Virgin Galactic News: Exciting First Tourist Flight to Space.
Exciting First Tourist Flight to Space
Virgin Galactic successfully completed its second commercial spaceflight on Thursday, the first to carry private-paying tourists. The flight, called Galactic 02, launched from Spaceport America in New Mexico and carried four people, including two pilots, a Virgin Galactic chief astronaut instructor, and three paying customers.
The three customers were British former Olympian Jon Goodwin and two passengers from the Caribbean, Keisha Schahaff and Anastatia Mayers. Goodwin and Schahaff won their seats through a charity fundraising drawing by nonprofit Space for Humanity.
The flight reached an altitude of 80 kilometers, or about 262,000 feet, which is what the U.S. recognizes as the boundary of space. The spacecraft then returned to land at Spaceport America.
The mission was Virgin Galactic’s seventh spaceflight to date and its third since May. The company plans to fly its spacecraft VSS Unity at a rate of once a month and is developing a fleet of spacecraft called “Delta-class,” planned to debut in 2026, to fly at a weekly rate.
In short, Virgin Galactic’s second commercial spaceflight was a success and the company is moving closer to its goal of making space tourism more accessible to the public.
Virgin Galactic uses a two-step system called “air launch” to fly its passengers on a suborbital spaceflight. This type of spaceflight is shorter and less expensive than orbital spaceflight, and it only gives passengers a few minutes of weightlessness.
In contrast, Elon Musk’s SpaceX conducts private orbital spaceflights, which are much longer, more difficult, and more expensive. However, they offer passengers a longer experience in space, including the opportunity to orbit the Earth.
Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier addressed concerns about extreme tourism experiences in the wake of the Titan submersible tragedy earlier this year. He said that Virgin Galactic did not see any fallout from its customers, and that the company is committed to safety.
The company completed its first commercial spaceflight, the Galactic 01 mission, in June carrying members of the Italian Air Force. Virgin Galactic has a backlog of about 800 passengers, many of whom purchased tickets over a decade ago for between $200,000 and $250,000. The company reopened ticket sales two years ago, with pricing beginning at $450,000 per seat.
In short, Virgin Galactic is a company that offers suborbital spaceflight experiences to paying customers. The company’s flights are shorter and less expensive than orbital spaceflights, but they still offer passengers a few minutes of weightlessness and the opportunity to see the curvature of the Earth from space.
Virgin Galactic successfully flew three private passengers to the edge of space on its first flight for tourists. The passengers were:
- Keisha Schahaff, a 46-year-old woman from Antigua, and her 18-year-old daughter, Ana Mayers. They won their tickets in a competition.
- Jon Goodwin, a 52-year-old man from Newcastle-under-Lyme, England. He became the second person with Parkinson’s disease to go to space.
The flight took off from Spaceport America in New Mexico and reached an altitude of around 85 kilometers (280,000 feet). The passengers experienced weightlessness and were able to see the curvature of the Earth from space.
The flight was a success and the passengers were all very happy with the experience. Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Galactic, was also very pleased with the flight and said that it was a “great day for space exploration.”
This flight is a significant milestone for Virgin Galactic and for the commercial space tourism industry as a whole. It is the first time that a private company has successfully flown paying passengers to the edge of space. This is a major step in making space travel more accessible to the general public.
However, space tourism has been criticized for its cost and environmental impact. A ticket on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo costs $250,000 and the company has a backlog of over 800 customers. Some people have also argued that space tourism is a waste of resources and that it contributes to climate change.
Despite these criticisms, Virgin Galactic and other companies are pressing ahead with plans to develop space tourism. They believe that there is a growing market for people who want to experience the thrill of space travel.
This is what Virgin Galactic News Release says, Virgin Galactic successfully completed its first private astronaut mission, Galactic 02, on July 11, 2023. The mission achieved multiple historic milestones, including flying the first female astronauts from the Caribbean, the first mother-daughter duo to go to space, the most women flown in a single space mission, the youngest person to go to space, the first Olympian to go to space, the first majority female spaceflight, and the sixth and seventh Black women to go to space.
The mission also set several in-flight records, including reaching an altitude of 55 miles, a top speed of Mach 3, and a flight time of 90 minutes.
Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic, said the mission was “another historic leap forward” for the company and “demonstrated how our spaceflights will broaden access to space.” He added that the mission had “inspired people and communities around the world.”
CJ Sturckow, VSS Unity Commander, said the flight was “surreal and humbling” and that he was “proud of the work we’re doing here at Virgin Galactic to fly more people to space.”
Kelly Latimer, VSS Unity Pilot, said going to space “fulfilled an ambition I’ve had since I was a child” and that it was a “privilege to be part of a majority-women crew making history as the most female astronauts flying to space in a single mission.”
The company will now proceed with post-flight inspections and analysis in preparation for the next commercial space mission, Galactic 03, which is planned for September.
In short, Virgin Galactic’s Galactic 02 mission was a success and it set several historic milestones. The mission is a sign of the company’s commitment to making space travel more accessible to a diverse group of people.
Rivalry Between Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin
Spaceflight has been a major international spectacle since the Cold War, but it slowed down significantly after the retirement of the Space Shuttle program. In recent years, private companies like SpaceX have led the way in reviving spaceflight, and now two billionaires, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos, are planning to launch themselves into space on their own companies’ spacecraft.
Both Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin are developing suborbital spacecraft that will fly to the edge of space. Unlike orbital spacecraft, which orbit the Earth, suborbital spacecraft only reach an altitude of a few miles before returning to Earth. However, passengers on suborbital flights will still experience weightlessness and be able to see the curvature of the Earth.
There are some differences between the Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin spacecraft. Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket is designed to fly above the Kármán line, which is generally considered to be the boundary between Earth’s atmosphere and space. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, on the other hand, has only reached an altitude of about 55 miles in previous test flights.
Blue Origin has tweeted highlighting the differences between Virgin Galactic and Blue Origin