On Friday, Virgin Galactic revealed the spaceship that promises to bring eager tourists to space and back: the VSS Unity. The company has not yet released a schedule for when it may begin carrying passengers to space; instead, company officials insisted it will launch only when ready, according to USA Today.
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Galactic, said the VSS Unity is a step closer to making space more accessible for people, something he once only thought could be just a dream.
"Our beautiful new spaceship, VSS Unity, is the embodiment of that goal and also a great testament to what can be achieved when true teamwork, great skill and deep pride are combined with a common purpose," said Branson, according to a company press release.
The company also made it clear that the spaceship will still undergo major testing and unmanned trials before it can finally be sent to space with an actual test pilot. This is in line with the fatal crash that claimed the life of the test pilot during its first spaceship attempt in 2014.
Once the spacecraft fully checks out, the two-pilot, six-passenger spaceship will be bringing its tourists up to 62 miles or 100 kms above the planet, where it will reach a point of weightlessness while providing a view of Earth, according to Reuters.
"One of the things that I think is most powerful is that we'll be able to get a new perspective on our planet as hundreds and eventually millions of people are able to go into space," said George Whitesides, the company's CEO, according to CNN.
The ride will cost $250,000 a seat – an affordable price for at least 700 people who have already signed up for the awaited experience.