Branson's Virgin Galactic reaches space for the first time

Branson's Virgin Galactic reaches space for the first time

FAA Acting Administrator Dan Elwell welcomed the news.

The SpaceShipTwo will eventually be meant for commercial flights to space. It is derived from Scaled Composite's SpaceShipOne, which won the Ansari X-Prize in 2004 by flying the same vehicle above 100 kilometers twice within 7 days. If you have a trip to space on your mind, even on a very whimsical level, know that Richard Branson shares your vision. The spaceship will also be used for research: NASA had science experiment on the test flight.

The successful test flight on Thursday is a step towards a new era of civilian space travel that could begin as soon as next year, with Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic battling billionaire-backed ventures such as Amazon founder Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin to be the first to offer suborbital flights to fare-paying tourists.

Today we've shown that Virgin Galactic can open space to improve the world once and for all really.

The 2014 catastrophic crash that lead to the death of one pilot was a major setback for Virgin Galactic but it looks like the company is now back on track.

The tragedy spurred critics of space tourism who have deemed such projects irresponsibly risky.

"We made it to space!" Where air ends and space begins is not set in law, domestic or worldwide.

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Branson pointed out that Virgin Holidays in particular would suffer because the pound taking a hit would result in less people being able to afford to go overseas due to a poor currency exchange. The astronaut designation is in keeping with US military and NASA pilots who when they fly above 80 kilometers are reclassified as astronauts. Automated systems instantly separated the crew capsule from the disintegrating rocket and boosted it to an altitude where it could descend under parachute nearly as though it was returning from orbit. Three minutes after the release, it reached an altitude of about 83 kilometers before beginning its descent.

New versions of SpaceShipTwo are built by a Virgin Galactic sister company and flight testing is now in-house. The de facto boundary between LEO and the Earth's upper atmosphere is called the Karman Line.

The FAI announced that based on that and other recent analyses, it will hold a workshop in 2019 in collaboration with the International Astronautical Federation to revisit the definition.

Sturckow is also a former Marine and was a NASA astronaut who flew on four Space Shuttle missions.

In Mojave, California in the United States SpaceShipTwo/VSS Unity landed from its maiden spaceflight as Richard Branson was present to congratulate the Virgin Galactic team and The Spaceship Company.

"Safety's all that matters if you're putting people into space", he said. Test flights are scheduled for next year.

But let's remember that space can be hard and we daily recognise the commitment and sacrifice that is so consistently shown by our fantastic Mojave family.

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