Commercial space travel, something we have seen only in movies so far, got a huge push on Thursday with the first US passenger service flight successfully blasting off to the edge of space on Thursday.
Virgin Galactic, the commercial spaceflight company started by the British billionaire Richard Branson, launched the SpaceShipTwo passenger rocket ship from California’s Mojave air and space port. The rocket plane climbed over 50 miles – considered by some agencies the beginning of space – and captured a stunning video of the earth from its location (above).
Two pilots, a mannequin named Annie as a stand-in for a passenger and four research payloads for NASA were on board the flight. The successful launch comes after the original SpaceShip Two crashed during a test flight in 2014, killing the co-pilot and gravely injuring the pilot.