Virgin Galactic takes a step closer to making space tourism within reach

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Virgin Galactic has taken another giant step into the business of space tourism as it successfully completed its longest rocket-powered flight to date.

Virgin confirmed the test flight reached an altitude of 51.4 miles (83 kilometres), with the two pilots Mark Stucky and Dave Mackay becoming the company’s first astronauts.

Jet-powered mothership Eve carried the spacecraft VSS Unity as it powered off from the Mojave Air Space Port in the Californian desert, detaching itself as it reached 40,000 feet in altitude and screamed into a speed 3-times as fast as the speed of sound.

Following a backflip in microgravity the spacecraft headed earthbound and landed safely at Mojave.

The test flight gives Virgin Galactic a step up in the private space-tourism race as Elon Musk's SpaceX has ambitious plans to carry passengers around the moon and Jeff Bezos' Blue Origin is conducting rocket tests, but both rival companies have yet to carry humans into space.

With that being said Richard Branson plans to be a passenger on the next scheduled flight in July.



Source: Smart Trend Team