Many people grow up dreaming of going to space. If you asked a class of kindergarteners what they would like to be when they grow up, I guarantee you that most them would say that they wanted to be an astronaut. As we grow up, reality sets in and our dreams of going up into space begin to dwindle. For the average person, becoming an astronaut is a statistically improbable plight. Each year, NASA
receives around 2,000 submissions of highly qualified applicants who want to become astronauts. Only around 10 percent of them are picked. If you are thinking, “Hey, that’s not so bad!”, keep in mind that you need at least a bachelor’s degree in math, engineering or a hard physical science and
they also require you to have either three years of job experience of 1,000 hours of experience being a pilot-in-command of a jet aircraft. There are only around 50 astronauts actively working for NASA at the moment. While becoming an astronaut remains to be a pipe dream to many, not everyone who wants to go to space has aspirations of working for NASA. Many would like to explore space out of sheer curiosity. It is a place unknown to most of us and many wish to see it up-close and in person. Many are also eager for new space technology due to global warming. At a time where our planet’s environment is suffering, with a recent slew of natural disasters; many are discussing the possibility of us needing to leave planet Earth in the future. Many are hoping to go to space for a variety of reasons. Luckily for us, Richard Branson and the Virgin Group aim to make our dreams of space exploration come true!
Virgin Galactic is a proposed company within the Virgin Group, which intends to offer a flight to space to everyday citizens, for an extremely hefty fee of around $250,000. Founded in 2004, this company aims to bring something to consumers which has never been seen before. Virgin is attempting to pioneer space tourism. The notorious entrepreneur Richard Branson has once again brought forth an innovative idea, bringing forth a space travel industry. Richard Branson has always fostered innovation with his Virgin empire and he aims to bring something to the economy; a kind of travel which has never been made available to the general public before. The highly imaginative and ambitious businessman has created this company in hopes of providing space exploration as an explorative commodity. The company has seen many delays within regards to their first launch, but it hopes to be the first in the industry of commercial space travel.
Virgin Galactic’s website states that only a couple of hundred people have made it to space. The company stated that it aims to make space travel and exploration available to the rest of us. Virgin Atlantic has created and designed multiple space vehicles which aim to bring us up, up and away! These two spaceships are the SpaceShipTwo and WhiteKnightTwo.
Virgin Galactic also highly prioritizes the safety of it’s potential customers and it proposes that each potential flyer must undergo a 3-day space training course prior to boarding the spaceship.
The company has been looking into collaborating with NASA, but this has yet to happen. The launch of Virgin Galactic has been postponed and delayed for years now. Virgin Galactic has long surpassed its’ original, proposed launch dates. While this news has disappointed many wannabe astronauts, it is to be expected for such a complicated and potentially dangerous idea. Consumer safety comes first and this kind of business venture is not one which should be taken lightly. Can Virgin Galactic make it? Only time will tell.