On July 28th, Virgin Galactic Holdings, Inc. revealed the cabin interior of its first SpaceshipTwo vehicle, VSS Unity in a virtual event streamed live on YouTube. Aspiring astronauts and space enthusiasts now have the opportunity to explore the Virgin Galactic cabin design and spaceflight experience through an augmented reality enabled mobile app, which launched after the live event, and is available to download for free at both the App Store and Play Store.
Virgin Galactic partnering with London design agency Seymourpowell: “are developing an elegant but progressive, experience-focused concept for the cabin of its spaceship. While it has been created to integrate seamlessly with every other aspect of the Virgin Galactic astronaut journey – the cabin is also the design centrepiece; providing safety without distraction, quietly absorbing periods of sensory intensity and offering each astronaut a level of intimacy required for personal discovery and transformation.” According to their press release.
Here’s a sample video, just the first 30 sec is relevant
The craft would hold six-passengers. The seats are made from aluminum and carbon fiber, covered with engineered foam and an Under Armour 3D knit. “The color palette of the cabin has been carefully curated so that it complements the architecture of the seat, the cabin itself and spacesuits. The golden metallics resemble luminous desert sands, blues conjure celestial spaces and teals inspired by the ocean ground travelers back to Earth.” The cabin also feature mood lighting that will be turned off when facing Earth.
The seat positions are controlled by the pilot. However, passengers will be allowed a zero-G free float. Cabin surfaces and elements are soft and become hand and footholds, allowing astronauts to explore the cabin. The seatback screens will provide flight data and communication with the crew. No mention was made of movie selections.
The company founder, billionaire Richard Branson, said: “When we created Virgin Galactic, we started with what we believed would be an optimal customer experience and then built the spaceship around it.”
SpaceShipTwo is hauled aloft by a big plane called WhiteKnightTwo, which drops the spacecraft at an altitude of about 50,000 feet (15,000 meters). SpaceShipTwo’s onboard rocket motor then kicks on, blasting the vehicle up to suborbital space. Passengers will get to see the curvature of Earth against the blackness of space and experience a few minutes of weightlessness before they come back home for a runway landing. The cabin is designed to accentuate this dramatic and (for most people) once-in-a-lifetime experience, company personnel said. The company will provide photos for you via 16 built in cameras.
Virgin Galactic has not yet flown any paying customers to space, but the company is getting close. The VSS Unity has made two piloted test flights to suborbital space and is currently wrapping up its test campaign at New Mexico’s Spaceport America, Virgin Galactic’s commercial hub. You can reserve a seat for $1,000. Ticket price is $250,000.