Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic reached the edge of space
Virgin Galactic Richard Branson's SpaceShipTwo spacecraft for the first time reached the border with space.
The test flight of the ship took place in southern California. During the test, SpaceShipTwo rose to a height of 82 kilometers from sea level. According to one of the classifications, the atmosphere ends and the cosmos begins at 80 kilometers, however, some experts believe that the border runs along the Karman line, which is 100 kilometers away.
“Today we are flying into space,” Branson commented briefly on the successful take-off of the vehicle. SpaceShipTwo, according to the plan, has risen to a height of more than 80 km from sea level. According to NASA, it is at this altitude that the atmosphere ends and space begins. Although many consider the Karman line, located at an altitude of 100 km, to be the boundary. SpaceShipTwo's flight was the fourth for the company after the accident in 2014, in which one of the Virgin Galactic pilots died.
Spaceplane SpaceShipTwo launched in the air from a carrier aircraft, launching rocket engines and moving to a vertical take-off. The engines worked for 60 seconds - a little longer than originally planned. A mission spokesman, Enrico Palermo, clarified in an interview with the Associated Press that the spaceplane reached an altitude of 51 miles (82 km) before it began its descent. A few minutes after that, he landed.
The space plane was delivered to the desired height by the WhiteKnightTwo two-body carrier aircraft. The aircraft was developed by the aircraft manufacturer Scaled Composites specifically for the air launch of a tourist spacecraft.
This is the fourth launch that Virgin Galactic performs. In 2014, the company's ship was wrecked, which killed one of the pilots.
The Virgin Galactic company was created for the development of space tourism. The company plans to conduct the first suborbital excursion in 2020. The ticket price for passengers will be about 250 thousand dollars.