Space travel company Virgin Galactic announced on Thursday (5) that it will launch its third soborbital test flight between 19 and 23 November. It will be the first takeoff from the company’s commercial center, Spaceport America, in New Mexico (USA).
The next flight will transport some cargo to NASA, through the Flight Opportunities Program, and is the company’s first mission since February 2019, when the spacecraft took on board astronaut director of instruction, Beth Moses, who became the first passenger to officially travel on Virgin Galactic.
If this third test mission is successful, the company will take its first suborbital space tourism trip with the SpaceShip Two spacecraft in early 2021, with British founder Richard Branson on board.
In the tourist flight, the space plane VSS Unity will be used, an aircraft with capacity for two pilots, six people, in addition to payloads in short trips to suborbital space, that is, above one hundred kilometers in altitude, but without making a revolution complete orbital.
How does a suborbital flight work?
SpaceShip Two takes off from a runway attached to the wings of a gigantic plane called WhiteKnightTwo. When the set reaches an altitude of about 15 thousand meters, the ship moves towards the suborbital space.
Passengers on board will experience the sensation of weightlessness for a few minutes and, if in doubt, they will be able to witness live the curvature of the Earth against the darkness of space, and then return for a peaceful landing on the runway.
Anyone interested in flying to suborbital space should hurry, as around 600 people have already purchased their tickets for the experience, at a unit cost of US $ 250,000, equivalent to almost R $ 1.4 million.