|Richard Branson said he would like to travel to space on its SpaceShipTwo once they get the approval from the Federal Aviation Administration. In addition, he promised that people could possibly become astronauts through their privately developed spacecraft, without the training of NASA.
According to CNN Business news, here is some information about it.
He is a thrill-seeking British billionaire as well as the founder of Virgin Galactic in 2004. The business model of Virgin Galactic is to primarily make money by bringing tourists to space for space tourism. Besides, he is also the only one who has publicly pledged to take a ride on his own company’s spacecraft.
Branson made many media appearances over the past decade saying about the deadline on his extraterrestrial journey, which subsequently was not true. That is often because building a spacecraft is harder than expected, especially during the recent pandemic.
However, Virgin Galactic has set another deadline for Branson’s flight on Thursday. The deadline is sometime between January and March of 2021. Notably, this announcement came from Michael Colglazier, the recently installed CEO of Virgin Galactic.
Is it dangerous?
Virgin Galactic experienced its first tragedy in the year of 2007. Three people were killed and others were severely injured during the rocket engine test directed by employees of Scaled Composites. Scaled Composites was Virgin Galactic’s engineering and manufacturing partner at that moment.
One year later, a tragedy happened again. The company’s prototype space plane broke apart during a flight test, killing a 39-year-old co-pilot. As a result, Branson faced allegations that his company had ignored the safety warning.
Eventually, the plane crash was caused by the pilot error. Due to these two major tragedies, Virgin Galactic parted ways with Scaled Composites and at the same time, it reorganized its manufacturing business.
After two years, the company came out with a plane called SpaceShipTwo which has added safety features.
It went on to perform flawlessly in a 2018 test mission. After that, it has achieved another successful test flight in 2019. This time, it carried its first passenger, Beth Moses, Virgin Galactic’s safety and training chief. According to her description, she said that this experience was “intense” yet not “overly dramatic”.
At least eight more Virgin Galactic employees will go on a test flight with SpaceShipTwo before Branson’s turn.
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