Skip to content
Home ยป Virgin Galactic Flight Has Opened A New Chapter In The Story Of Aviation

Virgin Galactic Flight Has Opened A New Chapter In The Story Of Aviation

It is just 120 years since the Wright brothers strapped themselves to a rickety powered glider and flew all of 36 metres.

Now flying is so routine we barely give it a thought.

But Virgin Galactic has opened a new chapter in the story of aviation, taking its first tourists into space in a plane that’s far sleeker, yet still familiar to anyone jetting back from their summer holiday.

Read more: Space launch – as it happened

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

1:21

Watch space tourists experience weightlessness The Unity spaceship has wings, an engine and a passenger cabin.

It takes off from a runway – albeit slung beneath the wing of a larger aircraft – and climbs to a cruising altitude before detaching and racing away to space.

Blue Origin, the company founded by Amazon owner Jeff Bezos, already takes tourists to space in a traditional rocket.

It’s certainly an authentic astronaut experience, but it’s a bone-shaking ride through the dense lower atmosphere and not for the faint hearted.

A space plane is a far gentler journey to the heavens.

Rocket or space plane, a ticket to ride is well beyond the means of most of us.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

1:03

Space flight exceeded my wildest dreams’ But then so were the first holiday flights in traditional aircraft.

It’s only with the dawn of charter flights that prices really came down.

The space tourism industry will surely find ways of making similar efficiencies.

You don’t have to look too far into the future – certainly not another 120 years – to see spaceports regularly launching day trippers for an experience of lifetime.