Saturday, October 23, 2004

VIRGIN Galactic ??!?!?!?

*When deep space exploitation ramps up, it will be corporations that name everything.
The IBM Stellar Sphere.
The Microsoft Galaxy.
Planet Starbucks.
The Virgin Galactic Space Ship.

Let me tell you what does suck, the name VIRGIN GALACTIC??!?!?! That will have to grow on me. I was thinking something with Condor, Tayln, Excelsior or some other strong name. Virgin Galactic sounds so.... normal.
Whatever, what's in a name anyway right?
Space Ship One (SS) and the White Knight.
When I think White Knights, I think of the KKK. That's just my paranoid inner conspiracist though.
According to the Free Dictionary the term White Knight can have several meanings.
  • The white knight is a chess piece, often associated with the abstract battle of good against evil. This is the origin of most of the other meanings.

  • The White Knight is a character in Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. Based on the chess-piece, this character is a bumbling do-gooder with a penchant for useless inventions. (With Paul Allen being all into science fiction, this is most likely the inspiration.)

  • In business, white knight refers to a potential acquirer (firm that wishes to acquire ownership of another firm) of a firm. The intention of the acquisition is to circumvent the hostile takeover of the target firm by a third firm, which is perceived to be less favorable. For example, if Company A (Acquirer) is trying to acquire ownership of Company T (target) in order to stop Company H (less welcome) from acquiring ownership of Company T, then Company A would be acting as the white knight. (Or maybe this one is more appropriate given the money situation.)

  • White Knight is also a chess simulation game designed for the 1980's platform, the BBC Microcomputer Model B.

  • White Knight is the name of a jet powered carrier aircraft used to launch the SpaceShipOne privately funded experimental spacecraft.
  • (Or they could have thought it was just a kewl name) :)

    The names are just nail polish compared to the hand.
    Important historical things are taking place here and these changes are exciting. The Virgin Galactic website answered all of my questions. There's even a newsletter. (What about that RSS feed fellas?) You can learn all about the contributions of Brian Binnie who piloted that successful third flight. You can learn about Mike Melvill and the "Mother Ship". It's interesting to see how a record company fits into all of this. They licensed the technology to develop the world's first commercial space tourism operator. Check out this press release for more info.

    Virgin has formed Virgin Galactic ('V.G.') a new company, which will become the world's first commercial space tourism operator. It is envisaged that Virgin Galactic will open for business by the beginning of 2005 and subject to the necessary safety and regulatory approvals begin operating flights from 2007. The name was first registered and trade mark protection applied for in the mid 1990s. It is expected that around £60 million ($100 million) will be invested in developing the new generation of spaceships and ground infrastructure required to operate a sub orbital space tourism experience. Over five years Virgin expects to create around 3000 astronauts and the price per seat on each flight, which will include at least three days of pre-flight training, are expected to start at around £115,000 ($190,000). Virgin will reinvest the proceeds in developing a new generation of vehicles for further space ventures. To date the cheapest space tourism experiences in government built and taxpayer funded spaceships cost over $15,000,000 per seat.

    As I looked deeper into the site I realized that Virgin Galactic will only be the company name. The ships will have individual names. The first ship is named V.S.S Enterprise. I gotta tell you I'm getting all girlie and misty- eyed. *sniff* It's just so beautiful. Shatner HAS to be on this flight. It would be a crime against humanity if he wasn't. We should make him wear a Star Trek uniform though. (evil grin)
    Virgin is more than a record company these days. I just hadn't realized how many phenomenal things that they have going on. Airlines, mobile phones, book stores, mega stores, resorts and now space flight.

    I think I'm over the name now. I stand impressed and ready to go!

    Old news yes? I guess I watch too much TV and blog too much.

    *Fight Club Reference

    P.S. WTF type name is Sci-Fi Ranter Girl? :D

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