Spaceflight for masses closer to reality

i By July 28, 2020 No Comments

Commercial spaceflight moved closer to becoming a reality today when Virgin Galactic revealed the interior of the cabin for its SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, in a virtual event streamed live on YouTube at 1:00 p.m. EDT.

The live reveal was followed by the immediate release of an AR-enabled mobile app showcasing the cabin’s design. The app is available on both the iOS and Android platforms. SpaceshipTwo is a reusable, winged spacecraft designed to carry six people and two pilots into space safely and with high frequency.

“When we created Virgin Galactic, we started with what we believed would be an optimal customer experience and then built the spaceship around it,” explained Sir Richard Branson, founder, Virgin Group. “We will continue with that ethos as we expand our fleet, build our operations and underpin Virgin Galantic’s position as the Spaceline for Earth. This cabin has been designed specifically to allow thousands of people like you and me to achieve the dream of spaceflight safely—and that is incredibly exciting.”

Michael Colglazier, CEO of the vertically-integrated aerospace and space travel company, said: “In just my second week as Virgin Galactic’s CEO, it is with great pride that I can lead our talented teams in revealing this latest milestone in our journey to space. The spaceship cabin interior is in many ways the design centrepiece of the astronaut journey and what has been created will both facilitate and elevate a uniquely profound and transformational journey for the thousands who will fly. The fascination with spaceflight is universal and Virgin Galactic is here to satisfy it. We are particularly proud to be able to share this latest milestone with millions around the world, particularly in these unusual times. We hope the new app, with cutting-edge AR technology, will help bring the dream of space one step closer for space enthusiasts everywhere.”

Virgin Galactic collaborated with London design agency, Seymourpowell, to develop “an elegant but progressive, experience-focused concept for the cabin of its spaceship.” While it has been created to integrate seamlessly with every other aspect of the Virgin Galactic astronaut journey, the cabin is also the design centrepiece. As such, it provides safety without distraction, quietly absorbing periods of sensory intensity and offering each passenger a level of intimacy required for personal discovery and transformation.

The design, which is driven by astronaut experience, includes:

  • Individually-sized, reclining seats for G-force management and float zone volume;
  • Automated mood lighting that harmonizes with each flight phase;
  • personal seatback screens connecting passengers to live flight data;
  • cabin architecture that facilities effortless movement in weightlessness;
  • 16 cameras providing high definition footage and stills;
  • 12 cabin windows for passengers to gaze at Earth from;
  • and the largest mirror in a spaceship cabin (mirror reflects the real-time astronaut experience).