Virgin Galactic Reaches New Heights in Commercial Space Travel

By: Morgan Sharbaugh

Virgin Galactic, a commercial space travel company led by Richard Branson, went on its first flight in December 2018, then on February 22 the spaceship VSS Unity made the highest flight yet.

While carrying three people, two pilots and a third crew member, VSS Unity flew at mach 3.4 and reached 295,007 ft. The pilots, Dave Mckay and Michael Masucci, became commercial astronauts and the 569th and 570th people in space. The third crew member, Beth Moses, Chief Astronaut Instructor for Virgin Galactic, became the 571st person in space, and the first woman in space on a commercial travel ship.

Virgin Galactic has gone on five excursions into the final frontier, with this most recent one being the furthest one yet. At supersonic speeds the VSS Unity went 56 miles into our atmosphere, resting in a suborbital location. This flight proves that commercial passengers can make it into space, assuming they can afford the cost at $250,000 per passenger.

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