Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson Plans Of Space Exploration

How do you guys feel about going to space? Almost everyone wants to experience the thrill of space and seeing the dark sea of space. What If you could go on your computer, book a ticket and then go to space. Well, that’s exactly the plan of Virgin Galactic in the coming years. Virgin galactic is planning to make commercialized space flight accessible to an average person. This might sound as a sci-fi fantasy but it’s actually going to be possible in the coming decade. Over the past decade Virgin Galactic has already been working on innovative aircraft and spacecraft to get us there and They have completed multiple successful test flights to space. So, what is Virgin Galactic’s future plan to go and take everyone to space? Well, we are going to know all about them in this video! Consider hitting like on this video for the algorithm, to keep make quality content like this for you. Virgin galactic was founded back in 2004 by two strong figures in aviation industry, Bert Rutan and Richard Branson. Bert Rutan is a brilliant aircraft designer often known for building light, efficient and sometimes strange looking aircrafts. He designed the Rutan Voyager in the 80’s which became the first plane to circumnavigate the globe without stopping or refueling. On the other hand, Richard Branson is no rookie either!! He founded the virgin group back in the 70’s which today encompasses over 400 companies in various different fields including the very famous Virgin Atlantic airline. In 2004, with Rutan’s knowledge of aircraft and Richard’s experience in business, the duo teamed up and formed Virgin galactic. The core idea and vision behind the company is that one day, an average consumer can just hop into a spacecraft, fly into the space and then return back to earth. It would be something like going for rides at ana amusement park, just with a very hefty price tag!! In its initial days the cost of going into space will be 250,000$ per person. But over a period of time the company plans to decrease the price and make it more affordable. The company says its eventual goal is also to establish earth orbiting hotels and science labs and eventually full space exploration. But let’s get back to earth for a little bit and talk about the present scenario of plans and missions by virgin galactic. The first question for any company in space exploration is, how are they actually going to accomplish it? Which launch vehicle or space shuttle will they use? Right now, the company is barely past the first step of making some flying machines for getting humans to space. To accomplish it, Virgin Galactic has designed a two craft system. It consists of a mother ship called White knight 2, that carries the actual spacecraft called Spaceship 2 up to an altitude of about 50,000 feet to give it a little boost. Spaceship 2 the separates from the mothership and completes the journey to the edge of the atmosphere. Then the gravity pulls the spaceship back to earth and it reenters the atmosphere and lands on its base. The white knight 2 is a 4-engine dual fuselage jet aircraft that flew initially back in 2010. It has a pretty impressive turnaround time and is able to complete four flights daily. But the part that will actually get you into space is spaceship 2. Spaceship two is a reusable winged spacecraft that can carry 8 people including 2 pilots. One of the ground-breaking aspects of the spaceship two is its feathered reentry system where it can rotate its wing backwards and actually create a shuttlecock effect on reentry and hence enabling the aircraft to achieve more aerodynamic drag to slow down while lowering the thermal load. In comparison to other aircrafts like the space shuttle which need to rely on heat shields on reentry, the aircraft is also allegedly so safe that it can enter the atmosphere at any angle. After the reentry the spacecraft acts as a glider and lands back to earth on its own. The previous prototypes White knight 1 and Spaceship 1 were much smaller versions and they served as the prototype for building the later models like Spaceship 2. But what about the experience as a private astronaut on spaceship 2, which is the main goal of virgin Galactic. Well for that you have to wait in line after the 8500 people who’ve already signed up for a flight and not only that it’s going to cost you 250 thousand dollars per ticket. The company says 600 people have already purchased tickets, including celebrities like Justin Bieber and Leonardo DiCaprio. When the logistics and Paperworks are all taken care of you will be ready to enroll in a three-day training course at the virgin Galactic Spaceport in New Mexico where you’ll receive guidance from senior astronauts about the systems on board and how to be an astronaut. Also, you’ll get medical and fitness program that you would have to follow. After this three-day training you’ll be finally ready to fly. You’ll be strapped into the spaceship two which will be attached to white knight two and soon you’ll be reaching an altitude of 50,000 feet. Minutes later you’ll be released form the mothership and rocket engines in spaceship will fire entering the spacecraft into a vertical climb, soon reaching a top speed of Mach3.5 and during this acceleration you will experience around 3.5 G’s. After just 70 seconds from the initial ejection the engines would be shut off and the spacecraft would be shut off and the spacecraft continues to climb using its remaining