Inside Virgin Galactic’s space plane where a ticket can be yours for the eye-watering price of £365,000 | The Sun
VIRGIN Galactic successfully flew four passengers to the edge of space yesterday, in a final test run which makes its space plane open for tourists.
So, let's take a look inside the vehicle – where it costs an eye-watering $450,000 (£365,000) for a 90-minute trip of a lifetime.
Virgin Galactic uses a carrier aircraft with two pilots who take off from a runway, gain high altitude, and drop a rocket-powered plane (with two other pilots) that soars into space.
In yesterday's launch, the VSS Unity spaceplane, created by Richard Branson's space venture, was suspended 54.2 miles above Earth's surface for three minutes.
This is high enough for each passenger to automatically become an astronaut by Nasa's standards.
That US space agency, alongside the US Air Force, award astronaut status to anyone who gets above 50 miles (80km).
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Although other authorities say outer space begins at an altitude of 62 miles (100km).
In this brief window of time, space tourists are able to experience weightlessness.
Shaking off the anchoring of gravity is one of the main appeals for forking out so much cash for an hour-and-a-half experience.
Up to six people can fly at one time, which includes two pilots.
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The exclusivity in the number of seats helps us folk on the ground better understand the lofty price tag.
The cabin is decked out with 17 port-hole-style windows for each of its four passengers to use as they peer outward into the universe.
Every seat is a window seat so there'll be no sharpening of elbows to get the best view.
And every chair is custom made to fit each passenger.
As part of the $450,000 package, customers get to bring along three guests, undergo a five-day readiness programme, get a custom spacesuit and wings they can take home, as well as a photo and video kit.
Virgin Galactic is hoping to kick off its tourism flights as soon as next month.
The company aims to fly around once per month using Unity and its sister plane Eve, once commercial operations begin, according to company president Mike Moses.
By 2026, Virgin Galactic aims to be taking paying customers to suborbital space every day.
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Analysts expect ticket prices to shrink over time as the novelty wears off.
But space tourism is expected to remain a privilege of Earth's ultra-wealthy, no matter how starry-eyed you are about the prospects.
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