Summer is over and many of us are already dreaming of what destination they would like to visit next year. Asia, America or Thailand? What about space? Yes. You read correctly. If you dreamed of becoming astronauts as a child, or would like to see our Earth from orbit at least once in a lifetime, you can purchase a $250,000 "space ticket" - approximately CZK5.8 million and a mere dream can become a reality.
Entrepreneur and billionaire Richard Branson, who owns Virgin Galactic, recently introduced the company to his new space headquarters in New Mexico. It will serve not only for technicians, pilots and mechanics, but especially space tourists to meet here before or after their space flight, which will last 90 minutes. After a three-day training session, passengers in a six-seater spacecraft will experience a few minutes of weightlessness and see the curvature of the Earth against the darkness of the universe.
The lounge, which is on the first floor of the main headquarters, consists primarily of natural materials, namely wood and stone. Inside it looks similar to a nice restaurant with a bar in the middle. Noteworthy is also the so-called "Astronaut Walkway", which includes an interactive floor with constellation graphics that move as you step onto it. The elevated walkway leads directly through the center of the space to the runway and acts almost like a red carpet for tourists entering the rocket. If the passengers are not in the headquarters, there is an inverted pyramid hanging over the pavement, which gives other visitors a better view.
"Nature-centered design will provide an appropriate welcome to all newly educated astronauts returning from space with a new appreciation and understanding of our home planet,”
The second floor is decorated in shades of gray and white, representing flight and sky. Cirrus is a space flight operation, home to mission control, meeting room and pilot, said Virgin Galactic. The third floor, where the astronauts are located, is not yet finished. Interior work is scheduled to be completed in the next few months, Virgin Galactic said.
More than 600 people have already paid their spaceflight advance. The company has already passed test flights, which were without complications. The air unit reached sub-orbital space for the first time in December 2018 and a second time in February this year.