Check Out This Stunning Footage of Virgin Galactic’s Space Plane
"Welcome to the club, astronauts!"
Welcome to Space
Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity space plane made its way into space for the second time during its fifth test flight on Feb. 22.
And last week, Virgin Galactic released some incredible high-definition footage of the moment its space plane, SpaceShipTwo, was released from mothership WhiteKnightTwo.
WhiteKnightTwo carried the rocket plane up to an altitude of 44,000 feet before it took off on its own to reach a new record altitude of 55.85 miles (89.9km). After being released, VSS Unity can be seen adjusting course and rocketing straight into space.
“I Like This Club”
Pilots officially receive the United States Astronaut Badge, awarded by the Air Force, by flying at an altitude higher than 50 miles (80 km).
“Welcome to the club, astronauts,” one of the ground controllers can be heard saying. “Thanks, base,” replies one of the pilots on board. “Thanks, I like this club,” says the second pilot.
Also on board was the first ever woman to enter space on a U.S. commercial vehicle, chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses.
The video can also be seen as a preview of what’s to come for those who want to experience partial weightlessness for a mere $250,000 — that’s what it’ll cost once Virgin Galactic starts offering tickets for one of the six passenger seats on board the SpaceShipTwo in the coming years.
READ MORE: Amazing Virgin Galactic Launch Video Shows Black Sky, Blue Earth [Space.com]
More on Virgin Galactic: Virgin Galactic’s Space Plane Soars to New Heights
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