Research, Technology

The head of Virgin Galactic Richard Branson flew into space. How was your flight?

Billionaire Richard Branson and several othersVirgin Galactic employees successfully orbited the Earth as part of the Unity 22 tourist mission. The VMS Eve carrier aircraft lifted the VSS Unity spacecraft to a height of 20 kilometers, after which it disconnected and allowed the aircraft to turn on its engines. With the help of them, a ship with four tourists on board (+2 pilots) reached an 80-kilometer altitude - it's almost the boundary between earth and space. There are space tourists a few minutesenjoyed beautiful views of our planet and then returned back. Everything went just fine, so this moment can be considered the beginning of the era of space tourism. Most likely, very soon ordinary people will be able to fly into space. The main thing is that they have an extra couple of hundred dollars. This is a historically important event, so let's look into the details. There is one nuance that is important to consider.

The VSS Unity spacecraft made its first flight with tourists on board

The nuance is that, according to the definition of the International AviationFederation (FAI), the boundary between the Earth and space is at an altitude of 100 kilometers above sea level. So basically, Richard Branson and his team weren't in space. However, in foreign publications the flight is called "space".

Richard Branson's flight into space

Virgin Galactic's first tourist flightbroadcast on her official YouTube channel. The broadcast was hosted by American comedian Stephen Colbert, better known as the face of the talk show The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. At first, the start of the broadcast was delayed for an hour and a half due to weather conditions, but then the mission finally began.

Cameras were installed on the VSS Unity ship

After reaching the required height, the spacetourists looked at the Earth for several minutes from an extraordinary height. The photo below shows how Richard Branson congratulates engineer Colin Bennett, holding his leg. However, maybe it was the engineer who congratulated the head of Virgin Galactic.

Photo of the interior of the Virgn Galactic spacecraft

In general, the entire flight went like clockwork.At the final stage of the flight, the ship began to descend and eventually landed like a normal aircraft. Cars arrived at the ship to pick up space tourists. Most likely, after that they will undergo a medical examination, because they were far from being in the conditions familiar to the human body.

The moment of landing of the spacecraft VSS Unity

Photo from the crash site of the VSS Enterprise spacecraft

But already in 2016, work on the popularizationspace tourism has been revived. In 2016, the company introduced the new VSS Unity spacecraft to the world and successfully completed its first test flight. Already in 2017, billionaire Richard Branson began to talk about how they were almost ready for commercial flights. But the case dragged on until 2021. But the company was able to carefully prepare for it and even developed a comfortable interior of the ship with comfortable chairs and huge windows for a good view of the beauty of the Earth. You can learn more about the convenience of the VSS Unity elephant at this link.

Interesting fact: Virgin Galactic is also developing the LauncherOne launch vehicle. About why it is needed, I talk in this material.

Space tourism in 2021

In general, 2021 will be very rich inspace flights. Very soon, on July 20, the head of Blue Origin (better known as the founder of Amazon), billionaire Jeff Bezos, will fly into space tourism. For the flight, the New Shepard ship will be used, which also went through a huge number of tests. The last test was carried out in mid-April - thanks to it, it became extremely clear to us how the upcoming flight would go. If you are interested in space, I recommend reading it. Here is the link.

Jeff Bezos will also fly into space in June 2021

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And in September 2021, your first order forspace tourism will be carried out by SpaceX. The flight will be funded by Jared Isaacman, who made a huge fortune as CEO of Shift4 Payments. You can read more about this flight here.