Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Virgin Galactic to Help Monitor Climate

Drop Shot Climate science is a little bit like me and books: I can never get enough of them, and appreciate lots and lots of them. For climate science though, it’s a case of getting more and more data, from as many possible sources as humanly possible.

And now, thanks to Virgin Galactic, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) will be getting a bit more data to continue their never ending quest to understand planet Earth.

Virgin Galactic is a company within Virgin Group, and is based around the idea of providing sub-orbital spaceflights to the paying public. Galactic also hopes to, eventually, provide orbital spaceflights as well, and is continually investing in research and technology that might one day see that dream come true.

On July 28, 2008, Sir Richard Branson unveiled the scaled composites model 348two WhiteKnightTwo, a jet powered carrier aircraft which will be the first stage in launching the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft. WKT will carry the passenger rocket to a height of about 15 kilometers, at which point SST will disengage and begin its self-powered flight.

NOAA announced a deal on Tuesday with Virgin Galactic that will see both WKT and SST equipped with sensors and monitoring systems. Their purpose will be to monitor carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.

But for NOAA, this is not just a case of more eyes being better. The Virgin Galactic craft fly at altitudes that, currently, are understudied. Subsequently, NOAA will be able to benefit greatly from the data sent back from WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo.

Image Source: Virgin Galactic

Source: Virgin Galactic

I don't like paywalls. You don't like paywalls. Who likes paywalls? Here at CleanTechnica, we implemented a limited paywall for a while, but it always felt wrong — and it was always tough to decide what we should put behind there. In theory, your most exclusive and best content goes behind a paywall. But then fewer people read it! We just don't like paywalls, and so we've decided to ditch ours. Unfortunately, the media business is still a tough, cut-throat business with tiny margins. It's a never-ending Olympic challenge to stay above water or even perhaps — gasp — grow. So ...
If you like what we do and want to support us, please chip in a bit monthly via PayPal or Patreon to help our team do what we do! Thank you!
Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

I'm a Christian, a nerd, a geek, and I believe that we're pretty quickly directing planet-Earth into hell in a handbasket! I also write for Fantasy Book Review (, and can be found writing articles for a variety of other sites. Check me out at for more.


You May Also Like

Clean Power

British telecom company Virgin Media announced this week that it successfully contracted for 100% renewable electricity in 2018, and committed to going a step...


Early founding Formula E team Envision Virgin Racing has completed its final preparations a week ahead of the official Formula E pre-season testing on Spain’s...

Clean Power

An impressive coalition made up of 26 Caribbean nations, more than 40 private sector giants, 8-time Olympic gold medal winner Usain Bolt, and global...


It's hard to image that Formula E is in its 4th season. New players are in and those from the get-go are still battling...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.