Ever since Yuri Gagarin travelled to space, first time ever on behalf of mankind, we have lived a fantasy of having our very own space travel. Well, the dream isn’t that unachievable after all.
Virgin Group Bred Virgin Galactic is on its course in designing a space shuttle for a short customer experience and amusement. They recently revealed the VSS Unity, which is the replacement for the VSS Enterprise, the one that crashed earlier (back in 2014) consuming the life of one its test pilot and injuring the other.
But, now after a 15-month hardship, Virgin Galactic with the support of its sister firm – The Spaceship Company, is back on its feet to take regular people to extraordinary heights.
The VSS Unity is designed to travel 50,000 feet outward into the cosmos without ignition, with the help of its mothership – VMS Eve. Once the breakpoint has been reached, VSS Unity will switch on its own throttle and follow its course further away from earth, eventually allowing the 6 passengers, a gravitation free experience.
The design of this 2nd gen SpaceShipTwo is slightly tweaked to avoid the occurrence of an accident. The only thing that keeps the customers waiting for the flight is a promised date of this service to be launched. The earlier plan stated that VSS Unity and its sister-ships would be ready by the end of 2015, with the accident earlier, the timeline has shifted ages. The company estimated that the first commercial flight could take off in 2016 but now the deadlines seem far from reach.
Virgin Galactic currently has 700 passengers ready with their $250,000 a ticket investment, but as Branson states, there are plenty of tests that are still in the tunnel before the first rocket is fired with humans on board.
We understand that it is no race and involves a great amount of risk for the passengers, but if the deadlines aren’t pushed closer, Virgin Galactic can face serious competition from Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin.
Blue Origin, which recently fired a rocket into space and made it land back vertically, is slowly crawling up to speed with Virgin Galactic and gearing up to steal the money. It was a historic launch and made some solid dents in the market for space travel by common masses.
After soaking in all this information, you might wonder if the cost to value ratio is rational with space travel. To that I suggest, ask this question to those who prefer a Ferrari over a Toyota or to those who believe opulence has its very own fever, and they will tell you that sometimes money can actually buy you happiness.
USD250,000 can buy you a few minutes in space without all the hard-core training that astronauts have to go through (for years).
The ticket to zero-gravity could be costly but can be totally worth for a new experience. We are in an epoch where we dream of space residencies, habituating other planets besides Earth and breeding mankind.
A simple space travel preludes our journey to all of this. It does open many futuristic doors and allows us to dream to the beyond where gravitation is much weaker and life is yet lively.
Image Source: Telegraph.
I believe Technology will be the bellwether for mankind and I enjoy a good talk on Global Affairs. Some of my other indulgences - Motorcycles, New Words for my Vocabulary and Delicious Food Everyday.