It’s Show-and-Tell Time Again for Virgin Galactic in New Mexico

by Douglas Messier
Managing Editor

Nearly eight years after Richard Branson dedicated the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space at Spaceport America before a crowd that included Titanic star Kate Winslet and British royal Princess Beatrice, his suborbital space tourism company is moving its WhiteKnightTwo carrier aircraft there.

When Branson dedicated the gateway facility in October 2011, the giant building was largely empty. Virgin Galactic says it is now ready to show off what customers will experience inside the structure.

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SpaceShipTwo Nearly Crashed in 2011

SpaceShipTwo, ready for its closeup. (Credit: Douglas Messier)
SpaceShipTwo, ready for its closeup. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

Ship Entered Inverted Flat Spin
Officials Downplayed Incident at Time
Near Disaster Cancelled Glide Flight at Spaceport America

The SpaceShipTwo vehicle that crashed one year ago nearly met its end three years earlier during a hair-raising flight test that officials at builder Scaled Composites and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic downplayed at the time, according to documents released by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

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Titanic Star Kate Winslet Headed for Space with Virgin Galactic — NOT

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Kate Winslet during the dedication ceremony for the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space in Oct. 2011. (Credit: Douglas Messier)

UPDATE: Apparently this story isn’t true. “A rep for the Academy-Award winning actress tells E! News that this story is false while adding that it “was invented a while ago” but has since ‘been adapted to fit this week’s events.’ Wow, British tabloids just going around making up shit about celebrities. Who knew?

Congratulations are in order for newlywed and latest confirmed celebritynaut Kate Winslet.

The “Titanic” star got hitched earlier this month to Ned Rocknroll, the Richard Branson nephew formerly known as Ned Abel Smith. Media reports in Britain indicate that Leonardo DiCaprio walked his “Titanic” co-star down the aisle during the secret ceremony in New York.

According to a breathless exclusive in The Sun, Winslet has a ticket to space aboard Branson’s SpaceShipTwo suborbital vehicle, now undergoing flight testing at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California.

The Sun is a little confused about precisely how Winslet got the ticket. A photo caption claims that Rocknroll, who works part-time for Virgin Galactic, bought a $200,000 ticket for his new bride.

The story claims that Branson gave the ticket to Winslet for free for rescuing his mother from an August 2011 house fire on the billionaire’s Necker Island resort.

Winslet, who is on her third marriage, and Rocknroll, who is on his second, met during that stay on the island and hit it off.  They both attended the dedication ceremony for the Virgin Galactic Gateway to Space at Spaceport America in October 2011.