Video: Whitesides on CNBC

Video Caption: Virgin Galactic CEO George Whitesides joins “Squawk on the Street” to discuss the company’s next steps in bringing space travel to the masses.

Editor’s Note: But ummm….what about WhiteKnightTwo No. 2? No. 1 ain’t exactly no spring chicken no more.

Whitesides’ hypersonic schedule seems optimistic, especially given VG’s history of schedule misses, but who the hell knows? Maybe the Boeing partnership is more substantial than it seems, and they will make faster progress than skeptics believe.

Hypersonic airliners capable of being certified is a tough nut to crack and would require multiple billions of dollars in R&D. A massive money pit for the foreseeable future.

As for vertical integration, The Spaceship Company was originally a joint venture between VG and Scaled Composites. Northrop Grumman pulled out of that venture after it bought Scaled and then removed Burt Rutan as head of the company in 2012.