Virgin Galactic has simply introduced the winner of a free suborbital house trip on a rocket-powered aircraft.
The fortunate winner is Keisha S., a well being and life coach and former flight attendant from Antigua within the Caribbean. The prize contains two seats — price $450,000 every — so Keisha will take alongside her daughter, a pupil finding out astrophysics.
Aiming to squeeze as a lot publicity out of the sweepstakes as potential, Virgin Galactic founder Richard Branson, who himself took a check flight aboard the corporate’s VSS Unity rocket aircraft in July, turned up in individual to current Keisha with information of the prize.
A delighted Keisha said: “I’ve at all times had a lifelong love of flying and a fascination with house, and that is really a dream come true for me.”
She added: “I hope to share this expertise with my daughter so collectively we will encourage the subsequent era to comply with their desires.”
So what sort of expertise awaits Keisha and her daughter? Properly, the journey will start with Unity connected to the VMS Eve service aircraft. Eve will fly to an altitude of round 50,000 ft (about 15,000 meters) earlier than releasing Unity, which can then hearth up its rocket to blast the aircraft and passengers to an altitude of round 283,000 ft (about 86,000 meters). They’ll then expertise a brief interval of weightlessness the place they will float across the cabin and revel in unbelievable views of Earth. A delicate descent will finish with a runway touchdown.
No date has been set for the flight, although it’s unlikely to occur till the tip of 2022 on the earliest as Virgin Galactic is finishing up additional testing on Eve and Unity.
The sweepstakes was organized by fundraising platform Omaze and ran from July to September. Entrants have been requested to make a donation to the nonprofit Area for Humanity charity.
Greater than 164,000 folks from around the globe entered the competition, with donations totaling round $1.7 million.
The proceeds will profit Area for Humanity’s Citizen Astronaut Program, which is designed to supply a path for extra folks to expertise house journey.
However what precisely constitutes house journey is the topic of ongoing debate, with Virgin Galactic and rival house tourism supplier Blue Origin in disagreement about the place Earth’s ambiance ends and house begins.
Both method, the expertise supplied by each corporations is one passengers are seemingly relish for a few years after arriving again on terra firma.