momentum at this point. Very close to peal altitude you start to experience weightlessness in microgravity for around six minutes. This happens just above the Karman line, 100 kilometers above the sea level. Eventually after some time the gravity starts to pulling the spacecraft back to earth and the crew has to change the wing configuration for reentry. After reentry the wings are put back to the normal position so that the plane can be a glider to land back at the spaceport. This entire process takes about two and a half hours. In 2020, there have already been multiple successful space test flights of the spaceship two. And this year in 2021, Virgin galactic has announced that Four mission specialists, including Branson, will be on board to evaluate the company’s astronaut experience in a space test flight. The six-passenger, two-pilot VSS Unity, one of Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo vehicles, flies brief missions to suborbital space. This will be the 22nd flight test for VSS Unity (hence the mission’s name) as well as the company’s fourth crewed spaceflight — and the first ever to carry a full crew of two pilots and four mission specialists, which include Branson, the company announced in the same statement. This amazing announcement has got everybody on their heels. Richard Branson is likely to beat Jeff Bezos, the founder of Blue Origin in the race to space who earlier announced his plans to go into space along with his brother on July 20th,2021. “I truly believe that space belongs to all of us. After more than 16 years of research, engineering, and testing, Virgin Galactic stands at the vanguard of a new commercial space industry, which is set to open space to humankind and change the world for good,” Branson said about the flight in the announcement statement. “It’s one thing to have a dream of making space more accessible to all; it’s another for an incredible team to collectively turn that dream into reality. As part of a remarkable crew of mission specialists, I’m honored to help validate the journey our future astronauts will undertake and ensure we deliver the unique customer experience people expect from Virgin,” he added. But you might be wondering why did it take so much time to send a fully crewed mission? Well spaceflight isn’t as easy as it seems. Also, a major roadblock in Virgin Galactic’s schedule was the tragic accident in October of 2014, when during a test flight, spaceship two broke apart in mud-air. Unfortunately, the copilot was killed and the pilot was seriously injured. NTSB the conducted an investigation and cited inadequate design safeguards, poor pilot training and lack of rigorous FAA oversight as the cause of the crash. This crash exposed a much broader failure in the design. The company then announced to improve upon its mistakes and not rely much on the pilots. Aside from commercial space tourism, Virgin Galactic also announced the development of a new orbital launch vehicle for small payloads. This rocket named Launcher One aims to take packages of around 200 kilograms into orbit. And recently in January 2021, Virgin Orbit became the third privately funded American rocket company to reach orbit—and the only one to a, a spin-off of Virgin galactic accomplish the feat from mid-air. This was only their second demonstration flight and it carried around Ten small CubeSats into orbit. The successful launch was a welcome win for the Virgin team, which has been buffeted by setbacks since its first attempt failed. It was aborted seconds after the launch due to a breakage in the propellant line because of which liquid oxygen wasn’t able to reach the engines. After these two successful attempts and an upcoming full-crewed test flight which is most probably going to be another huge success for the virgin group a question that arises for Richard Branson is- Will he be able to convert tis into a sustainable business? Since Virgin Orbit’s rocket is launched from a plane, it has an advantage in the customer market. It can take off from any airport in the world that will allow it, and can tailor the launch location to the customer’s orbital needs. A lot of people have already registered for their sub-orbital flights so it seems like a booming business opportunity for the Virgin Group. Now Virgin Orbit has joined the special club of orbital launch vehicles. But in the cutthroat world of launch services, it will ultimately be the market that decides whether the company gets to keep its membership. Virgin Orbits launcher one platform is unique because it is the first air launched orbital rocket that is liquid fueled. With this successful launch its slowly stepping into the arena of the likes of SpaceX, Blue origin and united launch alliance. Though Launcher One was originally designed to be deployed from White knight two as well but as the payloads grew heavier and heavier the duo would no longer be able to reach its original altitude. So instead, a Boeing 747 was used for the launch role. So, guys there you have it, Virgin Galactic in a nutshell. Virgin Galactic has got big plans for the future of space. From making space travel a possibility to taking payloads in space Virgin galactic has a big future ahead of itself. What do you think about flying into space? What would it feel like? How is it going to transform the meaning of space and traveling? What do you think about Virgin Galactic’s mission to make space travel accessible to everyone? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section down below.