Richard Branson Introducing Brand New Virgin Galactic Spaceship

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Richard Branson Introducing Brand New Virgin Galactic Spaceship

More than a year after the fatal accident during a test flight of a sister ship – VSS Enterprise, adventurer-billionaire Richard Branson is introducing a brand new Virgin Galactic Spaceship – VSS Unity. A passenger spaceship that travels to and from outer space.

This model, the size of about the size of a private jet that can carry six passengers and two pilots, is the first designed to carry passengers to space and back to Earth.

Branson already has many eager takers. About 700 people have already signed up, including physicist Stephen Hawking, who named the ship. Branson has already promised Hawking a free ride once the ship is space-ready. A trip that will cost any other mere mortal a hefty $250,000 American dollars.

The 74-year-old British scientist, who has ALS and talks through a specialised system hooked up to his cheek, is already training in weightless environments to prepare for his space voyage.

Virgin officials said the new ship has had changes to the safety mechanism, and will undergo extensive testing on the ground before pilots fire up its rocket. Company leaders have not released a schedule yet for its first blastoff with passengers.

The craft’s flight plan calls for a mothership carrier, called White Knight Two. It will ferry the craft to an altitude of about 50,000 feet, and then release it, which will ignite a rocket and travel about 62 miles up to the Kármán Line, the point known to be the beginning of space. Hence giving passengers a suborbital experience — floating in space — before gliding back down to Earth.

Despite the tragic first attempt at passenger-space travel, Branson clearly remains bold and resolute, saying at the unveiling:“Together, we can make space accessible in a way that has only been dreamt of before now,”

Virgin Galactic is among a handful of companies, including Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, Paul Allen’s Stratolaunch Systems and Boeing, planning to fly people in space.

loch is a post-grad writer with a passion for – and a history of – writing about sports, entertainment, men, humour, and life and all that it entails. He spends his time running, reading, writing and socialising. Loch has a cat named Buster, he loves coffee and hates writing bios.

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