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Facts about the spaceflight

Briefly what this spaceflight is all about:

First, the mothership brings the spaceship up to the altitude of 15 km. The mothership is called WhiteKnightTwo (WK2). The SpaceShipTwo (SS2) is then dropped and the rocket motors will be started. Getting high up to the altitude of 110 – 115 km takes only about 90 seconds. The passengers face heavy 4G forces. The speed of sound will be reached in 8 seconds, at its best the vehicle flies four times the speed of sound. Before the flight we complete a two day training, and the third day we take the journey.

Technical information about ships

WK2 wingspan is 42.7 meters, the length of a wing is 23.7 meters and it is with 4 motors. WK2 is capable of carrying very large cargo to high altitudes. It must be quite exciting to be the pilot here! The WK2 inaugural flight took place on 21 Dec 2008. The wingspan of SS2 is 12.8 meters and length 18.3 meters.

Zero gravity

We will float in zero gravity for about 4-5 minutes. The spaceship will then return as a glider to the runway. A generally accepted definition for space is the altitude of 100 km, and further, a person who has been in that altitude, will be called an astronaut.

The spacevehicle will carry six passengers and two pilots. Each passenger gets the same seating position with two large windows.

Spaceport America

The Virgin Galactic spaceport is located in New Mexico, USA, and is named Spaceport America. It was completed in 2012. A second spaceport is planned to be built in Sweden and third one to Abu Dabi.

Environment

According to Virgin Galactic, the carbon footprint of a spaceflight is smaller than that of a flight from London, UK to New York, US, per person. Both safety and environmental issues are of top priority.

Flight situation

Virgin Galactic is currently working on a test flight program. The first flights are expected to come true in the year 2018. The plan is to provide one flight a week to start with, later several flights every week. Virgin Galactic intends to build six spaceships.

Virgin Galactic astronauts

In March 2014, over 700 persons, astronauts-to-be, from many different countries have booked a flight. Half of the astronauts come from the United States. The youngest of the astronauts is 22 years old, the oldest is 91 years old. As for the age, there are no limitations, the only requirement is that you are 18. The space ticket costs from June 1st, 2013 USD 250 000, which is about EUR 212 000. 

Further technical details on the Virgin Galactic website:

Spaceships:

http://www.virgingalactic.com/overview/spaceships/

Spaceport America

http://www.virgingalactic.com/overview/spaceport/

Training

http://www.virgingalactic.com/overview/training/

Space tickets

http://www.virgingalactic.com/overview/space-tickets/

Experience

http://www.virgingalactic.com/overview/experience/

Environment

http://www.virgingalactic.com/overview/environment/

 

Safety

http://www.virgingalactic.com/overview/safety/