The spacecraft Unity will be dropped during flight coming from the much larger, jet-powered mothership Eve. A crew of two will pilot Unity in Thursday’s test. Unity can be likely to fire its engines for as long as 30 seconds, aiming to reach speeds of 1½ times the speed of sound or more.
Unity can be built along with operated by The Spaceship Company, a subsidiary of Virgin Group. The company can be also building two more spaceships, intended to become part of the fleet of Virgin crafts taking people to the edge of space.
The original SpaceShipTwo craft was built by experimental aircraft developer Scaled Composites. In 2016, Virgin Galactic unveiled its latest edition of the SpaceShipTwo design, with alterations to avoid a repeat of the accident.
@VirginGalactic: Our team can be prepping for a #SpaceShipTwo flight test today
Future passengers who are willing to fork out $250,000 will be taken up with help coming from the spacecraft’s mothership. When the idea reaches a certain altitude, the Virgin Galactic craft will launch into space around 68 miles above the Earth’s surface, before re-entering the planet’s atmosphere.
Branson’s space companies also recently got a boost coming from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which announced intentions to invest $1 billion in Virgin Galactic, The Spaceship Company along with Virgin Orbit. At the time of the announcement, Branson lauded Virgin Galactic was near its intended goal.
“We are today just months away coming from Virgin Galactic sending people into space along with Virgin Orbit placing satellites around the Earth,” Branson said.