VSS Unity Unveiled, Christened, Endorsed by Stephen Hawking

Warning: If you love science, aviation, or spaceflight, the video above may bring tears to your eyes. It includes footage from the ceremony on February 19th, 2016, where Sir Richard Branson officially unveiled Virgin Galactic's new SpaceShipTwo, named VSS Unity.

The video is a marketing masterpiece that does an outstanding job of playing on your emotions in favor of Virgin...and I don't mind that manipulation even one bit! From the words of the legendary Stephen Hawking describing his vision for the effects of commercial spaceflight on humanity (inspiring the name of this spaceship,) to the fanfare of the roll-out, to Sir Richard's granddaughter christening the spaceship with a bottle of milk, this video is guaranteed to excite you and restore your hope in human ingenuity.

If you enjoy this video, be sure to visit Virgin's page about the unveiling. It also has a video endorsement of the program by Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, and a video about the people who built this SpaceShipTwo.

If you haven't been paying attention to the New Space Race, Unity was built by the Spaceship Company. This company was founded in 2005 to follow in the footsteps of Scaled Composites' success with SpaceShipOne. The Spaceship Company's primary mission is to build more spacecraft for Virgin, and Virgin bought the company outright in 2012. When you watch their video, you can't help but feel the love and passion they have for their work.

Sadly, humanity's pursuit of atmospheric and space flight hasn't been without tragedy. Elon Musk's company SpaceX has crashed more than once trying to land reusable rockets. Far worse, on October 31st, 2014, Virgin Galactic's first passenger spaceship, VSS Enterprise, crashed in a tragic accident that claimed the life of test copilot Michael Alsbury. In a high-stakes endeavor like private spaceflight, with a mountain of regulations to wade through and investors to please, such accidents could have spelled doom for these programs. Thankfully, that isn't the case.

If you read any history of early aviation, Like Ernest K. Gann's masterpiece Fate is the Hunter, you'll hear about so many horrible accidents that you might start to wonder how commercial aviation succeeded at all. Despite the tragedies, daring men and women pushed forward and found ways to make aviation safer, more efficient, and more comfortable. The results have been tremendous. I'm glad to see that the pioneers of commercial spaceflight appear to be men and women of the same caliber. Congratulations to The Spaceship Company and Virgin Galactic on unveiling your newest spaceship. We're looking forward to watching her fly!