Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire entrepreneur who owns Virgin Galactic, boarded his rocket for its maiden space voyage, debuting private space tourism and beating Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos to the private space race.
The Virgin Group owner plans to start commercial space tourism in 2022 and has already taken a USD 250,000 deposit from 600 individuals keen on a space ride.
According to Jeff Bezos, the height achieved by the Unity Space rocket is not 100 km, the internationally recognized altitude where one enters space, even though the U.S. Government puts the height at 80 km.
Unity is a sub-orbital rocket and cannot achieve the velocity or altitude required to maintain its position in space or circle the earth. It is carried into space using a bigger rocket up to 15 km and can achieve a maximum height of 90 km.
It has a unique feather mechanism to self-stabilize its fall while gliding back to earth.
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