It looks like the Mojave Desert is once again the center of the private space industry, with Richard Branson and crew on hand to unveil Virgin Galactic's WhiteKnightTwo spaceship carrier as promised. This craft (only the first of more that are promised) has been named EVE (after Branson's mother) and, with a 140-foot wingspan, it's apparently now officially the largest all carbon-composite aircraft ever made. Eventually, it'll be used to help carry the yet-to-be-completed SpaceShipTwo craft in orbit although, as Burt Rutan himself tells Space.com, that's still a little ways off, with him saying that while could be ready to go after just 40 tests flights, they'll likely do a few more than that for good measure. Head on past the break for a few more pics.

Read - Space.com, "Virgin Galactic Unveils Space Liner Mothership "
Read - Wired Science, "First Look at Virgin Galactic's New Mothership, WhiteKnightTwo"


Blu-ray releases on July 29th, 2008