Virgin Galactic Space Flights
Virgin Galactic is a company that is planning to offer suborbital flights into space to customers who will pay. A British aerospace and music entrepreneur Richard Branson is the owner of this company. This company came in business in the year 1999. In 1996, the Ansari X Prize was announced. This prize was intended to award $10 million to a non-government organization that launches a reusable manned spacecraft into space twice. Both the spacecraft have to be launched within two weeks. Richard Branson sponsored Burt Rutan’s Scaled Composite. It had safely made it to space in 2004, using SpaceShipOne.
Fast Facts: –
- In 2005, a joint venture was announced between Richard Branson and Burt Rutan. Scaled Composite and Virgin Galactic worked together to manufacture SpaceShipTwo.
- This spacecraft would carry six passengers along with two pilots. It will have enough space to experience zero gravity and plenty of windows large enough to get amazing views of earth.
- It will be cradled by a mothership plane called WhiteKnightTwo. Both the aircraft together weigh 31.7 tons.
- A solid propellant rocket is being used. This rocket generates approximately 70,000lb thrust.
- This aircraft can fly twice a day as its body is predominantly carbon fiber that makes it reusable.
- People on board SpaceShipTwo will earn official Astronaut status. USAF and NASA consider you an astronaut if you exceed 264,000 feet upwards.
- It uses a unique system to re-enter the earth’s atmosphere that ensures the safety of the crew.