17 DECEMBER 2018
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If you don’t know what today is, you probably shouldn’t be reading this – but we forgive you.
On 17 December 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright, in the words of the official history, “made the first controlled, sustained flight of a powered heavier-than-air machine”. The chosen site was a beach four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Last week, as the US company Boom among others pursues its son-of-Concorde plans for a new supersonic airliner, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, landed in California following her maiden spaceflight.
It was the first human spaceflight to be launched from US soil since the final Space Shuttle mission in 2011 and the first time a crewed vehicle built for commercial passenger service has reached space.
Virgin founder Richard Branson said: “Ever since I watched the moon landings as a child, I have looked up to the skies…
“We started Virgin nearly 50 years ago dreaming big and loving a challenge. Today, as I stood among a truly remarkable group of people with our eyes on the stars, we saw our biggest dream and our toughest challenge to date fulfilled.”
1903-2018: Just 115 years. Think about it.
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