Tag Archives: Galactic

News: Branson blasts off with Virgin Galactic

Virgin Galactic has successfully flown founder Richard Branson into space for the first time.

The VSS Unity successfully reached space, completing the fourth rocket-powered spaceflight from the company.

The crew fulfilled a number of test objectives related to the cabin and customer experience, including evaluating the commercial customer cabin, the views of Earth from space, the conditions for conducting research and the effectiveness of the five-day pre-flight training program at Spaceport America.

Michael Colglazier, chief executive of Virgin Galactic, said: “Today is a landmark achievement for the company and a historic moment for the new commercial space industry.

“With each successful mission we are paving the way for the next generation of astronauts.

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“I want to thank our talented team, including our pilots and crew, whose dedication and commitment made today possible.

“They are helping open the door for greater access to space – so it can be for the many and not just for the few.”

VSS Unity achieved a speed of Mach three after being released from the mothership, VMS Eve.

The vehicle reached space, at an altitude of 53.5 miles, before gliding smoothly to a runway landing at Spaceport America.

This moment for Virgin Galactic and Branson was witnessed by audiences around the world.

Branson said: “I have dreamt about this moment since I was a child, but nothing could have prepared me for the view of Earth from space.

“We are at the vanguard of a new space age.”

Virgin Galactic stock sinks on plan to sell up to $500m in shares

Virgin Galactic filed to sell as much as $ 500m in shares after founder Richard Branson’s successful flight to suborbital space on Sunday.

Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. filed to sell as much as $ 500 million in shares following a rocket-powered test flight by founder Richard Branson that won Wall Street praise as a “marketing coup.”

The success of the hour-long mission to more than 50 miles (80 kilometers) above Earth boosted Virgin Galactic’s plan to start offering tourism trips next year. But the shares tumbled the most in almost seven months after the disclosure Monday of the potential stock sale, which suggested the company’s need for additional funds as it prepares its commercial debut.

“Welcome to the dawn of a new space age,” Branson told guests Sunday at the Spaceport America complex near the town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

Branson’s achievement is a “massive marketing coup” for Virgin Galactic that will be hard for the general public to ignore, Canaccord Genuity analyst Ken Herbert said in a research note. “The challenge now will be for the company to maintain the momentum and establish a flight plan in 2022 that can demonstrate a repeatable and increasing commercial launch cadence.”

Virgin Galactic plunged 17% to $ 40.69 at the close in New York, the biggest decline since Dec. 14. The volatile shares, which have seesawed in recent weeks, doubled this year through July 9 as the company got its test-flight program back on track.

Virgin Galactic plans to begin working through a backlog of around 600 confirmed customers in early 2022. The company has said it will resume ticket sales after the summer’s test flights, with executives saying that fares will be higher than the prior price of $ 250,000 a seat.

A price of $ 300,000 should be attainable, suggested Will Whitehorn, a former president of Virgin Galactic who helped establish the company.

“Now that it works, I think they’ll be able to sell it at a premium,” he said.

Blue Origin

The suborbital journey kicks off a landmark month for the future of space tourism, with Branson demonstrating Virgin Galactic’s capabilities nine days before Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos plans to fly on a rocket made by Blue Origin, his space venture. Both companies envision businesses catering to wealthy tourists willing to pay top dollar for a short period of weightlessness and an unforgettable view of the Earth and heavens.

Virgin Galactic’s test flight demonstrated that such trips – once the stuff of science fiction – are becoming increasingly realistic.

While mostly accessible only to a tiny number of super-wealthy customers, they would add a new dimension to a burgeoning industry of private-sector space companies with plans for voyages to the International Space Station and new human outposts.

Branson and his fellow crew members experienced a few minutes of weightlessness as the Unity reached its peak altitude.

“So I looked out the window and the view is just stunning,” operations engineer Colin Bennett said afterward. “It’s very Zen; it’s very kind of peaceful up there as well.”

Branson, who founded Virgin Galactic in 2004, said the memories of seeing the Earth from space will stay with him.

“I’m never going to be able to do it justice,” he said. “It’s indescribably beautiful.”

(Updates shares in fifth paragraph)

–With assistance from Blaise Robinson, Ksenia Galouchko, Christopher Jasper, Esha Dey and Tony Robinson.

The Virgin Galactic founder became the first billionaire

The Virgin Galactic founder became the first billionaire to reach suborbital flight in his own rocket-powered plane. He called it ‘the experience of a lifetime.’

Getting Richard Branson to space is a two-step process — and frankly, it’s weird.

If you know anything about quirky aerospace visionary Burt Rutan and his early involvement in Virgin Galactic, you’ll understand why.

