Billionaire Richard Branson Virgin Galactic company successfully crewed flight performed. Three Virgin Galactic employees were on the flight, including Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson, as well as Beth Moses, Colin Bennett and Sirisha Bandla. With this trip, Richard Branson became the first billionaire to reach the edge of space, defeating Jeff Bezos.
The Unity 22 mission launched from Spaceport America in New Mexico. Unlike conventional rocket launches, the VSS Unity ship was freed from the main carrier VMS Eve. During this flight, VSS Unity reached a speed of Mach 3 and a peak altitude of 86 km. According to the brand new definition, the Karman line, which is defined as a border in the middle of space and the Earth, stretches between 70 km and 90 km. However, as Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origins pointed out, the International Aviation Federation (FAI) defines the Karman border as 100 km.
According to the space company, the mission’s goal was to evaluate the cabin environment, exterior, seat comfort and commercial astronaut experience, including Zero-G. Prior to that, Virgin Galactic completed several test flights, including the unfortunate 2014 flight that took the life of pilot Michael Alsbury.
Richard Branson’s decision to board the first fully crewed plane reflects his confidence in Virgin Galactic. The mission stands out as a valuable milestone for the commercial spaceflight industry. If things go as planned, Virgin Galactic’s space tourism will begin in 2022.