BBC reporter Richard Scott has a bit of an exclusive: a look behind the scenes of the development of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo as well as Spaceport America in New Mexico. The real exclusive is the first look inside SpaceShipTwo, briefly seen in the two-minute video. (Other videos in the article include an interview with test pilot Pete Siebold and a tour of Spaceport America.)
The video makes it clear that SS2 is still very much a work in progress: the interior is barebones, lacking even seats (although the fittings where the rotating passenger seats will be installed can be seen). The video also helps illustrate the relatively modest size of the cabin. While Scott is able to stand up normally in the cabin, it seems likely it will look a bit more cramped when fully outfitted and containing six passengers; he notes in the article that the cabin’s size “will probably mean them bumping into each other” during the weightless portion of the flight. The date of the video isn’t specified, but it shows SpaceShipTwo undergoing a fair amount of interior and exterior work at the time: the vehicle’s nose, for example, was removed.
One interesting note is something made in passing by Scott about SpaceShipTwo: “It’s going to be taking paying passengers into space from hopefully 2013.” That’s later than previous reports, which have suggested that Virgin would put SpaceShipTwo into commercial service next year. SpaceShipTwo, meanwhile, hasn’t made a glide flight since mid-January, according to Scaled Composites’ flight logs, although two attempts for glide flights in mid-February was aborted because of weather conditions.