Take A Look Inside Virgin Galactic's Massive Hangar In The Desert

Virgin Galactic TourVirgin GalacticHeaded for orbit!

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is among a group of companies pioneering private space flight.

In this effort, the company has a partnership with some spaceship developers, led by designer Burt Rutan. In October of 2004, they achieved the first successful privately funded space flight, in a craft called “SpaceShipOne.”

In doing so, they won the $US10-million Ansari X Prize.

Branson & Co. recently celebrated the 10th anniversary of the prize win by conducting a tour of Virgin Galactic’s Final Assembly Integration Test Hangar in Mojave, Calif.

Sir Richard was on hand.

It was an impressive look inside the operation.

Virgin Galactic opened up its California hangar for a very special tour.

Sir Richard Branson was there, but he stayed out of the way.

Virgin Galactic spacecraft designs have come a long way since 2004. This is SpaceShipTwo.

Here's what SpaceShipTwo looks like...indoors! It's big.

Virgin Galactic has a trainer in the hangar. It attracted a lot of attention.

That's David Mackay, Virgin Galactic's chief pilot.

This is what private spaceflight looks like. You need test pilots to experiment with technology like this.

Branson is very happy with the work of Adam Wells, head of design.

That's George Whitesides standing with Sir Richard -- Whitesides is Virgin Galactic's CEO. He used to work for NASA.

From a hangar in the desert to...the final frontier? Virgin Galactic's goal is to take people up there and do it soon.

Richard Branson has a lot of ways to distract himself when he isn't on the job...

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