The interior of a Virgin Galactic space vehicle. - Virgin Galactic / Cover Images / SIP

Elon Musk's success this Sunday in the private business race for space prompted Virgin Galactic to show that it remains an actor that matters. For this, the space tourism company estimated Monday that it would be able to make a first tourist flight in space in the first quarter of 2021, with the sending of its founder Richard Branson.

Towards the start of commercial flights

The billionaire's company said it plans to "move on to the next phase of its test flight program in the fall" with two manned flights. The schedule of the first flight can be respected if these "two flights bring the expected results". This first flight by the company Virgin Galactic, according to which 600 people have already bought their ticket to space for the sum of $ 250,000, will then kick off commercial flights.

Feeling inspired by the wonder of human spaceflight? Experience space for yourself by taking One Small Step towards securing a seat on a @VirginGalactic flight to space here:

- Virgin Galactic (@virgingalactic) May 31, 2020

No precise date has, at this stage, been set by Virgin Galactic but its leaders recently assured that it was a matter of months, not years. For the moment, the development of the company's rocket ship, called SpaceShipTwo, has been delayed in particular by an accident in 2014 when a handling error by one of the two pilots had caused the aircraft to disintegrate in flight.

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