NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Virgin Galactic made space history with its successful flight Sunday morning. This comes after New Mexicans have invested nearly a quarter of a billion dollars into Spaceport America, and have patiently waited for almost two decades for this launch.
New Mexico was ground zero Sunday as millions of people from around the world watched the state’s very own Space America. Southern New Mexico will forever be known as the launching spot for the first flight carrying civilians into space.
The true test of this flight was when the mothership reached roughly 46,000 feet into the sky, making it the go-ahead zone to release the spaceship, so the crew could climb even higher. It was a success, and the release could even be seen from the ground.
“..Unbuckled, and the next moment, I see three people floating below me,” said Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Galactic’s founder in a press conference. Branson was one of the civilians on board.
He says he can’t explain what the view was like from above. “We’ve got these incredible windows and Dave and Sirisha, they turn the spaceship upside down and so when you’re floating, you’re looking out of these giant windows back at this – back at this beautiful sky, beautiful earth down here,” Branson said.
After a few minutes in space, the crew glided back down to earth. Sunday’s feat was one small step for commercial space travel in New Mexico, and one giant leap for the future of space tourism. “To the next generation of dreamers: if we can do this, just imagine what you can do,” Branson added.
After Sunday’s successful flight, Sir Richard Branson announced Virgin Galactic had teamed up with Omaze, so a lucky winner can take a trip up to space with one friend.