Comments

  1. Randy says

    While this looks exciting, I would want to go higher. It’s not necessary to actually enter orbit, but I would want to be at low-Earth-orbit altitude, which is still about 7x further up, I think.

  2. Critifur says

    I want to go into space (into orbit and further) and I would love to take a suborbital trip on Virgin Galactic as well. I probably will never be able to afford any of it.

  3. Ed says

    I’ve often wondered why all space travel doesn’t begin this way, instead of with the dangerous and clumsy straight-up-off-the-launchpad approach. Anybody know?

  4. says

    Actually, piloted space travel, in the form of the Air Force’s X-15 rocket-powered research plane, began around the same time as the Mercury-Redstone missile flights in the early Sixties. Unlike the Mercury program, the X-15 was carried aloft by a bomber, released into the stratosphere, and flew into space, reaching altitudes comparable to those the Virgin Galactic craft is expected to achieve. What set the X-15 apart from Mercury, was the fact that the aircraft/spacecraft was controlled by its pilot from release to landing, usually on the natural runways of Rogers Dry Lake at Edwards AFB. Rutan and company are recreating the concept for their commercial flights, with Branson hinting that one day, you’ll be able to fly Virgin Galactic to a destination city, through space. Very cool!

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