Spaceship Company Breaks Ground on Mojave Production Facility

VG/TSC CEO George Whitesides, CA Sen. Elect Jean Fuller, Mojave Air and Space Port General Manager Stuart Witt, TSC Director of Operations Enrico Palermo, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, and Rep. Dana Rohrabacher at the ground breaking for The Spaceship Company's production facility in Mojave. Photo by Mike Mills

November 9, 2010

The Spaceship Company (TSC) broke ground today for its new Final Assembly, Integration and Test Hangar today at Mojave Air & Space Port, with the presence of Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA-22) , Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (CA-46) and Rep. Jean Fuller.

TSC is a new aerospace production company, founded by Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group and Scaled Composites, a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation. TSC’s mission is to build the fleet of SpaceShipTwos and WhiteKnightTwos for its customer Virgin Galactic.

The new building, a 68,000 square foot, clear span, 737-sized hangar including offices, will serve as TSC’s operating headquarters once complete and be used primarily for the final assembly, integration and testing of TSC’s vehicles before they enter service. The building is sized to support the production of two WhiteKnightTwos and at least two SpaceShipTwos in parallel and has been designed to meet LEED standards.

George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic and TSC commented on the groundbreaking: “Today’s groundbreaking of TSC’s new hangar is another significant milestone in developing Virgin Galactic’s commercial spaceflight operations – following on from recent achievements including the maiden and second glide flights of SpaceShipTwo and the dedication of Spaceport America’s runway in New Mexico.”

Doug Shane, President of Scaled Composites said: “All of us at Scaled are pleased to congratulate TSC and Virgin on today’s historic groundbreaking. We’re proud and excited to have such a terrific new neighbor.”

Turnkey design and construction management services for the new hangar are being provided by Bakersfield-based Wallace & Smith General Contractors. Paul Cooper, Vice President of Wallace & Smith, said “We are very excited and honored to be a part of this project and to enable the progress of the privatization of commercial space travel. ”

In addition to the construction of the new hangar, TSC’s operations continue to grow as the organization builds out its team and finishes upgrading its existing fabrication and sub-assembly premises. TSC has several job opportunities currently open and advertised on its website, and anticipates filling additional roles in the coming months.