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  • Virgin Galactic just unveiled their brand new line of spacesuits, but you may notice

  • they don't look like the ones we're typically used to.

  • That's because Virgin Galactic wants its passengers to be super comfortable and flexible

  • during their suborbital flights.

  • For years, the company has been known as the trailblazer for space tourism and they're

  • not alone in their desire to commercialize space for the average individual.

  • We're in the middle of what some call thenext-generation space racewith private

  • companies like SpaceX, Boeing, and Blue Origin developing innovative commercial rockets for

  • human spaceflight.

  • But Virgin Galactic remains an ambitious contender by promising to send anyone, not just astronauts,

  • to space. And these journeys could start as early as 2020.

  • Pledges like this have been happening for the last fifteen years.

  • Back in 2004, SpaceShipOne became the very first privately crewed spacecraft to take

  • flight.

  • This historical venture helped set the foundation for the aerospace company Virgin Galactic, and

  • the spacecraft design isn't too far off from what you're used to with commercial aircraft.

  • Virgin Galactic uses two separate operational vehicles attached together with what the company

  • calls their reusable SpaceShipTwo spaceflight system; this consists of one, all carbon-composite

  • aircraft carrier, WhiteKnightTwoand one passenger spaceplane SpaceShipTwo.

  • If you're short on breath, however, the vehicles are also called the VMS Eve, and

  • VSS Unity, both of which are improved iterations of the 2004 debut.

  • The final assembly is a three cabin, aerial behemoth that works a little like this.

  • VMS Eve is a four-engine, dual-fuselage jet aircraft with a wingspan of forty-three meters,

  • making it one of the largest of its kind.

  • The catamaran design allows for easy access to uniquely heavy payloads, which in this

  • case, is another spaceship.

  • VSS Unity is attached in the middle of the two cabins and moves forward with take-off

  • just like any commercial airline.

  • The craft is raised to about 15,000 meters into the air.

  • From here, the spacecraft detaches and VSS Unity shows off its hybrid rocket motor bringing

  • the spaceship above the atmosphere at speeds three and a half times the speed of sound.

  • At apogee, or the highest point of ascension, the motor turns off and the VSS Unity just....

  • coasts.

  • This is the point where passengers onboard would experience about four to five minutes

  • of microgravity before the spacecraft turns itself into a feathered position.

  • And this is what makes Virgin Galactic's spacecraft so special.

  • Similar to the physics you see in a descending badminton shuttlecock, the VSS Unity steers

  • its nose downward, letting gravity pull the craft back to Earth's surface.

  • Thefeatheredposition, or the rotation upwards of the twin tail booms, produces enough

  • drag to slow the plane through the upper parts of the Earth's atmosphere to end in a gentle,

  • and gliding touchdown.

  • Sound too good to be true?

  • Well, it's no secret that Virgin Galactic has had some tragic setbacks including a ground

  • explosion in 2007 and a fatal crash in 2014.

  • After going back to the drawing board and conducting years of test runs, Virgin Galactic

  • accomplished its first successful crewed flight in December 2018.

  • And another in February 2019 where the three crew members and NASA scientific payloads

  • reached an altitude of about 89 kilometers above sea level.

  • However, this height is still up for debate on if it's consideredspace”, since

  • it's above the Federal Aviation Administration's definition of where space begins, but lower

  • than the widely accepted boundary called thermán Line.

  • Regardless though, Virgin Galactic promises a view like you've never seen before and

  • while it may seem like an unforgettable experience, the company certainly doesn't want you to

  • think it's a once-in-a-lifetime one.

  • Since the beginning, one of Virgin Galactic's primary goals was to make space more accessible.

  • And amidst building a spaceport in New Mexico, unveiling spacesuits, announcing crewed research

  • flights, and receiving investments from Boeing, their goal of making this accessible isn't

  • too far away.

  • Though, right now, this ride is only reserved for those who can afford it.

  • The price tag for a single ticket is roughly two hundred and fifty thousand dollars.

  • But Virgin Galactic continues testing their vessels and making improvements with safety,

  • altitude and weight capacity.

  • There are over 600 anxious individuals who've already bought tickets for their space journey

  • and it's only a matter of time before we see Virgin Galactic's dreams come to fruition.

  • If you liked this episode, make sure to subscribe and check out our Countdown to Launch playlist

  • where you can catch up on your rocket launch news.

  • Are there any other rocket launches you'd like us to cover?

  • Let us know down in the comments.

  • Thanks for watching and I'll see you next time.

Virgin Galactic just unveiled their brand new line of spacesuits, but you may notice

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ヴァージンギャラクティックがあなたを宇宙に送り出す方法|打ち上げまでのカウントダウン (How Virgin Galactic Plans to Send You to Space | Countdown to Launch)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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