VSS Imagine: Virgin Galactic's newest spaceship
VSS Imagine: Virgin Galactic's newest spaceship
3:57

VSS Imagine: Virgin Galactic's newest spaceship

Science
It's official. Virgin Galactic now has a fleet. Thanks to its shiny new spaceship. It's been more than a decade, since Richard Branson's space tourism company, Introduce us to a new class of spaceship. Will this be the one to finally get tourists into space. [MUSIC] On Tuesday at spaceport in New Mexico? Virgin galactic, open the doors for the VSS. Imagine the first space plane in the company's new class of spaceship, three vehicles, Branson of course, remotely delivered remarks for the occasion.>>Huge congratulations to our spaceship builders and brilliant engineers and technicians. But what this stream? So magnificent. Simply to live. I hope for all those who travel on this station is that it will offer new horizons fresh perspectives and spark ideas or bring positive change to our beautiful planet. Fun fact that future virgin astronaut de Chester towing the spacecraft in her astronaut edition Range Rover. I didn't know that was a thing. Apparently it is Google and if you want to know more, also worth noting future astronaut is how virgin refers to its paying customers. They're not like NASA astronauts. You'll notice it looks pretty different than versions of most recent craft the VSS unity Most notably is imagines shiny near like exterior, the company says that's designed to reflect the spaceships surrounding environment as it travels from earth to sky to space and in addition to providing thermal protection Virgin says the material is quote naturally appealing to the human eye Reflecting our inherent human fascination with space, and the transformative experience of spaceflight. Also, unlike the Unity the spaceship three class has a modular design that should make maintenance and production a lot quicker and easier. And that's going to be key for virgins goal of flying 400 flights per year per spaceport. Now, like unity imagine is designed to be carried to about 50,000 feet by another aircraft. At that point, it's dropped and the spacecraft rocket blasted into some orbital space. That's where passengers will experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the curve of the earth. All for a price tag of about a quarter of a million dollars per seat. Now both the Imagine and unity are designed to carry two pilots and six passengers virgin says imagine will begin ground test soon with the goal of unpowered glider flights this summer and it's already started production on its second spaceship three class vehicle, which it's calling inspire. Meanwhile virgin is planning on a third sub portable test flight for unity this may that will be the first converges location in New Mexico, which is also its commercial hub. unities last test flight was scrapped in December because of computer problem and the pilots were able to safely land [MUSIC] So there's still no exact timetable for when any space passengers are actually going to go up. But about 600 people have already reserved their seats. And of course, there's other players in this game. You've got Blue Origin, you've got SpaceX And then there's that company space perspective that wants to take people to the edge of space and a balloon. Okay? All that being said, Who do you think is going to be the first company but the space tourists actually in the space? If you think virgin is going to do it, but a plane in the comments, I think SpaceX will do it. Put a rocket in there. Feather for Blue Origin and put a balloon in their space perspective is going to do it. As always, thanks so much for watching. I'm Andy altman. Don't forget to like and subscribe. I'll see you in the future.

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