Virgin Galactic commercial flights will begin in 2018
– News of May 17, 2017 –
The company of British billionaire Richard Branson is probably the first private sector to invade the space conquest in the early 2000s. Between 2002 and 2014, the company has conducted many test flights using of his spaceship SpaceshipTwo carried by the flying wing WhiteKnightTwo.
But in 2014, the program came to a halt with an incident in the Moyave desert that killed a test pilot of the firm, and seriously injured another. This flight involved a new type of fuel that had never been tested in flight, and which obviously should not have been.
After years of additional testing and tweaking, Virgin Galactic is back and finally seems ready to ship space tourists. Richard Branson announced earlier this month that commercial flights will begin next year.
Virgin Galactic plans to take six passengers and two pilots aboard SpaceshipTwo. The latter is first carried under a flying wing similar to a conventional aircraft, which takes the ship to an altitude of 15 km. The spacecraft is then dropped and lights its rocket engine quickly reaching a speed of 4200 km / h. For passengers it is almost 4G cashed so better to have a good physical condition. Arrived at 60 kilometers of altitude, the rocket engine extinguishes, having burned all its fuel. But the ship continues its momentum thanks to its phenomenal speed and the low resistance of the air. At this altitude, its ballistic trajectory leads it to an altitude of 100 km, until gravity takes over. He then began a descent phase where he was gradually curbed by an increasingly dense atmosphere, then he flies back to the airport from which he took off.
If the adventure tempts you, you can already book a ticket for the modest sum of 250 000 dollars. We imagine that for this price, we will have the right to complete training in spaceflight and a flight to the Virgin Galactic spaceport.Sources