Billionaire Richard Branson is likely to fly into space, early next year, as the first passenger of his Virgin Galactic aircraft, the space tourism company he founded said on Monday.
Branson’s company has repeatedly changed the date for taking the first tourists outside the earth’s atmosphere. The company further informed that for reserving one seat in the spacecraft, 600 tourists have $250,000 to the company.
The company further added it “expects to advance to the next phase of its test flight program” in the fall with two manned flights.
Virgin Galactic also said if both the flights give an expected performance then Branson’s flight is likely to happen in the first quarter of 2021.
Branson’s trip to space is also paving his way for commercial voyages to begin.
However, Branson’s plan of getting tourists into space has been hit by serious difficulties. The most devastating one was the 2014 – crash caused due to the pilot’s error. This crash delayed the development of the passenger aircraft to an unexpected era. Now, the coronavirus outbreak is delaying the process.
How it will be done?
The spacecraft will be carried up with the help of a special plane. After reaching a high altitude it will be released. Seconds after being released in the air, the spaceship will ignite its engine and will start moving upward with an acceleration of 3.5 g, which is three and a half times that of Earth’s gravitational force.
After the spacecraft reaches its highest point it will turn its engine off, creating a feeling of weightlessness for a few minutes. The spacecraft is expected to stand about 80 kilometers (50 miles) above the earth. Then it will start descending back to the earth’s atmosphere.
For its landing purpose, Spaceport America is built in the New Mexico desert.
With this set of planning, Richard Branson is ready to set a series of aviation and nautical adventure records. However, he has failed several times.