Skip to main content

Life imitating art?

Being that I always wanted to be an astronaut, I've read with interest the various media outlets who are reporting on the unveiling of Virgin Galactic’s interior design for SpaceShipTwo, a suborbital passenger plane. Um, does anyone else think it bears some remarkable similarities to Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey? Same color scheme (the suits are white and red)? Same lines (smooth and circular)? Or am I reaching?

(2001 and Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo)

(Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo and 2001)

Hmm. Anyway, reports this mock-up is pretty close to the actual plane:

“It won’t be much different than this,” [British entrepreneur Sir Richard] Branson told reporters here at Wired Magazine’s NextFest forum. “It’s strange to think that in 12 months we’ll be unveiling the actual plane, and then test flights will commence right after that”. . .

[For] an initial ticket price of $200,000, Virgin Galactic passengers will buy a 2.5-hour flight aboard SpaceShipTwo and launch from an altitude of about 60,000 feet (18,288 meters), while buckled safely in seats that recline flat after reaching suborbital space. A flight animation depicted passengers clad in their own personal spacesuits as they reached a maximum altitude of at least 68 miles. . .

Passengers will have several minutes of weightlessness during the spaceflight, and then have about 40 seconds to return to their seats. . . . the floor of SpaceShipTwo is also designed to be used during landing of spaceflyers fail to reach their spots in time.

WhiteKnightTwo carrier vehicles – which will be larger than a Boeing 757 jet – will also sport the same interior of SpaceShipTwo, and will be used for to help train passengers during a three-day orientation period before launch, Virgin Galactic officials said.
In other news surrounding the unveiling: There’s a “fashion contest” for the space suit design, the finals of which are scheduled for November in Japan, and [drumroll, please] there’s an Idol-like television show in the works, the winner of which will secure a seat on one of the flights (tentatively scheduled to begin in 2009). For a CGI video simulating the proposed flights, go here.


(Images: SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Galactic; 2001: A Space Odyssey, Turner Entertainment Co., an AOL Time Warner Company via Palantir)


Glenn said…
No! You're not reaching at all... That was the first thought that popped into my head after seeing those photos. At least I'm not the only one who thought of 2001!
Anonymous said…
Thanks dear for this wonderful post.

Download The L Word Episodes