Virgin Galactic hasn’t let their 2014 tragedy deter them from accomplishing their space tourism dream. Not only have they remained persistent on their task, but it seems like they’ve come back stronger than ever now that Richard Branson has revelead VSS Unity with Stephen Hawking’s blessing.
Richard Branson unveiled his newly designed SpaceShip Two in a ceremony which took place in Mojave, California last week, starting off with a recorded message by the famous professor Stephen Hawking.
In his emotional speech, Hawking praised Virgin Galactic’s ambition to engage in such an ambitious project and conveyed his confidence in their ability to achieve their objective.
He further emphasized this by saying he would be proud to be a tourist on that spaceship.
Even though Virgin Galactic doesn’t have all their ducks in a row yet, people are already lining up for their space tourism program.
Current reports suggest that over 600 people have already signed up to take over the suborbital space. This “vacation” certainly doesn’t come cheap, though. With a price of $250,000 per person, it is certainly not for the common folk.
According to the British entrepreneur, their new spacecraft will give ordinary people the chance to look at their planet from a new perspective, experience life outside our atmosphere and the amazing feeling of weightlessness.
VSS Unity can hold up to six passengers during a three hour suborbital flight, allowing them to experience a unique view of the Universe.
The company was launched back in 1999 and their journey so far has been filled with roadblocks. Some of their most serious setbacks were the 2007 fatal explosion from one of their ground tests and the 2014 crash which saw the death of co-pilot Michael Alsbury.
Despite their numerous setbacks, the company is determined to reach their objective and be the first company to ever launch a successful space tourism program.
George T. Whitesides, the CEO of Virgin Galactic was, of course, also present at the event and said: “We think it is about time that all of humanity has a chance to explore it: not just pilots but also painters, not just engineers but also everyday explorers.”
Professor Steven Hawking also highlighted the fact that throughout the years space explorations have managed to be a powerful unifier of nations, benefiting from the collaboration and partnership of many countries which would not have connected otherwise.
He expressed his hope that this groundbreaking moment will represent a further step towards unity on Earth.
Image Source: Popsci