There are no NASA-esque rocket towers or launch pads being used here.

SpaceShipTwo is a winged, rocket-powered spaceplane that takes off from an airport runway, attached beneath the conjoined wings of a mammoth mothership, called WhiteKnightTwo, which is essentially a twin-fuselage airplane. That must sound strange, and that’s because it is indeed a very strange looking setup:

The Virgin Galactic founder became the first billionaire
SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity flies in New Mexico airspace in October 2020. Virgin Galactic

The two vehicles fly conjoined up to about 50,000 feet altitude, at which point the spacecraft, with its four occupants inside, drops from its mothership. SpaceShipTwo’s single rocket motor will fire up as soon as the spacecraft detaches in order to blast the vehicle up to nearly 300,000 feet in just one minute.

If all goes according to plan, of course. Though Virgin Galactic has successfully sent a crew to the edge of outer space three times, it was forced to abort a test as recently as December of 2020, when the rocket failed to ignite.

Here’s an overview of the flight path Virgin Galactic previously shared:

SpaceShipTwo, controlled by two pilots, can house up to eight paying passengers in its cabin, offering them panoramic views of the Earth and the star-speckled expanse of the cosmos through its twelve circular windows.

The SpaceShipTwo that will be used for today’s flight is VSS Unity, the only SpaceShipTwo that has previously flown to space.

Virgin Galactic moves one step closer to commercial space flights

Virgin Galactic moves one step closer to commercial space flights© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Virgin Galactic rocket plane, the WhiteKnightTwo carrier airplane, with SpaceShipTwo passenger craft takes off from Mojave Air and Space Port in Mojave, California, U.S., February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Gene Blevins/File Photo

(Reuters) – Flying at Mach 3 and reaching more than 55 miles above the Earth Saturday, British billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s private spaceship company Virgin Galactic Holdings (NYSE:) Inc completed its first manned space flight from its new home port in New Mexico.

This is a milestone in Branson’s near two-decades effort to create a commercial “spaceline” to take paying customers into outer space.

Touted as the first human spaceflight from the state, Branson’s SpaceShipTwo craft lifted off in the desert about 45 miles northeast of Las Cruces, New Mexico, about 10:35 a.m.

About 50 minutes later, traveling at more than 2,300 miles an hour, it reached a height NASA recognizes as space and attained suborbital flight status.

“Welcome to space” the company posted on Twitter.

Branson shared videos of the flight on social media and said on Twitter, “Delighted to be on the flightline to Virgin Galactic’s first human spaceflight from the majestic Spaceport America.”

On the flight deck were CJ Sturckow and Dave Mackay who reached space, while Kelly Latimer and Michael Masucci piloted a carrier plane that helped the craft lift off, the company said.

The space plane, which can hold six passengers, glided to a landing on a runway safely with its two pilots about 11:45 a.m.

“The crew experienced extraordinary views of the bright, blue-rimmed curvature of the earth against the blackness of space … Their experience today gives Virgin Galactic’s future Astronaut customers a glimpse of what lies ahead,” the company said in a release.

Branson founded the company in 2004 and this is the third time his company reported reaching space.

The Washington Post reported that this flight comes at a critical time for Branson as his space venture is facing competition from billionaire Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, the Amazon (NASDAQ:) founder’s own efforts to create a commercial spaceline.

Saturday’s flight is the first time Branson’s crafts have reached space in more than two years, when the company moved its operations from Mojave, California, to New Mexico.

Michael Colglazier, the CEO of Virgin Galactic, said in a statement: “Today’s flight showcased the inherent elegance and safety of our spaceflight system, while marking a major step forward for both Virgin Galactic and human spaceflight in New Mexico.”

By Rich McKay

Author: Reuters
This post originally appeared on Stock Market News

Disney shares first look at its ‘real’ lightsaber coming to Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel

Disney shares first look

In honor of Star Wars Day, Disney released a first look at its new realistic lightsaber.

The lightsaber was created by Walt Disney Imagineering Research and Development and will make its debut in 2022 as part of Disney World’s Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel.

The hotel is expected to be an “all-immersive, two-night vacation” experience where, according to Disney Parks Blog, fans will be “plunged into a Star Wars story where your decisions and actions – or even the casual conversations you may have — determine how your personal journey unfolds.”

RELATED | Star Wars immersive hotel to open at Walt Disney World in 2022

While Disney hasn’t confirmed if the lightsabers will be available for purchase, it does promise an experience in a galaxy, far, far away that Star Wars fans will never forget.

For a closer look at the Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Hotel click here.

The Walt Disney Company is the parent company this station.

The video in the media player above is from previous coverage.

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Author: OTRC

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