The rocket-powered spacecraft took off in the morning after being lifted to an altitude of 13 km by a special ship consisting of two connected aircraft. From there, VSS Unity flew to the edge of Earth’s atmosphere about 88 km above Earth. In this way, it exceeded the US Air Force-sanctioned space limits, set at 50 miles, or roughly 80 km.
The billionaire from Great Britain will spend a few minutes weightless with five other crew members, after which the ship will begin to descend.
This is the first flight of a full-crew machine. Previously, the ship made three successful test flights.
The British billionaire’s journey can be traced and watched from the show below:
Defeated Branson Bezos
Branson announced his participation in the flight shortly after Bezos revealed that the fourth passenger on the New Shepherd flight – along with Bezos, his brother Mark and an anonymous buyer with a $28 million ticket – Potential astronaut will be 82-year-old Wally Funk, who, despite decades of efforts and training, has never been able to go into space. The woman also reserved a spot on the Branson machine nine years ago.
“I’d like Jeff to be there for take off and I’d like to watch him take off. It doesn’t really matter which of us will be first – Branson argued in an interview with CNN.
The race for both billionaires is forging a new avenue for space tourism, which so far only a few have used. Also attending the competition is SpaceX, another billionaire Elon Musk, who plans a commercial flight to lunar orbit in 2023, and in September this year – the first fully civilian manned flight into Earth orbit.
Source: Polsat News, NBC News, PAP
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