We’re just 18 months on from 2014’s fatal Virgin Galactic disaster, but the dream of passenger space-travel is still very much alive.
Sir Richard Branson is due to unveil the new Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo later today.
The billionaire announced his intentions on Good Morning Britain, confirming an imminent major reveal set to take place in California, USA.
The new SpaceShipTwo is designed as a passenger spacecraft, and will carry six passengers at a time. But the journeys are set to cost a hefty $250,000 per trip – that’s about £175,000.
The ship is due to be thoroughly tested however, before regular consumers are allowed to board a spaceflight.
“We will send people to space once pilots have tested the ship time and time and time again,” said Branson, speaking on TV this morning.
Virgin Galactic suffered a serious setback in 2014, when the VSS Enterprise broke up mid-flight and crashed in the Mojave Desert during a trial run on October 31.
The VSS Enterprise, the spacecraft that broke up in 2014
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The catastrophic disaster resulted in the death of co-pilot Michael Alsbury, while pilot Peter Siebold was seriously injured.
“Obviously it was a horrendous day when it happened and I must admit we had moments where I questioned if we should carry on,” Branson revealed, speaking about the incident.
He continued: “Talking to engineers and astronauts and family members and the public, we got all the feedback and it was apparent there was no way we could stop.”
According to Virgin Galactic, over 700 people have already signed up to fly with the service.
Do you think the Virgin Galactic spaceflight is worth $250,000? Let us know in the comments.