Twelve portholes, 16 cameras and a large mirror at the back of the cabin to admire: the society of space tourism Virgin Galactic has presented on Tuesday the inside of the ship and it will take you at a date still undetermined, of the passengers who can pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to float a few minutes to the border of the space.
The company founded by british billionaire Richard Branson, and now publicly traded, has continued to push back the date of its first commercial flight, but its leaders have assured recently that it was only a matter of months. Several test flights have yet to be held, said a responsible person on Tuesday, before Richard Branson takes place himself to the brink.
Inside the cabin, which will have six seats in addition to the two pilots, was designed to maximize the view of the Earth.
A reporter of the AFP visited in virtual reality, with a headset provided by the company. Every seat is close to a large oval window, and a camera is fixed on each of these portholes, so that the passenger can be caught in a photo with the Earth in the background, without needing to take out his own camera.
Passengers will be able to detach their belts in order to float, and other windows, piercing the ceiling of the cabin will offer a spectacular view on the globe, in the middle of a black sky.
Six hundred customers who have paid up to $ 250,000, which the company calls “future astronauts”, have been waiting for years to take place aboard the SpaceShipTwo, but development has been delayed by a fatal accident in 2014, when a false manipulation of one of the two drivers has led to disintegration of the device in the volume
The ship will be first raised by a special plane and dropped in altitude. After a few seconds, the ship, half plane, half rocket, will ignite its engine for a climb at supersonic speed, with an acceleration of 3.5 g, which is three and a half times the gravity of the earth.
Then he cut it, which will create a feeling of weightlessness for several minutes, the time that the device reaches its peak, at an altitude of a little over 80 km, and begins its descent towards the Earth, like a cannonball. It will hover until landing at the Spaceport America built by the company in the desert of New Mexico.
As to the price for new customers, “we will see probably a small increase,” conceded Tuesday George Whitesides, “director of space” Virgin Galactic, during a virtual press conference.