“This cabin has been designed specifically to allow thousands of people like you and me to achieve the dream of spaceflight safely – and that is incredibly exciting," Richard Branson said.

By Cailey Rizzo
July 29, 2020
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Virgin Galactic

After much anticipation, Virgin Galactic has revealed what future astronauts can expect from their spaceship cabins. Predictably, the cabins are beautiful and futuristic, high tech and sleek.

‘’When we created Virgin Galactic, we started with what we believed would be an optimal customer experience and then built the spaceship around it,” Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, said during the unveiling on Tuesday. “This cabin has been designed specifically to allow thousands of people like you and me to achieve the dream of spaceflight safely – and that is incredibly exciting.’’

Designed with input from doctors, astronaut trainers, pilots, engineers and future Virgin Galactic astronaut customers themselves, the cabin of the first SpaceshipTwo vehicle, VSS Unity, addresses the “functional and emotional needs of our customers in a high-adrenaline environment” including lighting during takeoff and landing is timed to the journey, meant to calm or excite passengers about their experience, Chief Space Officer, George Whitesides, explained during the reveal.

Virgin Galactic

Every aspect is of the design meant to provide customer comfort and safety but in an inconspicuous fashion. After all, the views of Earth from space are the reason people are boarding, and so the views have been placed on center stage.

Twelve round windows wrap around the cabin’s frame, maximizing space views in all directions.

"The cabin interior supports savoring the view of Earth from space in every way possible,” Chief Astronaut Instructor Beth Moses said during the unveiling. The cabin also adapts to the journey, providing comfort during moments of travel and becoming an interactive climbing space during moments of weightlessness.

Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic’s seating is like a bucket seat to the extreme. Each of the individually-sized reclining seats promotes “G-force management and float zone volume,” according to the announcement. A seatback display, much like on an airplane, will show live flight data — until zero gravity hits and the seats recline to provide a larger “float zone” for astronauts. Seats can be removed and replaced with payload racks if there is a scientific mission headed to space instead of commercial passengers.

Sixteen onboard cameras will document the journey so astronauts can leave their cameras on Earth and fully immerse themselves in the experience. They will also be able to see themselves experiencing zero gravity in live time, as the cabin is equipped with the “largest mirror in a spaceship cabin.”

Aspiring astronauts can reserve a space on a future Virgin Galactic flight with a refundable $1,000 deposit. The final price tag for the 2.5-hour journey is $250,000.