Virgin Galactic successfully completed the first flight into space with a crew of six, including the owner Richard Branson. The Unity 22 mission was live streamed on the Virgin Galactic website, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. The success obtained opens the doors to space tourism. One of the future passengers will be Elon Musk.
The era of space tourism begins
The take-off of the VMS Eve (the aircraft carrying the VSS Unity) took place at 4:40 pm Italian time from Spaceport America in New Mexico. After about 50 minutes, the VSS Unity (SpaceShipTwo) was released, continuing its flight up to an altitude of 53.5 miles (approximately 86 Km) and reaching a speed of Mach 3. Branson later announced the opening of a lottery for the allocation of two seats on the VSS Unity. It is possible to participate until September 1st on the Omaze platform. The winners will be announced on September 29th.
The first space tourists will fly into space in 2022. One of them will be Elon Musk. The SpaceX founder was present in New Mexico and visited his friend Branson before launch.
Big day ahead. Great to start the morning with a friend. Feeling good, feeling excited, feeling ready.
— Richard Branson (@richardbranson) July 11, 2021
Next 20 July it will be the turn of Jeff Bezos flying into space aboard the New Shepard’s Blue Origin. Two days before VSS Unity took off, the Bezos-based company wanted to point out that Virgin Galactic has not actually reached space, as it is necessary to cross the Karman line (100 km).
From the beginning, New Shepard was designed to fly above the Kármán line so none of our astronauts have an asterisk next to their name. For 96% of the world’s population, space begins 100 km up at the internationally recognized Kármán line. pic.twitter.com/QRoufBIrUJ
— Blue Origin (@blueorigin) July 9, 2021
But US Air Force, NASA and FAA claim that the “border” of space is at an altitude of 80 km. Obviously, SpaceX will also take tourists into space (before around the Earth, then on the ISS and finally around the moon).
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