Passengers aboard Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo – the first commercial human spaceflight vehicle – will experience the unique thrills of spaceflight, enjoying the opportunity to leave their seats to float in zero gravity for several minutes
From an altitude officially known as ‘space’, Virgin Galactic astronauts will experience astounding views of Earth. Three days of preparation at New Mexico’s Spaceport America prior to the flight will ensure a safe, enjoyable and unforgettable journey. The whole experience will be captured on film for each astronaut as a unique personal record of history in the making.
Early in 2016 SpaceShipTwo, a reusable spaceplane designed to carry two pilots and up to six passengers, was unveiled. WhiteKnightTwo is the carrier aircraft specifically designed for mid-air launch of SS2. It is the largest 100-percent carbon composite carrier craft ever built and made its first flight in December 2008.
SpaceShipTwo made its first successful glide flight test in Dec 2016 and then underwent a whole series of rocket-powered flights, off-nominal testing (when things go wrong), astronaut experience testing (life aboard) and final preparations. Then the whole operation moved to Spaceport America.
Spaceport America sits in the New Mexico counties of Sierra and Doña Ana. The world’s first purpose-built spaceport complete with a 12,000-foot runway, the $212 million complex designed by Foster & Partners, Virgin Galactic’s base of operations for human spaceflight.
To re-cap: Virgin Atlantic launched on the New York stock exchange this month and just earlier, Richard Branson unveiled the space suits, astronauts will be wearing in-flight. The first civilian passenger flew in February 2019 and commercial operations will begin early in 202.
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