Richard Branson and his company Virgin Galactic has almost reached the halfway mark to space with its second powered flight of Unity Spacecraft which took off Tuesday. This has helped the company to come very close to fulfilling the dreams of launching its first commercial space vehicle within few months and thereby take people to space. According to the statement of Richard Branson, his company will take two to three months of time before they can finally be ready for taking people to space. He considered this test as an essential step towards achieving this objective.
Branson and his company are very particular in their approach to space travel. He has said that his company will take all the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of the passengers before they can start on the voyage of the space travel. The flight which took off on Tuesday was the second rocket-powered launch. Earlier, the company had suffered a significant setback with its Enterprise Spacecraft which failed on Oct 31, 2014. As a result, the company was highly cautious this time and conducted a fleet of tests to ensure that all the aspect of the rocket is ready before initiating a rocket-powered flight. According to Richard Branson once his company manufactures a “safe craft” that can travel up to 264000 feet above the earth’s surface, and then he will decide to go up. After he also has plans to take astronauts along with him.
One of the major initiatives of his company to stabilize the business of space tourism is to ensure the fact that he manufactures such spacecraft which is capable of being reused a large number of times before significant replacements or refurbishments. As per the latest reports United Spacecraft took off from the Mojave Air and Space Port which is situated in California. It was lifted by the jet-powered mothership Eve. After that, it returned to the earth’s atmosphere using a technique which is known as feathering. It also landed back on the same runway from which it had left.
In other words, applying this technique implies that the company was able to turn back Unity within a period o 54 days from the date of this launch. If we look back at the history, the Atlantis took the similar time from the year of its launch and thereby coming back to earth’s surface. NASA, however, initiated the Atlantis program.