The never-seen-before interior of the Virgin Galactic spaceplane was revealed during an online event on Tuesday, July 28. The sleek cabin has been designed with microgravity in mind, allowing enough space to allow each astronaut to experience free float weightlessness. SpaceShipTwo will carry up to six hopeful astronauts and two pilots, on brief excursions into suborbital space.
Billionaire Sir Richard Branson said: “When we created Virgin Galactic, we started with what we believed would be an optimal customer experience and then built the spaceship around it.
“We will continue with that ethos as we expand our fleet, build our operations and underpin Virgin Galactic’s position as the spaceline for Earth.
“This cabin has been designed specifically to allow thousands of people like you and me to achieve the dream of spaceflight safely – and that is incredibly exciting.”
The cabin comes with six individually sized and reclining seats.
Virgin Galactic news: The cabin of the SpaceshipTwo VSS Unity
Virgin Galactic news: The seats can be reclined to open up the cabin for free float
The seats are all remotely controlled by the spaceplane’s pilots to manage the G-forces experienced during launch and atmospheric reentry.
When in space, the seats can be retracted to open up the cabin into an “unrestricted float zone”.
Virgin Galactic has paid extra attention to remove all jagged and sharp surfaces from the inside that could prove to be a problem during weightlessness.
There are further plans to install a large mirror in the cabin that will allow the astronauts to see themselves while weightless.
Virgin Galactic news: The passenger seats are all individually sized
We will continue with that ethos as we expand our fleet
Automated mood lighting around the cabin will change throughout each phase of the flight to enhance the experience.
Then, when the Earth comes into view of the spaceplane, all lighting will be killed to highlight the pitch-black darkness of space.
On top of it all, 16 cameras positioned around the spacecraft will give its passengers ample opportunity to document the voyage.
The cameras will snap crisp pictures and high-definition videos to immortalise the once-in-a-lifetime experience.
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Virgin Galactic news: The spaceplane will be carried high in the atmosphere before firing its engine
Virgin Galactic news: The company is yet to fly a paid customer into space
Michael Colglazier, CEO of Virgin Galactic said: “In just my second week as Virgin Galactic’s CEO, it is with great pride that I can lead our talented teams in revealing this latest milestone in our journey to space.
“The spaceship cabin interior is in many ways the design centrepiece of the astronaut journey and what has been created will both facilitate and elevate a uniquely profound and transformational journey for the thousands who will fly.”
However, the experience comes with a hefty price – £193,000 ($ 250,000) per ticket.
About 600 people have already booked a seat on Virgin Galactic’s spaceplane.
But the company is yet to fly a single paying customer into space.
The VSS Unity has so far completed two suborbital test flights, in 2019 and 2018 respectively.
On its first suborbital flight, VSS Unity became the first American spacecraft to carry astronauts into space from US soil since the Space Shuttle was retired in 2011.
Two years later, the rival company SpaceX carried the first US astronauts into orbit from US soil since 2011.
Virgin Galactic’s spaceplane will launch and land at Spaceport America in Las Cruces, New Mexico, US.