Billionaire Richard Branson’s space tourism firm Virgin Galactic revealed the interior of its centerpiece space plane on Tuesday, showing off a cabin with new custom seats and a “space mirror” in a virtual tour of what its passengers can expect to experience on flights to the edge of space.
For $250,000 a ticket, passengers who have signed up for the suborbital flight aboard the air-launched plane VSS Unity will strap into six tailored, teal-colored seats and can peer out of the cabin’s 12 circular windows as they ascend some 60 miles (97 km) above Earth. The plane has five other windows up front.
“We have amazing seats that will be tailored to each person, and that move during the flight to maximize people’s comfort,” Virgin Galactic Chief SpaceOfficer George Whitesides told Reuters, adding that passengers can unbuckle themselves at peak altitude to float around the cabin in zero-gravity conditions.
Another view of the interior cabin of billionaire Branson's Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo seen in an artist's rendition. (Reuters)
The company has 600 customers signed up to fly and more than 400 more who have expressed interest, Whitesides said. The company has not set a firm date for its first commercial space flight, with its British founder Branson expected to be aboard.
201Virgin Galactic co-founder Sir Richard Branson, CEO George Whitesides and Social Capital CEO Chamath Palihapitiya pose together outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) ahead of Virgin Galactic (SPCE) trading in New York, US, October 28, 2019. (Reuters)
Virgin Galactic went public in October after merging with Social Capital Hedosophia, the special-purpose acquisition vehicle run by early Facebook Inc executive and venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya.