Virgin Galactic spaceplane reaches space with first passenger on board

Virgin Galactic launches its VSS Unity spacecraft for the second time in two months.


Virgin Galactic spaceplane reaches space with first passenger on board

The company of billionaire Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic, just sent its ship, the VSS Unity, into space for the second time in two months. The launch makes the company stand out in the race to make commercial trips to space a reality, in which other billionaires such as Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk also compete.

The VSS Unity made its first trip to space in December after 14 years of work and testing. On Friday, the Unity VSS demonstrated that it could repeat the extraordinary trip. In addition, it was also the first trip with a passenger on board. Beth Moses, the astronaut instructional chief at Virgin Galactic, accompanied the two pilots, Dave Mackay and Mike Masucci, on the trip.

The trip was made without surprises from Mojave, California, although it did achieve new milestones for Virgin Galactic. As The Verge account, the VSS Unity was taken to approximately 13,000 kilometers high by the aircraft carrier WhiteKnight Two. The aircraft carrier proceeded to release the VSS Unity, and the pilots turned on the engines and drove the ship to an altitude of 89.9 kilometers, the highest altitude the VSS Unity has reached.

The ship also managed to reach a maximum speed of three times the speed of sound, the fastest that Virgin Galactic has managed to travel to date.

As we have mentioned, the Virgin Galactic tests are carried out in order to take customers to the limit of space. Virgin Galactic says it has sold hundreds of tickets for its space travel. The actors Ashton Kutcher and Tom Hanks are some of the actors who claim to have bought some tickets.

Friday’s trip represents the fifth test trip of the VSS Unity, and will not be the last. Virgin Galactic plans to conduct more tests throughout the year.