKnightTwo. The trips will take off from Spaceport America in New Mexico and launch from the air at an altitude of 50,000 feet (15,000 meters).
Currently, Virigin Galactic has one SpaceShipTwo (called VSS Unity) and one carrier plane, called VMS Eve. VSS is short for Virgin Space Ship while VMS is short for Virgin Mother Ship. Two other SpaceShipTwo craft are currently under construction and one vehicle, the VSS Enterprise, was destroyed in a fatal accident during a 2014 test.
With more than 600 reservations in hand, Virgin Galactic has taken a series of steps in recent years to prepare for passenger flights. In December 2018 and February 2019, the company made two piloted test flights over California's Mojave Desert before moving its SpaceShipTwo launch system to its new home port of Spaceport America.
This year, the company has begun SpaceShipTwo test flights over Spaceport America. The most recent flight occurred last month and was the second glide flight over its new home.
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Tariq is the Editor-in-Chief of Space.com and joined the team in 2001, first as an intern and staff writer, and later as an editor. He covers human spaceflight, exploration and space science, as well as skywatching and entertainment. He became Space.com's Managing Editor in 2009 and Editor-in-Chief in 2019. Before joining Space.com, Tariq was a staff reporter for The Los Angeles Times covering education and city beats in La Habra, Fullerton and Huntington Beach. In October 2022, Tariq received the Harry Kolcum Award for excellence in space reporting from the National Space Club Florida Committee. He is also an Eagle Scout (yes, he has the Space Exploration merit badge) and went to Space Camp four times as a kid and a fifth time as an adult. He has journalism degrees from the University of Southern California and New York University. You can find Tariq at Space.com and as the co-host to the This Week In Space podcast with space historian Rod Pyle on the TWiT network. To see his latest project, you can follow Tariq on Twitter @tariqjmalik.