Commercial Spaceflight is Coming
Under Burt Rutan’s direction, Scaled Composites has created the aircraft that will usher in the age of commercial spaceflight. The suborbital trips being offered by Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic begin under the power of the White Knight 2 mothership. At 50,000 feet above sea level, Space Ship 2 will be released from the White Knight. Under the power of its rocket engine, the ship will climb an additional 300,000 feet above sea level; at its apogee, the ship will be about eight miles beyond the Kármán line, the boundary of outer space. For about six minutes, passengers will be free to unstrap themselves and float around the cabin of the ship. Amazing.