British billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s company faces an extremely important test. Virgin Galactic will make the first flight of its space plane in two years. There will be tourists on board.
Virgin Galactic is gearing up for its first space tourist flight in two years. The mission of Eve and VSS Unity could be critical to the future of Sir Richard Branson’s business.
Branson’s space empire is tottering
The upcoming flight is so significant, firstly because it will be the first in two years, but also from the perspective of the entire Virgin group. Just a few weeks ago, Richard Branson had to declare bankruptcy of another of his space businesses. After an unsuccessful test launch of a rocket from the wing of a Boeing 747, Virgin Orbit first sought an investor for several months to finance its operations, and was soon forced to announce its completion.
So Branson lost one field to compete with Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos. Now he can’t afford another setback.
Successful test flight
Fortunately for the British billionaire and the entire Virgin Galactic team, the test flight of the Unity 25 mission was a success. As we could read on the company’s Twitter, the VSS Unity aircraft successfully separated from the VMS Eve, turned on the rocket engine and reached the fictitious boundary of space.
Here, of course, there is the age-old debate about whether the Virgin Galactic plane really flies into space. The company sends it to 80.5 thousand meters, i.e. a level that the US administration already considers space. According to other theories, the so-called Karman line, i.e. the conditional boundary of space is located at a distance of 100,000 km. meters.
At the climax of the flight, passengers experience a state of weightlessness for several minutes. This is possible due to the special layout of the aircraft and free fall. During this time, tourists can view the curvature of the Earth through several windows in the cockpit. On average, the flight of the entire mission takes about two hours, of which only a part falls on the climax.
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