Three “ordinary citizens” went into space today on a tourist trip. This is the second time Virgin Galactic has taken customers on a commercial flight to the edge of the atmosphere.
Entrepreneur Richard Branson’s space company offers commercial flights ranging in price from $250,000 to $450,000 per seat. Passengers were promised weightlessness for a few minutes.
Here’s how passengers experienced it:
Three “ordinary citizens” take a tourist trip into space
Three customers joined the journey today. The crew of three brought a mother (46) and daughter (18) from the Caribbean island of Antigua and Barbuda. They are the first mother and daughter to live in space together. They got their space ticket with a raffle from Space for Humanity, an organization that aims to make spaceflight possible for a diverse audience.
80-year-old John Goodwin from Great Britain also joined the flight. He competed in the 1972 Olympics as a canoeist and is now the first Olympic space traveler.
The spacecraft departed from the US state of New Mexico and was hanging under an airplane at the time. At an altitude of about 14 kilometers, the vehicle separated, the engines were turned on, and it was launched into the air at a speed of more than 3,000 kilometers per hour. The plane landed in New Mexico about 90 minutes later.
After 20 years of test flights, Virgin Galactic’s first commercial spacecraft flew into space on June 29. At the time, Italian researchers, among others, were on board.
If it were up to the airline, this certainly wouldn’t be the last commercial flight. Hundreds of people have already booked a flight with the company. Elon Musk’s SpaceX and Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin are Virgin Galactic’s main competitors in tourism space travel. They, too, are already flying into space with paying passengers.
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