Usually, when someone says "this is the coolest thing I've ever seen," you know that no matter what they're looking at, they're resorting to a little hyperbole.
But today, when I saw two videos taken from the window seat of a Virgin America flight that show Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo flying alongside in tandem (give the video about 35 seconds before the spaceship appears), my reaction was, well, "this is the coolest thing I've ever seen."
And that was before hearing the audio of the person shooting the video saying exactly the same words.
The video was taken by Boing Boing's Dean Putney, who writes, "I was just in shock. I did what I could to keep myself collected, which was not an easy task. This was just totally unexpected and amazing. At times, the spaceship was only a couple hundred feet away from us."
It's hard for me to express how jealous I am. And while I'm often skeptical of publicity stunts, I have to hand it to Virgin's Richard Branson--and anyone there who was responsible--and of course to Burt Rutan for being the brain behind the wonderful WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo. "Flight guests, including Sir Richard Branson and space pioneer Buzz Aldrin," said a release about the stunt, timed to the opening of Virgin America's new Terminal 2 at San Francisco International Airport, "will get a bird's-eye view of the future of flight as they meet up with the world's first commercial spaceline over the California coast and proceed to touch down on parallel runways (see video below) at SFO.
Amazing stuff. Well done, Virgin.