Virgin Galactic introduced the first model of Spaceship III, the third generation of the space plane project. The new series was called Virgin SpaceShip Imagine, or simply VSS Imagine.
The model represents an important step for the space tourism company to achieve the goals of producing a large-scale fleet. For example, the flight test program with VSS Imagine will take place from the middle of this year.
Elegant, the VSS Imagine brings an external look with a mirror finish. This is because it is designed to reflect changes in the spacecraft’s environment as it makes its way from the ground to space.
According to the company, the ship is modular in construction making it much easier to maintain and increase the speed to carry out subsequent missions. However, CEO Michael Colglazier revealed that there is still a lot of work to be done.
That’s why Virgin Galactic engineers are working on the design of the aircraft so that it can support the target of about 400 space flights per year. In addition, the company is already manufacturing the second model of the 3rd generation, the VSS Inspire.
Expansion of the space tourism market
In an interview with TechCrunch, Colglazier also stressed that work is underway to expand the space tourism market. Focused on inclusion, the company strives to ‘democratize space’.
“The space is for everyone. It may take a while to really reach everyone, but it is coming, ”said the CEO. “Now we are bringing in talents who are used to expanding this business category”.
Virgin Galactic currently has 600 passengers waiting for their own sub-orbital flights. Space travel, however, should only begin after the flight of company owner Richard Brandon, scheduled for later this year.