Virgin Galactic introduced the first model of Spaceship III, the third generation of the space plane project. The new series was named Virgin SpaceShip Imagine, or just VSS Imagine.
The model represents an important step by the space tourism company to achieve the objectives of producing a large-scale fleet. Thus, the flight test program with VSS Imagine will take place from the middle of this year.
Elegant, the VSS Imagine brings an external look with a mirror finish. This is because it was designed to reflect changes in the space plane’s environment while making its way from ground to space.
According to the company, the ship has a modular design that makes it much easier to maintain and increase the speed to carry out subsequent missions. However, CEO Michael Colglazier revealed that there is still a lot of work to be done.
Thus, Virgin Galactic engineers are working on the design of the plane so that it will be able to support the goal of around 400 space flights a year. In addition, the company already takes care of the manufacture of the second model of the 3rd generation, the VSS Inspire.
Expansion of the space tourism market
In an interview with TechCrunch, Colglazier also emphasized that the work being done to expand the space tourism market. Focused on inclusion, the company aims to “democratize space”.
“The space is for everyone. It may take a while to really reach everyone, but it is coming ”, comments the CEO. “Now we are bringing in talents who are used to expanding this business category”.
Virgin Galactic currently has 600 passengers booked waiting for their own suborbital flights. However, space travel should only start after the flight by company owner Richard Brandon, scheduled for later this year.