Reaching For The Stars in 2021 with Virgin Galactic

Reaching for the stars in 2021 with virgin galactic

Reaching for the stars is set to soon become a reality for many people. With the initiatives of Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit fast taking flight, there have been some delays to progress, but not enough to steer the mission of space tourism too far off course.

a slow start to inter-stellar missions

In December of 2020, Virgin Galactic was set to carry out a milestone test flight of its rocket-powered, space tourism vehicle. Intended to be the first crewed flight of the reusable Unity, it was going to take off from Virgin Galactic’s purpose-built commercial spaceport in New Mexico in the United States of America. 

As the first of three final demonstration flights before the commercial space-tourism service begins, the final flight will passenger none other than Sir Richard Branson himself - as he tests the service that he has been working towards for over fifteen years. The scheduled missions would have former NASA astronaut, Fredrick W. “CJ” Sturckow, with Galactic Chief Test Pilot, Dave Mackay, aboard to run checks on all operating procedures.

With a slowing of plans due to the current COVID-19 crisis, it has been a longer road to get to this point than initially anticipated. Limited numbers of staff were able to work on the endeavours - both at the base in New Mexico and at Virgin Galactic’s manufactory in California - due to the impacts of the pandemic. However, a slowing of pace may also be seen as one of the better things to come from the notorious year that 2020 was.

Photo via Virgin Galactic

"when it comes to space, you're not in a race with anyone. You're in a race to be safe."

Will Whitehorn, the president of the UK Space Industry Group commented on this momentous point in space tourism. “This is going to be a very safe and low-cost system. Developing it has been ground-breaking and it hasn't been easy. But when it comes to space, you're not in a race with anyone. You're in a race to be safe." Such sentiments follow on from a fatal accident in 2014, after which various elements were redesigned after a formal investigation.

Beyond space tourism, Virgin’s initiatives will also service astronauts in training.This is an advancement from the current training facilities available for astronauts - which are limited to simulations. Such simulations take place in environments such as swimming pools and planes that dive out of the sky mimicking, as best possible, the sensations of reductions in gravity for some time. As well as the science and tourism that are set to benefit from this, the invaluable training that astronauts will be able to receive is set to become a crucial component of the space revolution. 

Photo via Virgin Galactic

The initiative already has over 600 paying customers, including the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Justin Bieber, who are booked to take flight. Wearing technical knit-material space suits manufactured by Under Armour, the suit is extremely light-weight and requires no stitching to ensure the perfect fit into the astronaut’s seat. Donned in this space kit, the space travellers will be strapped into their seats in the specifically designed cabin - one which is iconically groundbreaking, and the first of its kind.

Photo via Virgin Galactic

Virgin Orbit is set to reach space this weekend for the first time, after already suffering two delays. Completion was supposed to take place at the launch on January 13, but this was changed following a review of the mission.

The launch has now been scheduled during a four-hour window between 6pm and 2pm GMT (10am and 2pm PST) on Sunday, January 17. This will be the second attempt to reach orbit with the air-launched LauncherOne rocket.

Should everything go smoothly, Cosmic Girl, Virgin Orbit’s carrier plane will take off from the Mojave Air and Space Port with LauncherOne tucked beneath one of its wings. 


When an altitude of 35,000 feet (10,700 meters) is reached, the rocket will drop free of Cosmic Girl and proceed into orbit. 

Photo via Virgin Galactic

Our success is determined by our sustainable growth within the fashion industry. We supply our customers with quality eco-fashion pieces, ensuring that each garment can be kept and restored to last a lifetime. In light of this, our New Year’s Resolutions for 2021 do not sway exorbitantly from our core values and actions that are already underway.

The progress of the mission can be followed via Virgin Orbit’s Twitter feed, which shared on Tuesday, 12th January 2021, that “Our Launch Readiness Review is complete, our hardware looks great, and our customers are ready. We're following through on the last actions identified at our LRR. Our launch is now targeted for NET [no earlier than] Sunday, Jan. 17, with additional windows in January if needed.”

Knit -material takes flight

Photo via Virgin Galactic

This exciting evolution is the next small step towards the giant leap of space tourism. Should all go according to plan, there are estimates that there will be space tourism flights happening within the year - with knit-material space suits leading the way as the textile of choice. 



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