Virgin Galactic, The World’s First Commercial Spacecraft Completed A Successful Test Run
Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Airlines, successfully completed their test run for the Virgin Galactic aircraft. The aircraft is the world’s first commercial aircraft that will allow paid tourists to travel over Earth and enter the atmosphere.
The Virgin Galactic reached the edge of space after a successful test run and was a huge moment of celebration for Branson and the whole Virgin aircarft team. According to a report from The Guardian, Virgin’s airplane-like SpaceShipTwo took off on Thursday morning from California’s Mojave air and space port.
Branson took to twitter to tweet out his excitment. “Take off! WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo have taken to the skies,” he said.
NASA also congratulated the Virgin Galactic team on Twitter.
Congrats to @VirginGalactic on SpaceShipTwo successfully flying to suborbital space with our four @NASA_Technology payloads onboard. With a good rocket motor burn, the mission went beyond the 50-mile altitude target. Learn more about our tech onboard: https://t.co/CnVFu1eSQz https://t.co/D1AhE1Uzxm
— NASA (@NASA) December 13, 2018
The whole operation took longer than expected after the unfortunate and tragic first test run that killed a pilot and severely injured the second. According to the report, Virgin Galactic’s chief executive, George Whitesides told the media, “we’ve had our challenges, and to finally get to the point where we are at least within range of space altitude is a major deal for our team.”
More than 600 people have paid or put down deposits to fly aboard Virgin’s suborbital flights, including the actor Leonardo DiCaprio and pop star Justin Bieber. A 90-minute flight costs $250,000.
Branson isn’t the only one with dreams of sending tourist space voyages. Companies like Amazon’s Blue Origin, Boeing and Elon Musk’s SpaceX are all part of the competition as well.