Virgin, the company owned by billionaire Richard Branson, recently delighted the world with “Virgin Galatic”, the first of three planes to fly over the edge of space and earth.
The company was forced to cancel an attempt last December because of technical issues, and again a February flight test was pushed back to May to ensure all onboard issues were dealt with.
But now the company’s VSS Unity craft reached an altitude of 55.45 miles above the Earth’s surface after being launched from a space plane above New Mexico on Saturday.
The millionaire’s idea is to make commercial flights into space based on these tests. Apparently, there are already more than 600 requests to embark on this truly unique flight to see the wonders outside of our planet Earth and to experience what astronauts have called the ‘Overview Effect’.
On the test flight in December, the only problem they found was a transmission error of communication that they assure has since then been corrected for the May flight. Now, everything will depend on whether the licenses are approved, which is the responsibility of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The move to commercial service can come very soon. Space tourism is a new area with a lot of investment after a decade break, and it is about to get very competitive.
Russian, English, Chinese, and Indian alongside American companies are in the competition to put themselves in this business that promises to create a lot of profit. Russia went ahead in 2000 and through an investigation, they recruited seven people who paid to visit the space station, an activity that ended in 2009.
Can you imagine planning your vacations but instead of the typical destinations, beaches, mountains, or lakes, go to space? Well, that might be just around the corner.
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) May 22, 2021