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(travel) VG launches 1st space passenger + SpaceX Crew Dragon test flight gets go - Printable Version

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(travel) VG launches 1st space passenger + SpaceX Crew Dragon test flight gets go - C C - Feb 23, 2019

Virgin Galactic Just Successfully Launched Its First Passenger Past The Edge of Space

Richard Branson's company Virgin Galactic has flown its first passenger on a rocket-powered spaceship. The flight is part of a decades-long effort by multiple companies to usher in an era of frequent and safe suborbital space tourism, in which vehicles can fly high enough to briefly enter space, provide minutes of zero gravity, then return to the ground. On Friday, Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo vehicle, named VSS Unity, did just that.

[...] Virgin Galactic's first passenger wasn't a tourist who bought a $US250,000 ticket, though – it was Beth Moses, the company's chief astronaut instructor, who tested the crew cabin and experienced several minutes of weightlessness inside. The company says Moses is the first person to fly as a passenger (not a pilot) aboard a commercial spaceship. "The crew enjoyed extraordinary views of Earth from the black skies of space and, during several minutes of weightlessness … Beth floated free to complete a number of cabin evaluation test points," Virgin Galactic said in a press release...


NASA gives go-ahead for SpaceX commercial crew test flight

INTRO: NASA managers have given their approval for SpaceX to proceed with an uncrewed test flight of its Crew Dragon spacecraft on March 2. At the conclusion of a day-long flight readiness review at the Kennedy Space Center Feb. 22, NASA announced that it approved plans for SpaceX to fly a mission designated Demo-1, featuring its Crew Dragon spacecraft but without astronauts on board, to the International Space Station. [...] The current schedule calls for a launch at 2:48 a.m. Eastern March 2, in an instantaneous launch window. The Falcon 9, lifting off from Launch Complex 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, will put the Crew Dragon into orbit. The spacecraft is scheduled to dock with the ISS one day later and remain there until March 8, when it will undock and splash down several hours later in the Atlantic Ocean....