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Virgin Galactic Moves Closer To Sending Tourists To Space

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Virgin Galactic
Virgin Galactic's Spaceport America travel lounge. Source: Architecture Lab

Billionaire and philanthropist Sir Richard Branson seems to be fully invested in making space tourism a reality… and soon enough. After successfully trying out the new VMS Eve carrier spacecraft, Virgin Galactic revealed its new futuristic travel lounge in the New Mexico desert.

The spaceport, dubbed  “Gateway to space” located at Virgin’s Spaceport America campus was built large enough to house the company’s spacecraft and training facilities and will be the “nerve centre” for flight operations. The lounge will also be used to accommodate future astronauts and rocket engineers as well as a place to pass the time of day with the team from Mission Control.

virgin galactic

The Gaia lounge at Gateway to Space. Source: Virgin Galactic

Moreover, Virgin Galactic has been aggressive enough with the project by carrying out various test flights including the first successful launch of its tourism rocket plane into space in December last year.

To make the company even more motivated in going ahead with the plans, 600 civilians so far have already booked the $250,000-tickets for a 2.5-hour ride with Sir Branson planned to be the first tourist to fly into space.

Virgin galactic

Virgin Galactic’s Spaceflight System prepares for flight at Spaceport America. Source: Virgin Galactic

Not much is known about the exact date when all this will happen but it only goes to show the determination that entrepreneurs other than Richard Branson have in making sure that space exploration and tourism is a success, breaking down the history barrier no matter what the cost.

However, one would beg to ask what measures are being taken by these companies to make sure that the lucky civilians are in the best state of mind to fly out of this planet and come back in at least the same condition. After all, flying to space is not the same as taking a flight to another country.

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