New SpaceShipTwo to be unveiled next month

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Virgin Galactic’s original SpaceShip Two during a test flight.
Virgin Galactic will be debuting the second of its suborbital space tourism vehicles in February.

Richard Branson’s fledgling space tourism company is set to make its return next month following the revelation that its latest SpaceShipTwo, which will one day carry passengers in to space, is scheduled to make its debut on February 19 at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

The previous SpaceShipTwo was lost and one of its pilots killed in an accident back in October 2014 when the vehicle’s unique ‘feathering’ system deployed prematurely during a test flight.

It isn’t clear just yet what changes have been made to the latest iteration of the spacecraft however it is likely that a solution to the issue with the tail section will have been a top priority.

Several high profile names including Professor Stephen Hawking, who is scheduled to be a passenger on the company’s first commercial trip in to space, have been invited to attend.

Due to ill-health however there is doubt over whether he will be able to make it.

“We all wish Stephen the very best as he continues his recovery from recent health issues,” Virgin Galactic said in a statement. “We are very honoured that Stephen has agreed to help us unveil our new spaceship in February if he is feeling well enough.”