British billionaire and Virgin Group founder Richard Branson along with five colleagues, including Indian-origin aeronautical engineer Sirisha Bandla, returned safely to space on a Virgin Galactic VSS Unity rocket plane. According to Indian time, his plane returned to a launch center spaceport in New Mexico at around 9:12 pm.
Earlier, 71-year-old Branson along with five of his colleagues left on a historic flight to space at 8:10 pm Indian time. Although this flight was about an hour, but it is considered a milestone for space tourism.
During the flight, a crowd of more than 500 people saluted Branson and his companions for a successful journey. Branson’s wife, children and grandchildren were also in this crowd. The rocket plane was to take off at 6:30 pm, but due to bad weather, the launch time was extended by one and a half hours. All members of Branson’s crew on this trip were company employees.
Before the flight, Branson said that I want to assess this experience as a passenger before allowing space tourism next year. Branson has achieved this success when his 71st birthday is next week i.e. on 18th July.
The rocket plane by which Branson and his companions first separated from the original spacecraft, White Knight Two, at an altitude of about 13 km, according to Felt’s weightlessness plan. Where he got the energy to get faster from his rocket engine. After this the plane left the earth’s atmosphere and reached an altitude of 88 km, where everyone felt the weightlessness of space. After this the vehicle returned to Earth.
Richard Branson said that it is a memorable experience of life. We are here to make space more accessible to all. We want to transform the next generation of dreamers into the astronauts of today and tomorrow. We all have had an extraordinary experience with this flight. We would love it even more when many more of you achieve this feat. If you ever had a dream, now is the time to create it. It’s coming true. I want to conclude by saying welcome to the beginning of a new space age. ‘