On August 10, the Virgin Galactic space plane reached space with the first tourists

Passengers spent about 15 minutes in space and climbed to a height of 88 kilometers

The space plane returned smoothly to the runway at Spaceport America in the New Mexico desert after a short flight during which passengers enjoyed a few minutes of weightlessness.

Virgin Galactic space plane
Virgin Galactic space plane

This first private passenger flight has been delayed for many years. Now, its successful completion means Virgin Galactic could start selling flights regularly, joining Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Elon Musk’s SpaceX in the space tourism business.

“It was by far the most amazing thing I have done in my life,” said John Goodwin. He was one of the first to buy a ticket in 2005. After he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, he feared that he would not be lucky enough to take part in the flight. Goodwin hopes his flight will set an example for others with Parkinson’s and other illnesses. When Goodwin booked his ticket, their cost was $200,000. Now the price is 450,000 dollars.

On August 10, the Virgin Galactic space plane reached space with the first tourists

Virgin Galactic space plane
Virgin Galactic space plane

Accompanying him on the flight was competition winner Keisha Shahuff, a 46-year-old coach from Antigua, and her daughter, Anastasia Myers, an 18-year-old student at the Scottish University.

It was Virgin Galactic’s seventh spaceflight since 2018, but the first private launch. Branson himself took part in the first crewed flight in 2021. In June, a commercial flight was made by the Italian military and researchers. According to the company, there are currently about 800 people on the waiting list.

Branson observed the flight at a party in Antigua. He was joined by the country’s prime minister, as well as Shahaff’s mother. “Welcome to the club,” he wrote to the new astronauts on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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