Branson welcomes home Virgin Galactic’s historic first spaceflight

Branson welcomes home Virgin Galactic’s historic first spaceflight

Richard Branson with pilots Frederick Sturckow (left) and Mark Stucky.

The success of Unity's test flight means Virgin Galactic is now very close to taking its first paying tourist into space, a goal that the company has been working toward since 2004.

A Virgin Galactic rocket plane reached space on Thursday and returned safely to the California desert, capping years of testing to become the first United States commercial human flight to breach Earth's atmosphere since America's shuttle program ended in 2011.

The company said that during the flight the spaceship reached Mach 2.9, almost three times the speed of sound, as it touched what it considers to be the edge of space. The mission started like many past test flights.

Bezos' New Shepard has already flown to the internationally recognized boundary between Earth's atmosphere and outer space known as the Karman line at 62 miles (100 km) - though the Blue Origin trip did not carry humans.

After Virgin Galactic's successful space test flight, company founder Richard Branson is looking forward to the future - and it may come sooner than you think.

The two pilots are Mark "Forger" Stucky and former NASA astronaut Rick "CJ" Sturckow.

He said there had been tears of tragedy and tears of joy along the way as he thanked the people who made it possible. I was shedding lots.

Brexit: May rebuffed by European Union leaders in Brussels
His actions have prompted fears he is discussing a soft Brexit in order to secure voters from the left to vote for the Tories. She told Channel 4 News: "We need to find a way not to have no deal ".

Virgin's twin-fuselage carrier airplane holding the SpaceShipTwo passenger spacecraft took off at 7:11 a.m. local time (1511 GMT) from the Mojave Air and Space Port, about 90 miles (145 km) north of Los Angeles.

When Tom Swarbrick asked Sir Branson whether he thought that he would beat Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos in sending commercial passengers to space, he said that he would "claim victory as to sending the first people into space", and said that they were ahead of the game because of this.

"We shall now push on with the rest of the part of our flight test programme that will start to see the rocket motor burn for longer, and VSS Unity fly still faster and higher towards giving a large number of private astronauts an event which provides a fresh planetary perspective to your relationship with the planet earth sufficient reason for the comsos".

"But let's not forget that space is also hard and we daily recognise the commitment and sacrifice that has been so consistently shown by our awesome Mojave family. This day is as much for them as it is for all of us".

The next flight test is within the next couple of months, depending on data analysis from Thursday's flight, Virgin Galactic said.

"The spaceship was tested to its limits today and she performed just as we wished, and we couldn't be happier". There are a lot of firsts here today but there are also some seconds.

The company is now building two more spaceships in anticipation of the price coming down and more people signing up to fly.

Related News:

Most liked

Party Switch games are setting new attach rate records for Nintendo
Nintendo would "absolutely love" to have Red Dead Redemption 2 on Nintendo Switch , but more than likely it won't happen. Though numerous investors don't seem to believe that Nintendo will be able to achieve the goal.

Egypt discovers untouched tomb in the ancient necropolis of Saqqara
And last month, Egypt's Ministry of Antiquities announced the discovery of 100 wooden feline statues and dozens of mummified cats. Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters The country hopes the finds will brighten its image overseas and revive interest among travelers.

‘Christmas comet’ - the year’s brightest - to pass by Earth this weekend
A rocket's upper stage passed through the telescope's field of view during the exposure, creating the streak below the comet. This comet is better viewed with a telescope, but it could be possible to see it with binoculars or even the naked eye.

Phoenix Suns Owner Threatens to Move Team to Las Vegas, Seattle
Van Gundy was talking on ESPN's "The Jump" on Thursday about Sarver's threat to move the Suns to Las Vegas or Seattle . Phoenix would pay $150 million toward the renovations, and the Suns would pay $80 million.

Pokemon Go Finally Gets 'Trainer Battles', Offering a PvP Mode
As announced through a tweet on Thursday, the Trainer Battles feature on Pokemon Go was initially rolled out for level 40 players. Pokemon Go notably has three different Trainer Battle Leagues, namely Great, Ultra, and Master League.

Kanye West Wants Drake to Apologize for Rapping About Yeezys
Among his many tweets , West tweeted, "Leave me and my family alone bro", noting , "You're mad at me for something I didn't do". Kanye took to Twitter on Thursday (December 13) after seemingly being triggered by Drake's request to sample one of his tracks.

Apple fails again at its most recent social media platform initiative
The feature has not been updated significantly since the launch of Apple Music in 2015. Apple says that you'll still be able to search for previous Connect posts till May 24.

Remember Apple Music Connect? Well, Apple's killing it.
Apple Music still occupies some social features that include Friends Mix , a frequently updated playlist full of songs. Apple went on to say that all previously uploaded Connect content will remain on the platform until May 24, 2019.

Lawsuit claims Harvey Weinstein bragged about sleeping with Jennifer Lawrence
In the papers filed by Jane Doe in Los Angeles she alleges Weinstein bragged about bedding the 28-year-old Oscar victor . She got up to go to the bathroom and he walked in on her with her trousers tights down while she was using the toilet.

Ukraine Orthodox priests to establish independent church
Poroshenko said the event will "go down in history" as the day Ukraine "finally received (its) independence form Russia ".

James Jordan blasts Strictly for unfair treatment of Ashley Roberts
James has slammed the BBC show for not defending Ashley against the backlash she's received for her dance training. Tess Daly has joked that being a parent helped prepare her to keep the judges in order on Strictly Come Dancing .

May Said to Warn Merkel, Macron Their Brexit Deal Is Almost Dead
Juncker said: "We don't want the United Kingdom to think there can be any form of renegotiation - that is crystal clear". Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said it was time "to stop this pretence" and "bring the vote to Parliament".

Oil prices climb - despite Trump’s ‘humble brag’ about making them low
Brent crude was down 41 cents at $61.04 per barrel, on course for a decline this week of around 1 percent. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 were at $51.40 per barrel, up 25 cents or, 0.49 percent.

Emery prepared to face Arsenal's centre-back crisis
We need one process with them, but in this process, they also need to show us their [development]". But for us it's also very important".

Large fire breaks out at Chester Zoo
David Clough, aged 50, who lives across the road from the zoo, said: "We first saw signs of the fire shortly after 11.30am. It has its own tropical weather conditions, with temperatures reaching 26.6C to replicate conditions in South East Asia.