MOJAVE, Calif. -

Mojave, California (CNN) -- When I first poked my head inside Virgin Galactic's newest spaceship, I felt a little like I was getting a front-row seat to space history.

The company, led by billionaire Richard Branson, allowed CNN unprecedented access to a "SpaceShipTwo, Serial Two" spacecraft which was being carefully assembled by workers at a secure facility in the high desert north of Los Angeles.
This invention spun from carbon fiber and imagination is designed to fly tourists some 60 miles high to the edge of space.


In 2008, Branson predicted the company would be launching paying passengers by 2010. Obviously that hasn't happened yet. Meanwhile, more than 700 people -- reportedly including astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, Justin Bieber and Ashton Kutcher -- are awaiting to gain official status as Space Cowboys.

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