Virgin Galactic has unveiled the first suborbital space plane Spaceship III of the company, VSS Imagine, which will begin ground testing, with glide flights scheduled for this summer.
According to the company, which plans to start tourist suborbital flights by the end of the year, the innovative livery design, finished entirely with a mirror-like material, “reflects the surrounding environment, constantly changing color and appearance as it travels from earth to sky and into space.”
Leveraging a modular design, the SpaceShip III class of vehicles is built to enable improved performance in terms of maintenance access and flight speed, according to their manufacturer. This third generation of spacecraft will lay the foundation for the design and manufacture of vehicles of the futureVirgin Galactic adds in a statement.
$ 250,000 a ticket
As VSS Imagine begins ground testing, manufacturing will advance in VSS Inspire, the second SpaceShip III vehicle in the Virgin Galactic fleet. The introduction of the Spaceship III class of vehicles is a major milestone in Virgin Galactic’s multi-year effort to fly 400 manned flights per year.
VSS Imagine is presented before the next test flight of VSS Unity, which is planned for May 2021. These suborbital space planes have room for six crew members who will be able to view Earth from outer space through 17 windows throughout the cabin.
Virgin Galactic has already received approximately 600 registrations from clients to $ 250,000 a ticket.