In December 2009, Virgin Galactic unveiled its first commercial spaceship – the VSS Enterprise – based on the SpaceShipTwo spacecraft model.
The VSS Enterprise is 18 metres long and capable of taking six passengers and two pilots to space.
Virgin Galactic isn’t the only company looking at ways to offer space travel to the masses. Insiders forecast that, once fully operational, commercial space aviation could be a US$1 billion industry.
But what are the challenges? And what exactly is involved?
Looking at the example of Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft, how does it work, what is it made of, how will it get there and how much will it cost?