Space Tourism

Science • Space
Virgin Galactic reveals the cabin of SpaceShipTwo
The interior cabin of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo
The interior cabin of Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo Credit: Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic revealed the interior of its spaceplane on Tuesday. The cabin. a collaboration of Virgin Galactic with London design agency, Seymourpowell, has six tailored, teal-coloured seats and 12 cabin circular windows for astronauts to gaze at Earth from.

A ticket for the suborbital flight aboard the air-launched SpaceShipTwo costs $250,000.

Science • Space
Virgin Galactic flies second SpaceShipTwo test at New Mexico spaceport, clearing the way for powered spaceflight
SpaceShipTwo "Unity" at rollout event on 19 February 2016
SpaceShipTwo "Unity" at rollout event on 19 February 2016 Credit: Ronrosano (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Virgin Galactic completed the SpaceShipTwo's second glide flight test in New Mexico on Thursday. The unpowered flight went off without a hitch and saw the spacecraft hit new speeds, as the company presses ahead with its testing program at Spaceport America.

The company announced that after completing a data review of Thursday's flight, it will begin preparing for full rocket-powered test flights.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Virgin Galactic said it expected to begin commercial operations during summer, and announced to shareholders that the company goal is to be profitable by next year.

Science • Space
Space Perspective plans to take tourists to the stratosphere
Space Perspective plans to take tourists to the stratosphere
Credit: Space Perspective

Space Perspective wants to make space tourism happen. The company plans to transport up to 8 tourists in a high-altitude, hydrogen-filled balloon to the stratosphere to get a view from an altitude of 100,000 feet. The ballon, called "Spaceship Neptune", has a pressurized cabin and will include both a bar and a restroom.

Test flights with research equipment will start in 2021 and, if all goes well, tourists can board the Neptune in three and a half years.