Virgin Galactic reaches a height of 90km with first space passenger

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Virgin Galactic has reached an altitude of 89.9 km with a ‘test passenger’ aboard the spaceship SpaceShipTwo VSS Unity. This means that space has been made available in accordance with the standard used by the American Air Force. This is the first time a passenger has flown.

Virigin Galactic reports on Twitter that as a passenger on the VSS Unity, astronaut Beth Moses became the 571st person ever to travel to space on Friday. She is the highest-ranking astronaut instructor in Richard Branson’s company and experienced weightlessness during flight for some time. It is the first time that a third person has joined the SpaceShipTwo instead of the usual two pilots.

The reached altitude of 89.9 km is more than 7 km higher than the flight of December 13 last year, with SpaceShipTwo reaching space for the first time with an altitude of 82.7 km. On its way to space, the spacecraft reached a speed of Mach 3.

Friday’s flight was the fifth powered, supersonic test flight. The first powered tests began in 2018, with the spacecraft reaching altitudes of 25.7 consecutively in April, May, July and December; 34.9; 52 and 82.7 kilometers.

Virgin Galactic maintains the standard of the US Air Force when it comes to the boundary of space. This unit of the United States Armed Forces considers anything above 50 miles as space. This deviates from the Kármán line, the 100-kilometer boundary, which is internationally regarded as the beginning of space.

The company is reportedly set to start flying into space with paying customers by the end of this year. A tourist has to pay $250,000 for a ticket. Richard Branson previously said he plans to make his own maiden flight on July 16, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 launch.

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