Space tourism is getting closer. The United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has authorized Virgin Galactic to carry passengers into space.
According to the company, It is the first time that a license to transport passengers has been issued. Therefore, this serves to validate your “methodical testing program, which meets the criteria imposed by the FAA” and in CNBC reveal that to obtain that license Virgin had to complete a 29-step program, which included a test flight carried out on May 22.
On that flight, everything worked without any complications; the rocket reached Mach 3 speed, the equivalent of three times the speed of sound (3,704 km / h or 2,301 mph). According to Virgin Galactic, the rocket’s controls and systems worked as expected, without a hitch.
What is coming now for Virgin are three new test flights, which will run this same 2021. And if all goes well, one of those flights will take Richard Branson, the owner of the company, into space. The company expects that to happen in the middle of this year and it is speculated that it could be in early July, in an attempt to launch before Jeff Bezos in his Blue Origin.
Because the current race for commercial flights into space seems to be reserved for billionaires. On July 20, the Amazon CEO will launch on the New Shepard, a test flight that will last just 10 minutes. And maybe Virgin Galactic is interested in anticipating such an event, at least symbolically.
Everything indicates then that in 2022, the first space tourists will be able to get on ships and know what is happening outside the planet; As long as they have the $ 250,000 that a ticket costs, of course.