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Virgin Galactic presents its new space tourism vessel

The company unveiled its new aircraft for space tourism yesterday. Called VSS Imagine, this new kind of vehicle should be able to welcome its first passengers by next year.

Crédits Virgin Galactic

At a time when the health situation prevents us from moving more than 10 km from our home, space tourism has never been so popular. On the sidelines of Elon Musk and his company SpaceX, which plans to send the first tourists to the Moon by 2023 thanks to the private program DearMoon, it is towards the Virgin Galactic company that all eyes have been turning for a few days. Yesterday, the company unveiled its all-new suborbital tourism aircraft, the VSS Imagine. Based on a modular design, this spacecraft is the third SpaceShip model developed by the company. Its mirrored coating should offer better thermal protection to travelers, says the company in an official statement.

With two new VSS in its fleet, Virgin Galactic The first glide ground tests should begin by this summer, from Spaceport America’s base in New Mexico (United States). Several test flights are then expected to follow later this year, as the company expects its first commercial sightseeing cruises from 2022.

Despite a constantly pushed back schedule for the first trips of Virgin Galactic, the company does not lack ambition. Ultimately, the objective will be to offer 400 to 500 commercial flights per year, or more than one per day. An objective which will undoubtedly have to be accompanied by a significant reduction in the tariffs applied by the company. Sir Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group has already expressed the wish to make the services of his company more accessible. Good news, when we know that tickets are currently being snapped up at nearly 250 000$, or just over € 213,000.

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