American billionaire Elon Musk transported two NASA astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) in his spacecraft Crew Dragon, and on Sunday he managed the same piece with his company SpaceX in the opposite direction.
The day after, Musk’s British rival Richard Branson had to watch his company Virgin Galactic publish its second-quarter results and end up again at a loss of $ 63 million – this time three million deeper than in the previous quarter.
It had 360 million in cash and cash equivalents at the end of June, he writes server Space News. At the beginning of May, she stated that she had $ 419 million. Now, however, it is said to want to acquire 460 million by selling 20.5 million of its ordinary shares.
The boss will fly to the third of all good things
It seems that the last unveiling of the interior of its suborbital ship VSS Unity, which will cost each of the six passengers $ 250,000, did not help the company. 600 people have already bought it, and according to Monday’s report, 300 new applicants have made a refundable deposit of one thousand dollars to reserve tickets for the next issue – a total of 700 of them, as in the press release states the company itself.
However, the company also had to announce that it was postponing the first commercial “orbital” flight to the first quarter of next year at the earliest. It will be preceded by two test crews with a professional crew and pilots, after which Richard Branson himself will start and start an era of private space travel at least beyond the space limit recognized by US military standards at 80 kilometers.
Three times faster than sound
But not to be a loss and a delay, Virgin Galactic also boasted a new design for a commercial supersonic aircraft, which should fly at Mach 3, three times faster than sound.
The space company will be helped by the luxury carmaker Rolls-Royce, which also produced the Olympus Turbojet jet engine for the later infamous Concorde, which also flew under the Air France flag at British Airways until its fateful accident in Paris in 2000 at Mach 2 speed. , 04.
But in addition to the fame of the British-French transport machine or the Russian Tupolev, Virgin Galactic has to contend with current competitors – or rather those who are just planning their debut, such as Lockheed Martin in collaboration with NASA’s space agency, whose X-59 aircraft should take off in two years, or Aerion and Boeing in the same time horizon with the Aerion AS2. And a year later, he also hopes for his supersonic Overture in the start-up Boom Supersonic, he writes web Space.com.
An nameless child after Concord
Branson’s company, together with the British carmaker Rolls-Royce, do not yet have a name for their child. With its delta-shaped wings and sharp snout, it definitely resembles the well-known Concorde, but compared to its 100 seats, it will offer capacity for nine to nineteen passengers. However, the flight altitude will also be about 18 kilometers, and Virgin Galactic will also focus on ensuring that passengers have a standard of business as well as first class.
“We are working to develop a sustainable, state-of-the-art propulsion system for our aircraft and are pleased to work with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to ensure that our designs are practical from the outset,” said George Whitesides, CEO of Virgin Galactic. . “We have made great progress so far and look forward to breaking the new frontier for high-speed travel.”