Virgin Galactic completes first space tourist flight

On August 10, Virgin Galactic has finally conducted its first tourist flight. Since opening the company in 2005, Richard Branson was yet to send tourists into space. However, that all changed when on August 10 at 10:20am ET the flight carrying 3 tourists departed from Spaceport America in New Mexico reaching an altitude of 88.5km before successfully landing at 11:32am ET. This is a huge feat for a company that has struggled to get up and running since its inception in 2005.

Space tourism is the vision Richard Branson has for Virgin Galactic, a company who`s largest costumer base are civilian space enthusiasts. Jon Goodwin, a British Olympic athlete, purchased his tickets back in 2005. This was an 18-year for him and his family to accomplish something most dream of, sub-orbital spaceflight. The company now has a backlog of nearly 800 costumers awaiting for their turn to ride the Unity, Virgin Galactic’s plane.

Virgin Galactic executives said they expected to fly Unity on roughly a monthly basis for the foreseeable future. If all goes well, this will set a precedent for next generation to have the ability of commercial space access. With rise in space tourism, companies will face cybersecurity challenges from adversaries wanting to benefit from the same technology. Protecting commercial space assets will become a big priority with the rise in space tourism and commercial space flight demand.