An out-of-this-world vacation…
In a world of SpaceX and Blue Origin, Virgin Galactic is joining the ranks of those trying to make commercial space travel a reality for everyday people.
What used to be a fantasy for most, could now be a reality thanks to technological advancement in spaceflight…
Up, up, and away
Virgin Galactic has just revealed the Spaceship III, which is the first in its new “VSS (Virgin SpaceShip) Imagine” series.
VSS Imagine has a shiny wraparound that’s designed to reflect its surrounding environment as it launches into the sky. It hopes to begin the first glide flights beginning this summer.
And, Virgin Galactic keeps moving closer to being able to succeed in producing multiple spacecraft at scale.
Compared to its previous spacecraft called Unity that flew in 2016, the Imagine has a “modular” design that makes it easier to maintain and increases the rate at which it can fly future trips.
Outer space will have to wait (for now)
Virgin Galactic CEO Michael Colglazier mentioned, “We’ve taken all the learnings from VSS Unity, and built-in what we need to do so that we can turn these ships at a faster pace, because obviously, the number of flights we can do is the product of how many ships you have, and how quickly you can turn them.”
The company has a target goal of doing 400 flights per year, but they still have big upgrades to accomplish before that can happen.
When interviewed, Colglazier stressed the importance of focusing on the company’s consumer brand. “We’ve used these lofty words of ‘democratizing space’, but space is meant for everyone,” he said.
“It may take a while just for everyone to get there, but it’s coming.”
And while the company has the aerospace technology portion secured, it’s the commercial side that he wants to emphasize and get more people interested in.
What flies ahead…
Colglazier dreams of creating different flight experiences depending on where people are flying to and from, even though the spacecraft will still be performing the same function.
He goes on to say how the philosophy of Virgin Galactic will be to focus on inclusion and allowing more people to fly in this futuristic spacecraft… even though most people will have to hold off on actually being able to launch into space.
Currently, Virgin Galactic has 600 passengers who are awaiting their flights and hope to add on more flyers as the company gets closer to one day having a fleet of spacecrafts ready for the stars.
Header image source: Virgin Galactic