Virgin Galactic is a company that offers a thrilling and transformative way to travel to space using a SpaceShipTwo technology. The company was founded in 2004 by Richard Branson and the Virgin Group, which is a global conglomerate of various businesses 12.
Virgin Galactic’s main product is the VSS Unity, a reusable spaceplane that can carry up to six passengers and two pilots to suborbital space, about 50 miles or 80 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. The spaceplane is launched from a carrier aircraft called VMS Eve, which takes off from a runway and releases the spaceplane at high altitude. The spaceplane then fires its rocket engine and accelerates to over three times the speed of sound, reaching the edge of space. The passengers can enjoy a few minutes of weightlessness and a breathtaking view of the Earth’s curvature, before the spaceplane glides back to the runway 13.
The VSS Unity is designed to be safe and reliable, with multiple backup systems and a feathering mechanism that allows the spaceplane to re-enter the atmosphere at a safe angle and speed. The company also claims that its spaceflights have a low carbon footprint, comparable to a business class flight across the Atlantic 14.
The company has successfully completed several test flights of the VSS Unity, including two crewed flights to space in 2018 and 2019. The company also made history in 2021, when Richard Branson became the first person to fly to space on his own spacecraft, beating his rival Jeff Bezos by nine days . The company plans to start offering regular commercial flights to space in 2022, with a ticket price of $250,000 . The company also has a Spaceport America, a dedicated facility in New Mexico that serves as the launch and landing site for the spaceflights 1.
Virgin Galactic is a company that aims to make space travel more accessible and exciting for everyone, while also advancing the fields of science and technology. It is a company that is pioneering the new era of space tourism 1.