Richard Branson on Virgin Galactic space launch: Experience of a lifetime
Sunday 11th, 8:30 am MT, was a moment come true for space flight enthusiasts Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic. The supersonic space plane he helped build for the past two decades took up to skies and into space on what was named a test mission for a commercial space tour.
The launch was in New Mexico airport where Richard and his team; three Virgin Galactic employees Colin Bennett, Beth Moses, and Sirisha Bandla, boarded along with two pilots Michael Masucci and Dave Mackay.
A few moments after 9:15 am, the SpaceShipTwo detached itself from the mothership, dropping momentarily before picking up again. This time, its direction changed upwards as soon as its engine picked up, bursting into an extreme acceleration of the space vehicle.
There was a notable change onboard, three Gs of force which pushed them through the blue skies into the outer-space darkness. Here now, what they could see were numerous star speckles that surrounded their view.
A more thrilling experience was at the top of their flight path (more than 50 miles off the ground). For a couple of minutes, the vehicle remained suspended in a weightless region. This was time enough, allowing Richard Branson and his team a panoramic view of both the earth and space. Meanwhile, the SpaceShipTwo was flipping onto its belly, thus allowing more time for the view.
Coming back to earth
After a considerable view time of about a few minutes, the spacecraft then activated its feathering system. This was in preparation for a comeback. It had its wings curled upward, imitating a badminton shuttlecock shape then turned rightwards flying back to the earth’s atmosphere. The spacecraft finally landed back safely on its runway.
Features of SpaceShipTwo, Virgin Galactic spacecraft
SpaceShipTwo is a spacecraft designed and built by Virgin Galactic, Richard Branson’s company. It is a unique plane featuring wings a single rocket motor. The plane attaches beneath the mothership for its take-off, a massive, twin-fuselage aircraft primarily known as dubbed WhiteKnightTwo.
Richard Branson out at the space edge
It was such a dream come true moment for Richard. The space enthusiast, Richarch recorded a message while floating in the microgravity space. He said, “To all you kids out there — I was once a child with a dream, looking up to the stars. Now I’m an adult in a spaceship…If we can do this, just imagine what you can do“.
See the statement he recorded on live video here.
Before he takes off, Richard and his team held a grand party involving VIPs, top Virgin Galactic, family, and friends. First, the celebration was for the milestone reach they had made. Then, early Sunday, Richard shared a picture on Twitter of him and barefoot Elon Musk, his close friend hanging out. In his tweet, Branson congratulated Elon for being a good friend. All these showed how excited and grateful he was for their achievement.
What the Virgin Galactic launch meant
While so many VIPs are looking for the space explosion, there is an overseen rivalry forthcoming. This rigde is between Amazon’s Jeff Benzos space company and Virgin Galactic. Jeff, through his commercial spacecraft company, is also slated to explore suborbital space soon.
Nonetheless, the current ticket offers for space travel via Virgin Galactic is between $200,000 to $250,000. So far, about 600 wealthy customers have booked with the list, including top USA musician Justine Bieber.
The anticipation for a booming outer space commercial business is already high. With the fourth test complete, there is more expected in terms of quality prosperity in this newly developing tourism sector.
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