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Your Turn in Space: Virgin Galactic Will Highlight the Possibilities at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008
  
The unveiling of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo and White Knight Two in the past week brought the world’s attention back to the potential of space tourism. One of the first places where the public will be able to discover more about the possibilities will be at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, “The World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration,” coming July 28-August 3 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh.

Virgin Galactic confirmed that they will host a significant exhibit at EAA AirVenture 2008, located adjacent to the event’s AeroShell Square showcase area. That exhibit will include the large, detailed models unveiled during the Virgin Galactic’s announcement earlier this month, as well as several presentations by the Virgin Galactic team. The display builds on the excitement of civilian space travel that Virgin Galactic first announced during SpaceShipOne’s visit to Oshkosh in 2005.

“The excitement when the SpaceShipTwo and White Knight Two designs were made public was electric,” said Adam Smith, EAA’s vice president of membership services, who attended the Jan. 23 news conference in New York where Sir Richard Branson and designer Burt Rutan unveiled the new spacecraft concepts. “It’s thrilling to know that EAA AirVenture has played a part in the timeline that led us to this new horizon of space travel, and equally thrilling to know that Virgin Galactic will be back at Oshkosh this summer to tell even more of the story.”

Rutan had originally designed the first White Knight and SpaceShipOne to win the $10 million Ansari X Prize in 2004. As Rutan’s group successfully pursued that goal, they also began discussions with Sir Richard Branson about the next step: Making sub-orbital space travel a possibility for many more people through a space-tourism business. At EAA AirVenture 2005, as SpaceShipOne was displayed for the aviation world, Virgin Galactic announced its intentions to create the next generation of the spacecraft to begin regular spaceflights.

More details of Virgin Galactic’s presence at EAA AirVenture 2008 will be announced as they are confirmed. Meanwhile, further information regarding SpaceShipTwo and White Knight Two are available through the EAA website (www.eaa.org).

“We are very much looking forward to welcoming back Virgin Galactic to EAA AirVenture this year,” Smith said. “Oshkosh is known as the place where aviation innovation is showcased. Given the tremendous popularity of Burt Rutan’s designs at Oshkosh over the past 35 years and the ‘buzz’ that SpaceShipOne created here in 2005, there’s little doubt that there will be eager enthusiasm on the grounds for Virgin Galactic’s newest developments this year.”

 

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