Virgin Atlantic and space travel for real people
Space travel for everyone coming soon
Richard Branson’s Virgin airlines unveiled the vehicle that will bring to the market, space travel for average, rich, people. The plan is to have space travel for paying customers coming for everyone in less than 1 year. After almost 10 years and close to $400,000,000, the project is getting to the point where it looks like Branson may actually be able to make space travel for everyone, and soon..
They have been flight-testing with spaceship two hanging from the underside of the carrier plane, White Night two. Branson nicknamed the plane Eve in honor of his mother. The plane is a twin hull plane that will carry the space ship under the belly between the two hulls. When the spaceship is ready to fly, it will be dropped from the plane at around 50,000 feet, where the rocket will take over.
Spaceship two, nicknamed Enterprise, will carry 6 passengers and rocket up to around 65 miles high, 350,000 feet. From there you can see the curvature of the Earth, and the blackness of space. The passengers will be able to experience actual space travel, about 5 minutes of weightlessness and be able to float around the cabin, looking at the earth through windows in the ship. At the end of the flight, the Enterprise will come back down and land the way the space shuttle does, on the runway at the spaceport.
The ground breaking for the spaceport in New Mexico took place in June of this year. Construction of the space port is finished, Eve and Enterprise will be worked on underground, and then raised to ground level, where the flights will take off and land. The cost of the flight will be $200,000 when they start flying. As of now, over 300 people have put down the deposit and are ready to take the flight.
Space travel coming soon
Branson has done many eccentric things. Some would call him crazy. What he is doing now could lead to many things in the future of space travel, and travel in general. All great adventurers have had people call them crazy. It could be that Richard Branson may one day be called a great adventurer, and Virgin Galactic could be a huge success, and he may really bring space travel to everyone. Flights are scheduled to start in 2012.
The latest tests have been successful and Virgin Galactic is getting ready to start real flights with paying customers later this year. They will take passengers to a height of 68 miles above the earth at a speed of Mach 3.5, over 2000 mph, to allow them to experience actually being in space.
The customers will be feeling up to 6 g's when they are re entering the earths atmosphere. It sounds like and awesome flight.
Virgin says the initial cost for the flights will be $250,000, but will get it down hopefully to about $100,000 within a decade. A bit out of my price range, but it would be cool.
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