Virgin Galactic: VSS Unity reaches space for the first time

After many years of preparation, and much later than planned, Virgin Galactic made it: for the first time, two people flew into space with the spacecraft VSS Unity – at least if you use the definition of the US Air Force. On Thursday, the pilots Mark Stucky and Frederick Sturckow reached after an ignition of 60 seconds of the rocket engines, a height of 51.4 miles (82.7 kilometers). The International Air Sports Federation (FAI) pulls the limit of space at 100 km / h.

For the first time since the last launch of a Space Shuttle in 2011, people flew back from the United States into space, Virgin Galactic is pleased. It is even the first time that a private company has succeeded. The British billionaire Richard Branson, who was behind Virgin Galactic, missed the opportunity to personally greet the two pilots after their flight – they had not yet reached a job. Now he wants to continue with the current test program, so that paying customers can soon make a flight to space.

Branson had originally announced in 2004 that they would offer commercial flights from 2007 onwards, which would have to take a few minutes into space – not just from the US. The planned altitude of 80 kilometers is planned for this purpose. First a ticket cost $ 200,000, then the price rose to $ 250,000. The spacecraft will be taken to different kilometers with the carrier WhiteKnightTwo, where it will launch its own rocket propulsion.

Richard Branson for the VSS Unity
(Photo: Virgin Galactic)


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