Congratulations to the entire Virgin Galactic engineering team and personally to Richard Branson for a job well done. Spaceplane
They still did not cross the Karman Line, although earlier prototypes of the spaceplane rose to an altitude of about 112-114 km. At the same time, judging by the video, at the moment of the turn at the apogee, the Unity 22 crew experienced several seconds of weightlessness.
What does the successful completion of this flight give? The main PR plus of this flight was the presence on board of the head of the company himself, which confirmed the reliability of the system. Richard Branson is the first of the tech billionaires who personally experienced his company’s ship. And even when Jeff Bezos on his ship rises to an altitude of more than 100 km on July 20, he will still be the second. Well, we will be waiting for Ilona Mask and Dmitry Rogozin’s space flights.
Of course, the flight of Unity 22 will attract new space tourists for Virgin Galactic who will want to pay for such a dizzying attraction, but most importantly, it will attract new investors, whose money will go to the development of the company’s space program, and probably to create a real spacecraft, probably in the form -factor «Dream Chaser». The Nasdaq is now closed on Sunday, but my guess is that Virgin Galactic will jump sharply higher on Monday.
I suppose that today’s flight will open a new page in the space industry, and in addition to the existing players, new ones will want to come to this field. Probably among them, of course, will be the Chinese. As for the Russian moneybags, then I strongly doubt it. The level of their consciousness did not rise above the plinth, or rather above the side of the next giant yacht, with which they measure themselves against each other. There is no surprise here, because this is the genesis of the nouveau riche of the 90s.
After the successful flight, Richard Branson personally and the entire Virgin Galactic team were congratulated on the completion of the mission by friends, including #Ilon Musk, as well as colleagues and competitors, in particular #Jeff Bezos.
But the most interesting, for me personally, was the tweet from the head of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin. He almost exactly repeated my thought, which I wrote in the postscript …
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