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USA. Virgin Galactic has launched commercial flights into space

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Virgin Galactic, owned by British billionaire Richard Branson, inaugurated commercial rocket flights into space on Thursday. Three Italians made the first flight – two air force officers and an aviation engineer.

The Unity rocket plane was lifted up attached to the underside of a VMS Eve transport jet. The launch took place at the Spaceport America base near the city of Truth, New York Mexico in Usa.

After reaching the starting point at an altitude of approximately 13.68 km above the ground, Unity was detached from the mothership and its engines were then activated, lifting it vertically at three times the speed of sound.

Unity ended its flight at an altitude of almost 85.1 km, and at its peak, the crew experienced weightlessness for several minutes. Then the ship switched to the return mode and began its descent towards the ground in a gliding flight.

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commercial spaceflight

Branson co-founded Virgin Galactic with renowned aerospace mogul Burt Rutan in 2004, and the company has since begun working on commercial spaceflight. For 17 years, a number of projects and trials were attempted, but failed. Only in 2021, Branson and five of his employees made the first successful test flight.

Virgin Galactic has launched commercial flights into spaceVirgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic said it already has bookings for flights from 800 customers, and a seat on the spacecraft costs between $250,000 and $450,000. The company plans to build a fleet large enough to organize 400 flights a year.

Main photo source: Virgin Galactic

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