On July 11, 2021, the whole world watched with bated breath as British billionaire Richard Branson completed his trip to the edge of space aboard the VSS Unity spaceship and returned safely to Earth. Branson flew with his team of 5 members and together they experienced weightlessness and saw a beautiful view of the Earth as they reached 85 kilometres beyond the boundary of space.
What is Space tourism?
Space tourism is commercial activity related to space. It could be going to space as a tourist, going stargazing, watching a rocket launch, or travelling to a space-focused destination.
American businessman Dennis Tito is the world’s first space tourist. He flew to space on April 28, 2001. Since then, space tourism has gained new prominence as more suborbital and orbital tourism opportunities have become available.
Space Tourism intends to take over the world of tourism. As of today, there exist many Space Tourism companies whose activities are engineered to meet the above-mentioned objective of which Virgin Galactic is one of them.
- Virgin Galactic is a space tourism company that was founded in 2001 by the British Virgin Group led by Sir Richard Branson, a British aerospace billionaire and music entrepreneur.
- Virgin Galactic collaborates with One Web Satellite Internet Access Provider, Boom Technology, Flight Access, and Under Armour. It has a potential collaboration with NASA.
- The headquarters of Virgin Galactic Space Tourism Company is in California, USA, and its operational base is in New Mexico.
- Virgin Galactic Space Tourism aims to develop commercial spacecraft that would provide suborbital spaceflights to Space Tourists in 2022. A promising venture in which about 600 tickets has already been bought by customers including famous people like Elon Musk, Justin Bieber, Tom Hanks, Lady Gaga, Angelina Jolie, Katy Perry, and other celebrities.
- Virgin Galactic Space Tourism has recorded a series of launches since its birth. On 17th December 2003, SpaceShipOne which is one of its creations made its first rocket-powered flight, a stride that made it become the first privately built craft to achieve supersonic flight. On 10th October 2010, SpaceShipTwo was launched and its series of flights named VSS Unity Flights was further launched. On December 13th, 2018, Virgin Galactic Space Tourism reached an important milestone when its VSS Unity test vehicle reached space at an altitude of 51.4miles(82.7 kilometres). This is an altitude that is slightly higher than what the United States Airforce considers to be the border between the earth’s atmosphere and space although the Karman line of 62miles is the internationally recognized threshold for space.
- Virgin Atlantic Space Tourism has reached the altitude of which the Federal Aviation Administration awards crew members astronaut wings.
- Another Interesting fact is; the number of places to fly on Virgin Galactic SpaceShip Two is greater than the total number of people that have ever been to space throughout history.
- Virgin Galactic Space Tourism intends to make aircraft that can fly twice a day to space.
Virgin Galactic seems to have everything figured out, we can only hope that our anticipation for the fulfillment of its objectives is worth the wait.