In what was perhaps unconceivable for well near our nearest past, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic has achieved the unthinkable. Billionaire Branson’s space company ‘Virgin Galactic’, today completed its first maiden flight to the edge of the space and back, with a crew that had Branson himself along with 5 other ‘astronauts’.
Branson and his team, consisting of 5 other members, experienced weightlessness and saw a beautiful view of the Earth as they reached 85 kms. beyond the boundary of space. This is the first such flight ever undertaken on earth, wherein a plane carrying people went to space and came back. This effectively now paves the way for commercial space travel.
“I have dreamt of this moment since I was a kid but honestly nothing could prepare you for the view from space. It was magical,” Branson said while addressing people at Spaceport America.
Today’s flight was the 22nd test flight of VSS Unity and the first test flight with a full crew in the cabin, including the Company’s owner and founder, Richard Branson. The crew fulfilled a number of test objectives related to the cabin and customer experience, including evaluating the commercial customer cabin, the views of Earth from space, the conditions for conducting research and the effectiveness of the five-day pre-flight training program at Spaceport America.
VSS Unity achieved a speed of Mach 3 after being released from the mothership, VMS Eve. The vehicle reached space, at an altitude of 53.5 miles, before gliding smoothly to a runway landing at Spaceport America.