Space tourism is all the rage lately and it looks like the future has arrived. No, the picture is not of some toy or future aircraft, it is the Virgin Galactic VSS Enterprise and will be available for flights to space in the near future. Yesterday, it was taken for a spin by test pilot and engineer Pete Siebold from Scaled Composites in California on its first manned mission.
The six-seater Virgin Galactic creation, also called SpaceShipTwo, was created to take space-tourists on sub-orbital space voyages and is now one step closer to making that a reality. Virgin Galactic says the two main goals of yesterday’s 25 minute flight were to complete a clean release of the spaceship from the mothership, Eve, and for the pilots to free fly and make a safe return to land. Check and check!
Pete Siebold spoke of the experience and said, “The VSS Enterprise was a real joy to fly, especially when one considers the fact that the vehicle has been designed not only to be a Mach 3.5 spaceship capable of going into space but also one of the world’s highest-altitude gliders.”
Space tourism is no joke and Virgin Galactic says it has already received $50 million worth of customer deposits for future rides. When everything is all set, commercial operations will be based out of New Mexico’s Spaceport America. Currently, final touches are being put on a runway inauguration ceremony which is slated for October 22nd.
If you had the money, would you give space travel a try?