Virgin Galactic Just Took Its First Test Passenger Into Space (Video)
Your dream ticket to space is becoming more and more of a reality.
According to NBC News, Virgin Galactic's spacecraft Unity has passed another milestone by bring its first test passenger into space.
This test flight comes just over two months after Virgin Galactic completed its first space flight by reaching an altitude of 51.4 miles during the flight. According to Space.com, 50 miles is generally considered the measurement for the “edge of space,” though some experts prefer to adhere to the 62 mile marker.
On Friday, the spaceship Unity took two pilots and astronaut trainer Beth Moses on its test flight from the Mojave Air and Space Port launch site in California, which reached an altitude of 55.87 miles, according to Space.com.
On previous flights, only two test pilots were allowed on board the ship, NBC News reported. But, according to a representative from Virgin Galactic to NBC, Moses was there to do “validation of some of the cabin design elements.”
According to the Orlando Sentinel, the company said that the flight reached Mach 3.04, roughly three times the speed of sound, which is faster and higher than the ship has ever achieved.
Moses was apparently able to unstrap herself to experience weightlessness, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
“Beth, [test pilot Mike “Sooch” Masucci] and I just enjoyed a pretty amazing flight which was beyond anything any of us has ever experienced,” said test pilot David McKay to the Orlando Sentinel. “It was thrilling yet smooth and nicely controlled throughout with a view at the top, of the Earth from space, which exceeded all our expectations.”
McKay added that the flight was a “fulfillment of lifelong ambitions,” but was also just the beginning for the project.
It is rumored that commercial tickets for the vessel, once complete and ready for the public, could run around $250,000. The pricey ticket includes not only the space flight experience, but also safety training, medical checks, and G-force and microgravity simulations necessary beforehand.
At the moment, there is no official start date for when the company will begin taking paying customers, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The vessel still has more testing to complete before it is ready for commercial flights.