<p>The Virgin Galactic space p...

The Virgin Galactic space plane Unity landed safely in New Mexico on Sunday morning after a trip meant to make human spaceflight seem unexceptional.

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safety risks

The Virgin Galactic design already has an imperfect safety record. The company’s first space plane, the V.S.S. Enterprise, crashed during a test flight in 2014 when the co-pilot moved a lever too early during the flight, allowing the tail booms to rotate when they should have remained rigid. The Enterprise broke apart, and the co-pilot, Michael Alsbury, was killed. The pilot, Peter Siebold, survived after parachuting out of the plane.

The controls were redesigned so that the tail booms cannot be unlocked prematurely.

The Italian Air Force has purchased seats on future flights for scientific research, as has the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colo. It will be much easier, faster and cheaper to fly experiments on suborbital flights than to get them to the International Space Station.

A seat on one of the company’s spaceships originally cost $200,000 . The company later raised the price to $250,000 . It then stopped sales after a crash during a test flight in 2014. When the company resumes sales later this year, the price will probably rise again, said Michael Colglazier, Virgin Galactic’s chief executive.

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Billionaire In Space

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.

  • Unity, the rocket plane with two pilots, flew the billionaire to the edge of the earth, reaching 282,000 feet up in the sky, and getting back within the hour.
  • The flight departed from New Mexico where Elon Musk joined in to support Sir Richard Branson.
  • The space project was conceived in 2004 but was delayed due to technical problems including a fatal crash in 2014.
What will people actually be able to see and experience on a space trip?

The biggest perk of traveling to space is the view. Just past the boundary between space and Earth, passengers can catch a stunning glimpse of our planet juxtaposed against the wide unknown of space. The view is meant to be awe-inducing, and the experience even has its own name: the Overview Effect. 

Another perk of these trips is that space tourists will feel a few minutes of microgravity, which is when gravity feels extremely weak. That will give them the chance to bounce around a spacecraft weightlessly before heading back to Earth.

The idea that travel is a catalyst for romance

A 2008 study that surveyed 5,000 flyers found that one in every 50 people said they met the love of their life on a flight.

  • This expectation is regularly reinforced by movies and television, where an in-flight experience changes the character's life.
  • Another is the rise of transformative travel. Vacation is sold as a form of therapy. When planning for a vacation, the anticipation of travelling is especially thrilling for singles to imagine that they may find romance along the way.

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