MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Virgin Galactic aims to reach space with tourism rocket

Posted by M. C. on December 13, 2018

Soon doing what US Government (NASA) can’t do without Russian help – putting humans in space.

NASA…too busy looking for water to justify budgets …err…the search for life.

https://apnews.com/659f385710cc46fdb381c5f6dfbb6573

By JOHN ANTCZAK

Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is preparing to take the long-awaited step of trying to fly its tourism rocket ship to the edge of space.

Virgin Space Ship Unity was undergoing final checks in preparation for a test flight early Thursday that could take it far higher than before and a big step closer to turning the dream of commercial space tourism into reality.

“It’s a day that we’ve been waiting for for a long time,” CEO George Whitesides told reporters Wednesday at the Virgin Galactic facilities at Mojave Air and Space Port.

Whitesides said VSS Unity would try to fly higher than 50 miles (80 kilometers), which Virgin Galactic considers the boundary of space because it is used by the U.S. Air Force and other U.S. agencies.

That’s different than a long-held view that the boundary is at 62 miles (100 kilometers). Whitesides noted that recent research favors the lower altitude.

Test pilots Mark “Forger” Stucky and Rick “CJ” Sturckow were scheduled to be at the controls.

Virgin Galactic officials emphasized that it would be a test flight and there could be an array of reasons why it could end short of its goal or be aborted altogether.”…

The endeavor began in 2004 when Branson announced the founding of Virgin Galactic in the heady days after the flights of SpaceShipOne, the first privately financed manned spacecraft that made three flights into space. Branson’s goal: Open up space travel to more and more people.

Funded by the late billionaire Paul G. Allen and created by maverick aerospace designer Burt Rutan, SpaceShipOne won the $10 million Ansari X Prize. The prize was created to kick-start private development of rocket ships that would make spaceflight available to the public.

Branson isn’t alone in the space tourism business: Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin is planning to take space tourists on suborbital trips, using the more traditional method of a capsule atop a rocket that blasts off from a launch pad. SpaceX’s Elon Musk recently announced plans to take a wealthy Japanese entrepreneur and his friends on a trip around the moon…

Be seeing you

now what

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