Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship Launcher Circles Bay Area Skies

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The Virgin Galactic White Knight flys over San Francisco International Airport (CBS)

The Virgin Galactic White Knight flys over San Francisco International Airport (CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – A unique, spaceship-launching aircraft flew over the San Francisco Bay Wednesday morning in conjunction with the opening of a renovated terminal at San Francisco International Airport.

The Virgin Galactic White Knight Two is part of Virgin’s ambitious effort to commercialize brief periods of space travel for paying customers who will shell out about $200,000 for their journey away from Earth, according to the company.

The White Knight Two will carry to launching altitude a spacecraft called the Space Ship Two, which will provide passengers with a flight that will include about six minutes of weightlessness, according to the Virgin Group.

The commercial flights have not yet commenced.

Virgin America is one of several airlines that will use San Francisco International Airport’s new Terminal 2, which will open to the public on April 14.

American Airlines will also be part of terminal, which was built in 1954 and just underwent a $383 million renovation.

The flyover, which began at 10:30 a.m., included White Knight Two and a Virgin America Airbus A320.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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