Space tourism is soon to be a reality with Virgin Galactic’s first commercial aircraft. This is what we know about it.
Commercial trips to space are about to become reality – for those who have the funds to facilitate it.
Along with companies including SpaceX and Boeing, Virgin Galactic has been hard at work designing an aircraft to take civilians on an out-of-this-world trip. And they seem to be getting somewhere with it.
The company, which is in its last round of key rocket test flights, is said to have two more internal flights to check systems and logistics before opening up to the public.
These suborbital flights, which will take place on its VSS Unity vehicle, hold a capacity of six and are set to ascend 60mi (97km) above Earth. At this peak altitude, passengers will have the opportunity to float in zero-gravity conditions. They will also be able to enjoy panoramic views of Earth from 12 circular windows.
Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis with a cool price-tag of $250,000 (£190,000). Virgin Galactic says 600 customers have signed up, while a further 400 have expressed interest.
Meanwhile, no date has yet been floated for its first flight, but Virgin founder Sir Richard Branson is expected to be on it.