Thursday, 17 January, 2019

Virgin Galactic could soon reach space for the first time

Galactic the VSS Unity is released from the WhiteKnightTwo aircraft during a gliding test for SpaceShi Galactic the VSS Unity is released from the WhiteKnightTwo aircraft during a gliding test for SpaceShi
Theresa Hayes | 13 December, 2018, 23:55

Virgin's twin-fuselage carrier airplane holding the SpaceShipTwo passenger spacecraft took off soon after 7 a.m. local time (10 a.m. ET) from the Mojave Air and Space Port, about 90 miles (145 km) north of Los Angeles.

The United States has not sent any people to space since the U.S. space shuttle programme ended in 2011, and has relied on Russian Soyuz rockets to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station.

In the meantime, a burgeoning commercial space industry is rushing to close the gap, as companies hurry to complete spacecraft that can carry astronauts and tourists into microgravity.

"But over the years, the price of crossing the Atlantic came down and down and down, and if we can get enough spaceships built and flying, I'm really hopeful that a lot of people watching your program one day will be able to go to space", he said.

Some define space as 100 kilometers - or 62 miles - above Earth, but others, use 50 miles as the boundary.

Virgin Galactic can argue in favor of its claim to reaching space.

Reaching the threshold of space demonstrates significant progress toward the start of commercial flights that were promised more than a decade ago.

"Reusable vehicles built and operated by private companies are about to transform our business and personal lives in ways which are as yet hard to imagine".

Galactic shows the VSS Unity craft during a supersonic flight test. The spaceship isn’t launched from the

Whitesides said VSS Unity would try to fly higher than 50 miles (80 kilometres), which Virgin Galactic considers the boundary of space because it is used by the U.S. Air Force and other U.S. agencies.

The plane carried two pilots and a mannequin named Annie as a stand-in passenger.

The aircraft reached an altitude of 271,268ft as it made its rapid ascent into space.

Commerciaaeroplaneses typically fly at an altitude of about six miles. It was the first spacecraft with humans aboard to be launched from United States soil and reach space since the space shuttle was retired in 2011, and it marked a milestone for the commercial space industry, which also includes companies like Elon Musk's SpaceX, Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin, and Boeing.

The first crew tests of SpaceX and Boeing's astronaut capsules are expected next year.

It planned to "burn the rocket motor for durations which will see our pilots and spaceship reach a space altitude for the first time", it added. Branson's goal: Open up space travel to more and more people.

More than 600 clients have already paid US$250,000 for a ticket.

Virgin's latest flight test comes four years after the original SpaceShipTwo crashed during a test flight that killed the co-pilot and seriously injured the pilot, dealing a major setback to Virgin Galactic, a USA offshoot of the London-based Virgin Group.