Richard Branson lands after Virgin Galactic spaceflight

TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, NM – Richard Branson reached the edge of space and landed successfully after a flight destined to power a new multi-billion dollar space tourism industry.

The British businessman and five crew members crossed the threshold on a test flight of the spacecraft developed by Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc., which climbed more than 50 miles above the Earth’s surface.

The VSS Unity spacecraft landed back at Spaceport America’s facility in New Mexico on Sunday after a flight that lasted about an hour. It successfully separated from the VMS Eve launch aircraft, which took off after a weather delay, before its onboard rocket fired and sent it higher.

At the top, Mr. Branson and other crew members unbuckled and experienced weightlessness and looked at Earth and space from a dozen windows in the cockpit.

The flight is part of a broader push by companies and investors to develop viable businesses based on manned spaceflight, long dominated by government space agencies with scientific and political missions. There have been instances of private space tourism travel in the past, such as investor Dennis Tito’s 2001 visit to the International Space Station, but building a private industry around such travel has proven elusive for commercial companies so far.

Source: WSJ

Add Comment