Virgin Galactic SpaceshipTwo Cabin Interior

Virgin Galactic unveils SpaceShipTwo cabin design

Johanna Koyser

Founded by mogul Richard Branson in 2004, Virgin Galactic has been working for years to make space travel accessible to tourists. The cabin design of the SpaceShipTwo was unveiled yesterday in a live event on YouTube. However, the SpaceShipTwo is not a real space shuttle, which is what SpaceX, for example, is working on. But rather – to put it simply – an extremely robust aircraft.

The aircraft is designed to be brought to an altitude of 15 kilometers by a mother ship. Then it is to climb to an altitude of 110 kilometers with its rocket engine. Afterwards it glides down to earth again. The SpaceShipTwo is not able to fly into orbit. Given that Virgin Galactic is a special kind of tourism company, this is not important. Because the main focus is the experience of weightlessness for the passengers. This can be achieved by falling from very high altitude for several minutes.

When we created Virgin Galactic, we started with what we believed would be an optimal customer experience and then built the spaceship around it.

Richard Branson

If you take a look inside the SpaceShipTwo with this guiding principle in mind, you will see that the customer experience is clearly in the foreground. Twelve all-round windows, sixteen cameras and a huge mirror, as if made for the perfect space selfie. Nevertheless, Virgin Galactic remains an exciting project – also for aviation. Because since passengers pay around 250,000 US dollars for a flight ticket, they expect comfort. If Virgin Galactic actually manages to produce it – under the given flight conditions – conventional aircraft manufacturers will probably find one or the other inspiration.

Picture © Virgin Galactic

by Johanna Koyser

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