Virgin Galactic II makes first successful manned voyage into space, Branson calls it “the full experience of a lifetime”

British billionaire and Virgin founder Richard Branson lifted off from a launch site in New Mexico on Sunday (July 11) aboard the Virgin Galactic SpaceShip II, successfully conducting the first manned test flight into space, setting a milestone for future commercial travel.

Branson said while traveling in space, the space flight is “the full experience of a lifetime”, “now I’m looking down on a beautiful spaceport”.

“The Virgin Galactic spaceplane flew for four minutes in microgravity in a suborbital trajectory of up to 88 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. The test flight from liftoff to landing was originally estimated at about 90 minutes.

After an hour-long liftoff, flight and return mission, it successfully landed on a runway in New Mexico, capping off the company’s fourth space flight.

Branson was one of six people on the flight, along with two pilots and three specialists. Before liftoff, Branson said the flight would open a new era of commercial space travel.

However, the cost of commercial space flight is far from the average person can afford, is expected to be about $ 250,000 per space flight ticket. Despite this, there are many people who wish to make a space flight, and hundreds of wealthy people have already booked tickets for the flight.

According to UBS estimates, the space travel market will likely reach $3 billion in 2030.

Trials of space flight have not always been smooth; in 2014, a Virgin Galactic prototype crashed in California’s Mojave Desert during a test flight, killing one pilot and seriously injuring another.

Branson’s personal participation in Sunday’s test flight is believed to be an attempt to allay public concerns about the safety of space travel. If all goes well with the flight, commercial flights will begin next year.

Space flight is considered to be the cutting edge of air travel, which has attracted people with space dreams in mind, especially billionaires. It is believed that Amazon founder Bezos will take off on the 20th of this month on a new Shepard (New Shepard) rocket developed by his company, Blue Origin, for a suborbital space flight. Another billionaire, Tesla’s founder Musk plans to take off on a SpaceX rocket in September this year, a space trip. Previously, SpaceX rockets have made several cargo and manned flights to the International Space Station for NASA.