[list][*]fully pressurized cabin at all stages of flight (though Virgin Galactic is currently considering the use of pressure suits and helmets for its passengers);
[*]tetherless seating to allow passengers the freedom to float about the cabin during the microgravity phase of flight; if passengers cannot make it back to their seats in the 40 seconds provided, then they may safely reenter lying on the floor;
[*]reclining seats to minimize the effects of increased G-forces on reentry (as well as permit more flying room when weightless;
[*]access to large windows (approximately 15) strategically placed around the cabin and in the floor;
[*]possible wireless data/video recorders for hands-free capture and live streaming to family on the ground and on-board WK2;[/list] Virgin Galactic President Will Whitehorn also shared details about other aspects of the development of SS2 and WK2, as well as future plans for the company: [list][*]WK2 will share the same cabin layout as SS2 to allow for pre-space flight parabolic training sessions;
[*]Virgin Galactic may sell seats on WK2 to allow spectators to watch a space launch from a unique vantage point, including sales to family members of SS2 crews;
[*]The representation of SS2 in animations released today and to support the mock-up interior were purposely designed to be vague as to protect Scaled Composite's intellectual property. The actual appearance of SS2 will not be seen "until it rolls out of the hangar";
[*]It is planned that SS2 will fly more unmanned test space flights before carrying paying passengers than all of NASA's manned flights to date;
[*]In addition to tourism flights, Virgin Galactic has designed SS2 to accomodate point to point travel, such as trips between London and Australia "in 30 minutes," says Branson;
[*]SpaceShipThree (SS3) will be aimed at science and payload delivery;[/list]
Virgin Galactic and Sir Richard Branson at New York's WIRED NextFest today showcased their first representative mock-up of the passenger interior of SpaceShipTwo (SS2), set in a scaled-up version of a SpaceShipOne (SS1) to reflect the relative larger size of SS2.
SS2 will be three times larger than SS1 (with an interior approximately the size of a Gulf Stream IV corporate jet) and when developed, the carrier aircraft WhiteKnightTwo (WK2) will be larger than a Boeing 757. Virgin Galactic's SS2 and WK2 are currently under construction at Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites at the Mojave Spaceport in California. It is expected that SS2 and WK2 will be rolled out of the factory in the latter half of 2007, to begin test flights by early 2008 and with commercial operations to commence in 2009.
Designed by Seymour Powell, whose prior work includes Casio's G-Shock watches, the conceptual interior features six passenger seats with two pilot astronaut' seats forward of the bulkhead. Other features include: