Millionaires in space 3! Richard Branson, ready for take off
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A new feat in the history of space travel will begin (weather conditions permitting) this Sunday , July 11 at 09:00 (Central Mexico). British billionaire and Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson will take a trip in space tourism format. The rocket will reach the edge of space, which the US government marks more than 80 kilometers above the Earth and will remain in space for a few minutes. This experience will only be available to those who can afford $ 250,000.
In this third part of our special we will tell you where you can follow the transmission of this event.
For the first time, the spacecraft they will launch will have passengers on board, the mission known as Unity 22 will be composed of six members, two pilots and four experts.
Who will be on the Unity 22 mission?
Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci will be mission pilots. The mothership, VMS Eve, will be piloted by CJ Sturckow and Kelly Latimer. VSS Unity pilots accompany Beth Moses, Colin Bennet, Sirisha Bandla and Sir Ri chard Branson.
As its name implies, Unity 22 will be the twenty-second test flight of VSS Unity. The goal is to get the most information about the trip, as well as the cabin context, seating comfort, weightlessness of the travelers and the view towards Earth from where the passengers are.
How do you describe the experience of traveling into space?
According to Virgin Galactic, your launches begin with a smooth takeoff on the runway before your spacecraft and mothership together ascend to just under 50,000 feet. Once the thickest layers of the atmosphere pass, your spacecraft do not need large amounts of fuel to reach space. They call this low-energy, flight-like journey Air-Launch .
Subsequently, the pilot launches the spaceship from the mothership. The spacecraft's rocket ignites, sending the ship into space just above Mach 3 (just over three times the speed of sound). The colors outside the window change from blue to indigo to midnight black when you reach space and the rocket engine dies.
At nearly 300,000 feet above Earth, the cabin becomes a playground to unzip and experience weightlessness.
"The planet looks at you through the 17 windows of the ship when you see your home for the first time, 16 cameras scattered throughout the cabin record every moment of the experience in HD"according to the aerospace company.
For reentry, the wings of the ship are raised 60 degrees, then descends into a thick atmosphere, the wings are lowered, and the pilot glides the spacecraft to a soft landing on the same runway from which it took off, and thus you return home. .
Richard Branson's letter before leaving for space
Prior to his space travel, Branson wrote about the beginnings of his Virgin Galactic company.
“I have always been a dreamer. My mother taught me never to give up and to reach for the stars, advice that I literally followed. This Sunday (July 11), I couldn't be more excited to make that dream come true aboard Virgin Galactic UNITY22's upcoming spaceflight, and I wanted to mark the moment with a special space edition of my LinkedIn newsletter. "Richard Branson commented.
He said that since he was a child he wanted to go into space and watched the moon landing from his black and white television, when commercial space flights did not seem likely to his generation, he registered the Virgin Galactic name in hopes of creating a company that could make it come true.
“17 years later, I am delighted that Virgin Galactic is at the forefront of this new space age that I have been dreaming of for so long. I truly believe that the wonders of space should be open to all, and I would love for you to witness the UNITY22 space mission alongside us as it will air live here at 6am. M. PT (9 AM ET, 2 PM BST) on Sunday (July 11). ). You can set a reminder to see it here too "expressed the founder of Virgin Galactic.
He also commented that Sunday's mission will be Virgin Galactic's first fully-crewed rocket-powered test flight and that he couldn't ask for a better team at his side.
“Along with pilots Dave Mackay and Michael Masucci flying VSS Unity, and CJ Sturckow and Kelly Latimer flying VMS Eve, I will be joined by mission crew specialists Beth Moses, Chief Astronaut Instructor; Colin Bennett, Principal Operations Engineer; and Sirisha Bandla, Vice President of Government Affairs and Investigative Operations. My role in this mission will be to validate the journey our future astronauts will undertake and make sure we deliver the unique customer experience that people have come to expect from Virgin. "Branson explained.
VSS Unity, the Virgin Galactic spacecraft that will make way for space tourism
The VSS Unity is a supersonic space plane that has the capacity to carry up to six people, two of whom are trained and experienced pilots, while the others are passengers.
In addition, it seeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the training program of the new Spaceport America in New Mexico, United States, where the astronaut clients will be subject. Spanning 27 square miles, Spaceport America is your flight operations center and the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceport.
To follow up on this milestone event in the history of space travel, you can watch it through the Virgin Galactic YouTube channel, as well as the official Virgin Galactic sites.
Don't miss the fourth installment in this series, which will discuss the launch of the first crew of astronauts into space by Blue Origin, Jeff Bezos's company, on July 20.