Photograph of the Week

VSS Imagine

by Virgin Galactic | April 5, 2021
Photograph courtesy of Virgin Galatic copyright © 2021

Regular viewers of this feature know that a press photo has never before been selected to be Photograph of the Week. Shot last week at the Mojave Air & Space Port in California, this image of Virgin Galatic’s VSS Imagine was taken to introduce the world to VG’s first Spaceship III. It is indeed the quintessential promotional portrait of a new aircraft and would be at home in the pages of Flying magazine.

But this is not your grandfather’s Cesna 150. A lifelong aviation buff, I chose to feature this commercial shot because the spaceship’s beauty simply takes my breath away. Its streamlining is an exquisite representation of speed and grace. The craft’s aesthetics even captured the attention of Architectural Digest, which described Imagine as a “mix between a traditional airplane and something from a sci-fi movie.”

Imagine’s subtly glowing reflective surface is the real breakthrough. The mirror-like material reflects its surroundings and will constantly change color as Imagine is lofted from earth into near space. In the crowded space tourism field, Virgin Galactic seems to be banking on achieving pre-eminence, if not predominance, on the basis of delivering what its new CEO, a former Disney executive, has described as the ultimate “visitor experience.”

—Commentary by Tom Hinson, editor, Photograph of the Week

Editor’s Note: Click on the photograph to view it in a light box for even greater clarity.

Professional, amateur and phone-camera photographers alike are invited to submit images to the Sierra County Sun for possible publication in the Sun’s “Photograph of the Week” feature. The deadline for consideration is every Friday at 5 p.m. For further information, click on the Help Us Report button on our home page and then check the box labeled “I want to submit a photo to Photograph of the Week.”

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