The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

By Pat Doody 

The Spaceship Company updates Rotarians

Rotary Club of Tehachapi

 

At their Feb. 1 meeting at Steampunk restaurant, the Tehachapi Rotarians were treated to an audio visual presentation by Enrico Palermo, Executive Vice President of The Spaceship Company. The Spaceship Company is part of the Virgin Group and is responsible for the design, manufacture and testing of space vehicles for Virgin Galactic. About 450 people are currently employed by the company.

Palermo showed the group the latest pictures of Space Ship Two (SS2) and White Knight Two (WK2), the mother ship with a double fuselage that will carry SS2 to its release altitude. He told the group that it was theoretical physicist and cosmologist Steven Hawking who named the craft. Although confined to a wheelchair with ALS, Hawking said that he wants to be on the first flight and Sir Richard Branson has said that he will be the only non-paying passenger allowed. Palermo added that the iris on the Virgin logo is that of Hawking.

According to Palermo, the company should be ready for powered flight within the next two years. Spaceport America already exists in the desert of New Mexico, northwest of Las Cruces.

Enrico Palermo was raised in Australia and received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Western Australia. He had studied at the International Space University in France on a scholarship from the European Space Agency. He worked in London as well before coming to Mojave, Calif.

The Rotary Club of Tehachapi is a leadership organization made up of local business, professional and civic leaders. Members meet every Thursday at noon at Steampunk Cafe and Grill. Call Tim Trujillo, President, at (661) 821-0086.

 
 

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