We begin to have a more precise picture of the costs to be incurred to try a suborbital flight experience, and if on the one hand Tom Hanks has well explained that , even without suffering particular economic problems, spend it 23 Millions of dollars to travel with Blue Origin might be a bit excessive, on the other hand Virgin Galactic ticket sales are booming.
The company has recently released data relating to the financial results of the third quarter 2021, taking the opportunity to take stock of ticket sales for a suborbital flight aboard its VSS class spacecraft. Virgin has set itself the goal of achieving 1000 reservations before the official launch of its tourist space flight service and apparently it is not very far from centering it despite the fact that the price of each single ticket has been definitively revised upwards compared to the initials 250. 000 dollars required with first bookings.
The price has been set at 450. 000 dollars with a deposit of $ 100. 000, from which $ 25. 000 non-refundable and on balance they are already 700 customers to have joined the booking phase. But of course, it’s not all plain sailing for the aerospace company and in the face of entering for $ 2.6 million in the third quarter of 2021, a total loss of was recorded millions of dollars, down from 94 millions of dollars reported in the second quarter of the same year.
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Virgin Galactic planned to complete Unity test mission 23 with three members of the Italian Air Force on board, but After a supplier reported a potential manufacturing defect in a component of the flight control actuation system in September, the company announced a revision of the development program.
We have chosen to upgrade the VSS Unity spacecraft and this will take between 8 and months, therefore no flight until the second half of 2022. But we are already working on new models and last March the new VSS Imagine was presented with mirror livery and revised thermal protection, but to see it in flight we will have to wait until at least 2023. And that’s not all, we are already working on a later model called VSS Inspire, for which no specific details are known at the moment.
For those who have never followed a Virgin Galactic launch sequence it must be said that the approach is very different from that of missions based on the use of classic rockets. The VSS spacecraft is initially transported to km in height. Once the maximum altitude has been reached, the crew can experience a few minutes in microgravity conditions and then the return to Earth maneuver begins. The founder of Virgin Galactic himself, Richard Branson, wanted to inaugurate the first trip with a full crew and those who want to review the entire event can do so at this link.