Adventurists around the world are now lining up for Virgin Galactic tourist flights into space, but in the near future, the company could also be rocketing people around the globe.
The company said in February that it wants to build a fleet of vehicles that could transport passengers from Los Angeles to Tokyo in just two hours, and from New York to London in one.
It’s already working on the technology at its headquarters at the Mojave Air and Space Port in California. That’s where The Spaceship Co., Virgin Galactic’s subsidiary, built the first VSS Unity passenger rocket and the VMS Eve mothership, which are both in New Mexico now doing test flights to prepare for commercial launch.
Once operational, Eve will carry the Unity on its underbelly to about 45,000 feet, at which point the spaceship detaches from the carrier plane and fires its motors to shoot into space at more than 50 miles up.
The Spaceship Co. is now building more rockets and motors to join the Unity and Eve in New Mexico. But alongside those efforts, it’s laying the groundwork for superfast Earth-bound planes, drawing in good part on the knowledge and technological advances achieved through 16 years of research and development of commercial spaceships.
Support your local Albuquerque Journal & Kevin Robinson-Avila SUBSCRIBE NOW cancel anytime