Virgin Galactic: Small Innovations Make Big Differences

MAKO Design + Invent – April 6, 2021

Small innovations can make big differences. It’s true. Simplicity is the key to how we provide innovative product design services. It’s why we always advocate to keep your initial product idea simple and make incremental prototypes and create newer or better versions as you get valuable feedback and insights throughout the process. While it might seem profound, the best companies in the world follow a similar path.

Mako Design providing Innovative product design services.

As Kevin Mako mentioned a few weeks ago on the CMO Podcast, innovation doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to cram tons of new features in a single update. Firms that provide innovative product design services are ones that make small meaningful upgrades that are equally beneficial to end-user and easy to understand. It’s the same reason why Apple is quite conservative with every new iPhone release.

Virgin Galactic’s VSS Imagine SpaceShip III

On March 30th, Virgin Galactic introduced the first SpaceShip III in its growing fleet, the VSS Imagine. For the most part, the Imagine is the same ship as its predecessor the SpaceShipTwo, the VSS Unity. Both the VSS Imagin and Unity carry two pilots and six passengers. Both spacecraft need to be brought to an altitude of approximately 50,000 feet by a second aircraft carrier. From there the spacecraft launches from the carrier and blasts off into suborbital space. With so many similarities, why is there a need for a new product design of their spacecraft? 

The innovation of the new VSS Imagine is that it’s modular.

It might seem like a subtle improvement. As an experienced firm that provides innovative product design services, we understand the huge benefits of small changes.

VSS Imagine

The modular product design will enable improved performance in terms of maintenance access resulting in a quicker turnaround time for re-flights. Compared to SpaceShipTwo, CEO Michael Colglazier said it’s designed in such a way “that we can pull a panel off to get to an area that we might not have been able to get to in an easy fashion before.” This is an important step for Virgin Galactic as they move a step closer to their target of 400 flights per year, per spaceport. 

Virgin Galactic will begin ground tests with glide flights starting this summer.

Once testing commences, Virgin Galactic will also start the manufacturing process for their second SpaceShip III. the VSS Inspire. Despite what might seem like small innovations found in the SpaceShip III, Virgin Galactic shows how and why incremental improvements are key to reach its flight goal. As a team that provides innovative product design services, we can’t wait to see what “small innovation” Virgin Galactic shows off next!

MAKO Design + Invent is the original firm providing world-class consumer product development services tailored to small businesses, startups, and inventors. Simply put, we are the leading one-stop-shop for developing your physical product from idea to store shelves, all in a high-quality, cost-effective, and timely manner. We operate as one powerhouse 30-person product design team spread across 4 offices to serve you (Austin, Miami, San Francisco, & Toronto). We have full-stack in-house industrial design, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, patent referral, prototyping, and manufacturing services. To assist our startup and inventor clients, in addition to above, we help with business strategy, product strategy, marketing, and sales/distribution for all consumer product categories. Also, our founder Kevin Mako hosts The Product Startup Podcast, the industry’s leading hardware podcast. Check it out for tips, interviews, and best practices for hardware startups, inventors, and product developers. Feel free to Contact Us anytime for help with your project.

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