It's been just a few months since a test of an experimental motor for Scaled Composites' SpaceShipTwo passenger space vehicles caused a deadly explosion at the company's Mojave Desert facility, but we're hearing whispers today that the craft will be unveiled on January 23rd, along with the WhiteKnightTwo carrier plane. Testing of the six-person ship will apparently start in mid-2008, with the first commercial Virgin Galactic flight tentatively scheduled for the end of 2009. That seems hopelessly optimistic to us, but then again, we're not ones to doubt the awesome combined powers of Burt Rutan and Richard Branson.

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Scaled Composites to unveil the SpaceShipTwo on January 23rd?