Virgin Galactic successfully tested the VSS Unity spacecraft with people on board, but it never reached space

Virgin Galactic has announced the completion of its first human spaceflight.

What is known?

On May 22, the VMS Eve carrier plane with the VSS Unity spacecraft took off from the America Spaceport in New Mexico. There were two astronauts on board: Dave McKay and CJ Sturk. After reaching the mark of 13 km, the shuttle separated from the plane and independently took off at a speed of Mach 3 (about 3675 km / h) to an altitude of 89 km, and then successfully returned to Earth.

Of course, technically, VSS Unity never made it to space. According to the definition of the International Aviation Federation, the border with outer space is located at an altitude of 100 kilometers above sea level. NASA, in turn, considers the height of 122 km as the boundary of space.

In case you don’t know?

Virgin Galactic is an American space company that competes with SpaceX. It is part of the international conglomerate Virgin Group, created by British businessman Richard Branson. Virgin Galactic plans to use its ships to promote space tourism. The company already sells tickets to space for $ 250,000. If all goes according to plan, the first commercial flight will take place in 2022.

Source: Virgin Galactic

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