Photo Credit: Jeremy Straub
Want To Visit Outer Space? Virgin Galactic Is Offering Free Rides Out Of This World
After his recent blast to and from outer space, billionaire and Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson is now offering others the chance to see what it’s like out there. His company recently announced they would offer a free ride to suborbital space for two people on a spaceflight that is expected to be launched in 2022.
Virgin Galactic is teaming up with charity fundraising platform Omaze for the contest.
This will be the second time that this private space tourism company will carry out travel to space. On July 11, Branson and five other people safely launched (and landed) from a trip to suborbital space aboard Virgin Galactic’s VSS Unity spaceliner. Virgin Galactic has been aiming to bring tourists into space since its foundation in 2004, and seats for space have sold, most recently, for $250,000 each.
In a video released by Virgin Galactic, Branson revealed how he had “the most incredible experience of Earth from above” and that he is “thrilled” to give the opportunity to others.
“You’ll be flown out to meet me for a private tour of Spaceport America, where we’ll prepare you to be among the first to experience a Virgin Galactic spaceflight,” Branson explained.
Spaceport America is the liftoff and landing zone of VSS Unity, about 55 miles (88 kilometers) from Las Cruces, New Mexico.
The space crew will experience about four minutes of weightlessness aboard VSS Unity, which lifts off beneath the wings of the carrier plane VMS Eve and achieves a peak altitude above 50 miles (80 km). That’s above the space demarcation boundary recognized by NASA, the U.S. military and the Federal Aviation Administration.
In a statement published on its website, Omaze says that “Hovering above Earth, nothing can prepare you for the breathtaking views of our bright planet and surrounding galaxy. Or hearing, ‘you are now free to float about the cabin.’ Cameras throughout the cabin will record every moment in HD. With 17 circular windows for viewing, every seat is a window seat. And there’s even a mirror to watch yourself floating through space.”
Eligible participants for the contest must meet numerous conditions on the Omaze website, with the main ones including being at least 18 years of age, coming from a worldwide jurisdiction not prohibited from participation and providing proof of a coronavirus vaccination. You can enter the contest here through Aug. 31.