Richard Branson successfully takes off to the stars with Virgin Galactic

Sunday July 11, 2021 at 4.30 p.m. French time, Richard Branson, two pilots and three teammates took off with the Virgin Galactic for a suborbital flight at an altitude of 80 km in the thermosphere (between 80 km and 500 km). It grazed the space whose border, the Kármán line, is 100 km away. The flight took place with success.

The Virgin Galactic is first hooked up to a carrier plane, which took off from a regular take-off runway on the tarmac at Spaceport America in New Mexico. Then it was released at an altitude of 15 km and started its engine for a supersonic climb to more than Mach 3, until it exceeded 80 km in altitude to finally descend slowly while gliding.

Once SpaceShipTwo’s engine shuts down, passengers could break away in order to float and admire the Earth for a few minutes through the shuttle’s windows.

Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo habitacle 02

Theft is not without risk. As a reminder in 2014, the flight of the vessel had gone badly because of a piloting error which caused the death of a pilot. But since three flights have reached space without accident with the new model VSS Unity.

But then ? After this successful flight, two test flights are already planned. Then in early 2022, commercial flights can begin and Virgin Galactic will operate around 400 flights per year. Over 600 tickets have already been sold to people from 60 different countries with fares of up to $ 250,000.

He will be followed by Jeff Bezos who will take off on July 20 with his New Shepard rocket. The rocket will be able to go up to 100 km of altitude.

Source: GNT – actualités by

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