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  • Geebo 10:29 am on February 27, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Beth Mose, Dave Mackay, Michael Masucci, , space, Virgin Galactic   

    Virgin Galactic launches 2nd manned commercial space flight 

    Virgin Galactic launches 2nd manned commercial space flight

    The VSS Unity

    The recent boom in the commercial space industry seems to have recaptured America’s interest in space travel again. Between Jeff Bezo’s Blue Origin space program and Elon Musk’s SpaceX our fascination with leaving the planet has become rejuvenated. However, some people may not be aware of another commercial space program that some people may not be aware of and that’s Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic. While Blue Origin and SpaceX are focused on developing rockets and space capsules that can be deployed and reused in order to drastically reduce the cost of space flight, Virgin Galactic is more focused on space tourism. That’s not to say that space tourism is nothing but folly.

    This past Friday, Virgin Galactic launched its second manned space flight aboard the VSS Unity. Virgin Galactic launched its first manned space flight back in July of 2018. The Unity was released from a cargo plane in flight before propelling into space under its own power. The crew consisted of chief pilot Dave Mackay, copilot Michael “Sooch” Masucci, and Virgin Galactic’s chief astronaut instructor Beth Moses who became the first commercial space flight passenger. Moses’ mission was to inspect the cabin interior along with evaluating the safety of weightlessness for future passengers. There were also a number of NASA related projects aboard the flight making the Unity’s voyage a profitable one.

    While it does take a certain amount of ego to try to enter the new space race, Virgin Galactic seems to be less about publicity and more about innovation. While Sir Richard does want to be a space passenger by the 50th anniversary of the moon landing this July he seems to have largely eschewed the attention of mainstream media. Which is refreshing from those who would launch a car into space for no other reasons besides publicity and stroking their own ego.

  • Geebo 10:02 am on August 4, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: moon, Moon Express, NASA, space   

    US company receives government approval for moon landing 

    US company receives government approval for moon landing

    It’s been 47 years since the world was first glued to their TVs watching Neil Armstrong taking the first human steps on the moon while uttering his famous phrase. It’s been 44 years since the Apollo 17 mission was the last manned mission to Earth’s closest neighbor in space. Due to political and financial reasons we haven;t been back to the moon since.

    Now for the first time ever, the US government has given approval to a private company to land on the moon. Moon Express is a private company financed by some Silicon Valley bigwigs, that is looking to land on the moon in 2017. Will it bring back the excitement of 1969? Probably not since it won’t be a manned flight. Moon Express plans on sending a robotic lander to the moon in order to win the Google X Lunar Prize which promises $20 million to the first private company that can reach a lander on the moon and have it return.

    It’s far from a guarantee, but if Moon Express could complete a successful trip to the moon it could start a whole new industry of commercial space flight. Then maybe we’ll be able to have our imaginations captured by space flight once again like it was with Apollo Missions. Or, in Silicon Valley terms, will it be just another startup that will fail to launch?

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