Virgin Galactic shows off new spaceship: Stephen Hawking says would love to fly on it
MOJAVE, Calif. – Billionaire businessman Sir Richard Branson led Virgin Galactic has come out with a new version of its SpaceShipTwo space tourism rocket yesterday. The serial enterpriser who has been talking about making space tourism a reality said that his company is all set to start flight testing once again.
His company suffered a huge jolt in the year 2014 when an accident actually destroyed the original craft. The accident had killed the pilot and badly impacted his plan for space tourism.
The launch was a great event and mesmerized audience who were gathered to witness it and watched in awe as a Land Rover with Virgin Galactic founder Sir Richard Branson standing through the sunroof pulled the ship in front of people at Southern California’s Mojave Air & Space Port.
In the meantime Branson got kudos from none other than Stephen Hawkins who said that he will love to travel in the ship. The astrophysicist, who attended the grand unveiling, said: “A man with the vision and persistence to open up space flight for ordinary, earth-bound citizens, Richard Branson made it his mission to make space flight a reality for those intrepid enough to venture beyond the boundaries of the earth’s atmosphere.
While talking about it Hawkins said, “I have had ALS for over 50 years now and, while I have no fear of adventure, others do not always take the same view. If I am able to go – and if Richard will still take me, I would be very proud to fly on this spaceship. Space exploration has already been a great unifier – we seem able to cooperate between nations in space in a way we can only envy on earth. We are entering a new space age and I hope this will help to create a new unity.” Prof Hawking named the new vehicle Virgin Spaceship (VSS) Unity.
The ship is the most talked about things right now in the science world. The ship is the size of a small corporate jet. It was named Virgin Spaceship Unity at the suggestion of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking, whom Branson promised a free ride into space. SpaceShipTwo is designed to be flown by a crew of two and carry up to six passengers on a high-speed suborbital flight to the fringes of space. At an altitude above 62 miles, passengers will experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the Earth below.
There is no denying the fact that after years of development, Virgin Galactic appeared to be nearing the goal of turning ordinary civilians into astronauts when the first SpaceShipTwo broke apart on Oct. 31, 2014, during its fourth rocket-powered flight. Wreckage fell to the Mojave Desert floor. “When we had the accident, for about 24 hours we were wondering whether it was worth continuing, whether we should call it a day,” Branson told The Associated Press. He said engineers, astronauts and members of the public helped convince him that space travel is too important to give up on.