Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spacecraft, aboard its founder, British billionaire Richard Branson, returned safely to Earth after a test flight in which it reached the edge of space. This flight is considered a milestone in space tourism. World agencies have informed about it.
Richard Branson in a picture from 2019.
Branson, together with a crew of five, went into space nine days earlier than his US rival, Amazon founder and richest man Jeff Bezos, whose flight aboard the spaceship called New Shepard, owned by his Blue Origin company, is scheduled for July 20.
The British billionaire described Sunday’s test flight as an “lifelong experience”. “Congratulations to our amazing team at Virgin Galactic for the 17 years of hard work that got us here,” Branson said live on his return to Earth.Read also After the Soviets, billionaires are now vying with the Americans for space
VSS Unity took off at about 4.40 pm CET on Sunday from the Spaceport America cosmodrome near the town of Truth or Consequences in the US state of New Mexico, where it landed in less than 90 minutes.
The shuttle was first brought to an altitude of approximately 13 kilometers by the carrier aircraft VMS Eve. Subsequently, the shuttle separated from the aircraft and reached a height of about 88 kilometers, where the crew experienced weightlessness for several minutes.
This was the 22nd VSS Unity test flight in total. Three took place with people on board, but it was not until Sunday’s flight that was the first with a full, six-member crew. Branson’s company has previously announced that two more test flights are expected after the July flight before regular commercial space flights are launched in 2022.
Source: Pravda.sk – Veda a technika by vat.pravda.sk.
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