Virgin Galactic Space Flight soars into space

British billionaire, Richard Branson, soared for 50 miles above New Mexico desert on his Virgin Galactic rocket plane. He also made safe return in vehicle’s first fully crewed test flight to space.


  • This Virgin Galactic Space Flight is a symbolic milestone for venture started by Richard Branson 17 years ago.
  • Branson was one of six Virgin Galactic Holding Inc employees who strapped in for space ride.
  • Hr has touted this mission as precursor to new era of space tourism, which was founded by company in 2004.
  • Its commercial operations would begin in 2022.
  • This launch of VSS Unity passenger rocket plane marks company’s 22nd test flight of its SpaceShipTwo system. It was also the fourth crewed mission beyond Earth’s atmosphere.

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic is a British-American spaceflight company, operating in United States. It was founded by Richard Branson. His Virgin Group retains a 24% stake in it. It is a developing commercial spacecraft that aims to provide suborbital space flights to space tourists. Virgin Galactic’s suborbital spacecraft are air launched from a carrier airplane called White Knight Two. Virgin Galactic did early work on satellite launch development of LauncherOne in 2017.

About recent flight

Space flight reached its high-altitude launch point at about 46,000 feet, where Unity was released from mothership and fell away when crew ignited vehicle’s rocket. Spaceplane’s contrail was visible from ground when it soared through upper atmosphere. At the apex of climb, rocket shut down and crew experienced few minutes of microgravity before spaceplane shifted into re-entry mode.  Virgin has planned at least two further test flights of spaceplane before starting its regular commercial operation in 2022. Ticket for spaceplane has been priced at around $250,000 per ticket.


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