Richard branson pulls out the big guns for his first trip to space … as in Stephane Colbert, which hosts the live broadcast of Virgin Galactic’s first space flight with her boss on board.
Branson’s company is launching its SpaceShipTwo – dubbed the VSS Unity – into sub-orbital space Sunday morning from Spaceport America, New Mexico… and we’ll broadcast it here. The launch is scheduled for 7:30 a.m. PT.
If all goes according to plan, the British mogul will become the first billionaire in space … just ahead of the founder of Amazon Jeff Bezos, who is scheduled to perform a similar flight on July 20, aboard his Blue Origin spacecraft.
The launch should be quite spectacular. Unity will get a boost of some sort… it will be attached to a specially designed aircraft that traditionally takes off from a runway and carries Unity about 9 miles high. At this point, Unity will separate from the plane and rocket engines to reach an altitude of 55 miles!
David Mackay and Michael masucci will pilot Unity throughout the mission, while Branson and 3 other Virgin Galactic employees will evaluate the weightless experience … which should only last around 5 minutes. After that, the ship returns to Earth, much like NASA’s space shuttles – hovering towards a runway landing.
The whole mission should take around 2.5 hours.
Branson founded Virgin Galactic in 2004 with the aim of leading so-called space tourism. The idea is to start taking paying passengers to experience weightlessness while learning to see Earth from the edge of space.
In addition to hosting Colbert, Branson has aligned Khalid to be performed after the crew has landed safely. Have your coffee and a muffin … the
show the launch should be pretty amazing.