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Richard Branson beat Jeff Bezos in the space race * took off with 5 others to give way

The spaceship or rather the Spaceship 2 rocket plane took off for the mission known as Unity 22 from the Virgin Galactic Space Center in New Mexico on a carrier plane and when they reached the desired altitude they activated the rocket engines and rose to a height of about ninety km where the passengers saw the curvature of the Earth and floated in low gravity

The crew of the Unity 22 spacecraft. Third from right, Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic. PR photo, Virgin Galactic
The crew of the Unity 22 spacecraft. Third from right, Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic. PR photo, Virgin Galactic

19:00 Virgin Galactic's spaceship (or rather the rocket space plane) Spaceship-2 with the company's billionaire founder Richard Branson in it landed safely after taking off to the brink of space.

The Spaceship 2 plane was launched from a carrier plane, took off to a height of over 80 kilometers and gave the six passengers and crew members an experience of weightlessness and viewing the curvature of the Earth.

Billionaire Richard Branson successfully reached the edge of space in the rocket plane. The Spaceship 2 plane was launched from a carrier plane, the pilots activated the rockets and took off to a height of over 80 kilometers. This journey gave the four passengers, including Branson and the two pilots, an experience of weightlessness and viewing the curvature of the Earth.

At 17:21 Israel time, the carrier plane took off from the space center established by the company in New Mexico. The journey to space, the short stay in it and the landing took a little over an hour.

The maximum height that Unity can reach is 90 kilometers, and when it reaches this height the passengers can release themselves from the seat belts and float in the cabin space. The one who spoiled the celebration was the competitor Jeff Bezos who claimed that the fact that the plane will not reach a height of 100 km, the official limit of space, is You can define the flight as a space flight and the passengers as astronauts. The US government, by the way, defines the border of space at an altitude of 80 kilometers.

Shortly after landing, former astronaut Chris Hadfield handed out astronaut wings to all six.

A 17-year pregnancy

Branson announced the establishment of the company and the development of the space system in 2004, based on a project that won the X-Prize competition in 2003. He underestimated the difficulties, and expected the space plane to take off for commercial flights by 2007. Along the way, there were difficulties in the project, including a fatal crash during a test in 2014.

Space tourism is a sector that is rekindling after Esau's hiatus and has returned to be highly competitive. During the first decade of the 2009s, seven wealthy individuals paid tens of millions of dollars to visit the International Space Station (ISS). But this adventure, organized under the auspices of the Russian Space Agency, was stopped in XNUMX in preparation for the retirement of the American space shuttles, which left the Russians as the only ones capable of manned launch, and it was required to be at full capacity to serve the member states of the space station.

Now not only Russia is capable of sending humans into space, but also a private company - Elon Musk's SpaceX. Also the third competitor - Jeff Bezos entered the space tourism business and is supposed to take off on July 20 on his space plane to give a route. A company called Axiom is also trying to build a dedicated space station that will serve as a hotel in space.

reported earlier today

Branson will be among four mission experts tasked with evaluating the experience of suborbital flight. The operation will be broadcast live.

Virgin Galactic has announced that the flight window for the next test flight powered by its SpaceShipTwo Unity spacecraft will open on July 11 at 16:00 Israel time, depending on the weather and technical tests.

The "Unity 22" mission will be the 22nd flight test of VSS Unity and the company's fourth manned space flight. It will also be the first flight to be fully staffed with two pilots and four mission specialists in the cabin, including the company's founder, Sir Richard Branson, whose job it will be to test the private astronaut experience.

In doing so, Branson is ten days ahead of one of his biggest competitors - Jeff Bezos, the founder of Blue Origin, who and his brother Mark will fly into space in the New Shepard spacecraft on July 20 together with a man who paid $23 million in an auction of the seat held by the Blue Origin company Bezos' yen. Another competitor is Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, but as far as is known, his company does not offer suborbital flights but "normal" space flights to the International Space Station, as part of one of which Eitan Stiva, the second Israeli in space, will take off next year.

However, the regular flights are too expensive for the average person. The idea of ​​suborbital flights is to enable an experience of launch, reaching an altitude of over 100 km where the sky is dark, the earth already looks round and the gravity is low due to the free fall. This experience will last only a few minutes, after which the spacecraft will return and land in the field from which the carrier plane took off.

Focus on customer experience

Building on the success of the company's last space flight in May, Unity 22 will focus on cabin and customer experience goals, including:

Fully crewed commercial passenger cabin evaluation, including the cabin environment, seat comfort, weightless experience and views of Earth that the spacecraft provides – all to ensure that every moment of the astronaut's journey maximizes the wonder and awe created by space travel

For the first time, Virgin Galactic will share a global live broadcast of the space flight. The live broadcast will be available to watch on Virgin and will be simulcast on Virgin Galactic Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

The four astronauts are:

  • Beth Moses, Chief Astronaut Instructor at Virgin Galactic. Mozes will serve as the manager of the passenger cabin and the space test, and will oversee the safe and efficient execution of the test flight objectives.
  • Colin Bennett, Chief Operations Engineer at Virgin Galactic. Bennett will evaluate the cabin equipment, procedures and experience in both the acceleration phase and the weightless environment.
  • Sirisha Bandela, Vice President of Governance and Research Operations at Virgin Galactic. Bandella will evaluate the human research experience, using an experiment from the University of Florida that requires the fixation of several tubes in the palm of the hand at different points during the flight.
  • Sir Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic. Branson will appreciate the private astronaut experience. He went through the same training, preparation and flight as Virgin Galactic's future astronauts. The company will use his observations from his flight training and spaceflight experience to improve the travel experience for all future astronaut customers.

The pilots for this mission are Dave McKay and Michael Masucci flying VSS Unity, and CJ Sturckow and Kelly Latimer flying the carrier plane from which Unity will be launched.

Following this flight, in accordance with normal procedures, the team will complete the vehicle tests and a comprehensive data review, which will inform the planners of the next steps in the test flight plan. Two more test flights are planned before the company expects to begin commercial service in 2022.

Michael Colglazia, CEO of Virgin Galactic, said: “Our next flight – the 22nd flight test of VSS Unity and our first manned flight test – is a testament to the dedication and technical genius of our entire team, and I want to extend a special thanks to the pilots and mission specialists of ours, each of whom will perform important work. I also thank Sir Richard whose expertise and long history of creating amazing customer experiences will be invaluable as we work to unlock the wonder of space travel and create awe-inspiring journeys for our customers.”

Sir Richard Branson said: "I truly believe that space belongs to all of us. After more than 16 years of research, engineering and testing, Virgin Galactic is at the forefront of a new commercial space industry that is set to open up space for the human race and change the world forever. It's one thing to dream of making space more accessible to everyone, but a more difficult task is for an amazing team to make that dream a reality. As part of an amazing team of mission experts, I am honored to help validate the journey our future astronauts will take and ensure we deliver the unique customer experience people expect from Virgin.”

More of the topic in Hayadan:

3 תגובות

  1. It's just sad that they have to point out the fact that they saw the curvature as a DHA, just to prove to some disturbed people that it is not flat.
    Can we stop referring to these viruses already?

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