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The Spaceflight of a Billionaire Founder on Virgin Galactic

Mr. Richard Branson's spaceflight Mr. Richard Branson's spaceflight

Mr. Richard Branson accomplished his goal of reaching space on Sunday, nearly 17 years after launching Virgin Galactic. As per the news reported on Sunday, the company's spaceship VSS Unity took off over the skies of New Mexico, guided by two pilots, carrying Richard Branson along with three other Virgin Galactic employees respectively. In case if you don’t know, Branson is the first billionaire of a space company, to fly in his spaceship.

Richard Branson's dream of reaching space was accomplished after 17 years of research and development work, comprising of more than a billion dollars investment made in Virgin Galactic. Richard Branson, the British billionaire, has safely flown to the edge of space and returned in his Virgin Galactic passenger spacecraft, days ahead of the Amazon founder Jeff Bezos spacecraft launch, as these billionaires race in the emergence of a new era of “space tourism.”

When the billionaire founder’s spaceflight took off, Branson tweeted with a picture of himself in zero gravity, “Welcome to the dawn of a new space age.” News reported that when the billionaire landed back on earth, he mentioned that it was his dream since childhood to fly into space, exploring the beautiful sights and the view of the earth. He said, “I have dreamt of this moment since I was a kid, and honestly nothing could prepare you for the view of Earth from space.” He even called the space flight experience, the best whole experience of his lifetime.

On Sunday, the company's spaceship VSS Unity took off over the skies of New Mexico, guided by two pilots, carrying Richard Branson along with three employees of Virgin Galactic. VSS Unity, after being launched above 40,000 feet (12.19 kilometers) by an aircraft named “VMS Eve” ignited its rocket engine and accelerated to 3+ times the speed of sound in a journey to the edge of space. When the Virgin Galactic crew became weightless and drifted around the spaceship cabin, VSS Unity attempted a graceful backflip in microgravity. The spaceship flew to a height of 282,000 feet (86.1 kilometers) respectively. Afterward, the vehicle glided back into the atmosphere, landing on the runway at Spaceport America from which it had taken off earlier. The two pilots named “Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci” were responsible for flying the spacecraft successfully.

As per the reports, the billionaire founder, who founded Virgin Galactic in 2004, wanted to travel space on his spacecraft to test the flight and spaceship himself before he makes it a commercial flight to space for tourists. Furthermore, it was reported that he wanted to test the future passenger’s flight as a test subject, to feel the experience for future customers. The mission was quite successful and felt like a dream come true for the billionaire founder. Alongside Branson, the other three employees named “Beth Moses (astronaut chief instructor of Virgin Galactic), Colin Bennett (lead operations engineer of Virgin Galactic), and Sirisha Bandla (vice president of government research and affairs)” did the same thing by testing the flight for future customers.

As per the company, the VSS Unity spacecraft is designed and developed to carry up to six passengers and two pilots. The firm has roughly 600 bookings for future flights, with costs ranging from $200,000 to $250,000 per ticket. It’s indeed a flight to remember.

Based on the goals set by the billionaire’s company, this was Virgin Galactic's fourth mission, it's second this year, and the first with more than one passenger. Apart from flying Brandon on the spacecraft, the spaceflight had additional aims, as Virgin Galactic is continuously testing its spaceship system, intending to launch commercial service in early 2022. The reason why the spacecraft is being repeatedly tested is to guarantee problem-free space travel to customers in the future, ensuring both safety and security. Additionally, Bandla is responsible to put her research skills to the test. Furthermore, the current Sunday’s spaceflight is among the three more remainings to complete the development operation of Virgin Galactic, and start space tourism for customers in the future.

Branson always dreamed of going into space ever since he saw the Apollo moon landings. Then in 2004, he formed Virgin Galactic with the sole purpose of transporting private people to space. He founded the firm to purchase a spaceship manufactured by aerospace designer “Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites.” The designer is famous for creating the “SpaceShipOne” vehicle, which won him a 10 million dollars award for flying twice to the edge of space in two weeks time period.

References:

https://www.businessinsider.com/virgin-galactic-rocket-plane-flies-richard-branson-crew-to-space-2021-7

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/11/richard-branson-reaches-space-on-virgin-galactic-flight.html

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/jul/11/richard-branson-virgin-galactic-space

https://www.nytimes.com/live/2021/07/11/science/virgin-galactic-launch-richard-branson

https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2021/07/richard-branson-really-did-it/619412/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/07/11/richard-branson-virgin-galactic-live-updates/

 

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Last modified on Wednesday, 08 September 2021 00:07
Super_User

My name is Georgios Gregoriadis. I am an experienced physicist with a strong background in Astronomy. I graduated from the University of Ioannina in 2002. I am a private teacher and owner of this website.

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