Spacecraft Unit left Earth Friday morning
Virgin Galactic pilots Dave Mackay and Mike Masucci flew airline's fifth-supersonic powered test aircraft – with a passenger on board . After taking off from a runway attached to the WhiteKnightTwo "mothership", the unit released about 45,000 feet before the rocket engine was emptied and the boat burst into the room.
The spacecraft carried more weight than it ever had before, near the expected loads if it had a full load of passengers on board, the company said.
After the quest for space, the VSS Unity traveled the Earth's atmosphere and erased safely down to the Virgin Galactic gates of California's gusty Mojave desert.
In early February, two virgin galactic pilots were awarded astronauts wings by the US Department of Transportation, after being just over 51 miles above the Earth in December. It was the first time the company reached space.
The United States considers 50 miles above sea level to be the boundary between earth and space, but many scientific bodies and organizations use – 62 miles above sea level – to define this imaginary border.
The limit is then unclear. But Virgin Galactic's recording certainly illustrates an outer space experience. The company's CEO, Billion Richard Branson, said he boarded the Unity this summer.
If the company's continuing test flights all turn out to be successful, customers will get a trip to the room, which from start to landing lasts approx. 90 minutes. Passengers will experience a few minutes of weightless before the spacecraft begins to crash.
Although space tourism is still in development, Virgin Galactic has a formidable competition. Blue Origin, owned by billionaire Jeff Bezos, plans to launch test flights with people aboard its New Shepard spaceship later this year, Bezos. Bezos also said that New Shepard will fly over the Kármán line, just as it already has without people on board.
There is another big difference between the two space tourism. Blue Origin customers will explode in space on a rocket, while Virgin Galactic passengers will take off and land on a California track.